Features of Dissolved Acetylene:
- the hottest and most efficient of all the fuel gases, providing high levels of productivity
- very efficient use of oxygen
- lighter than air and will not accumulate at low levels
- low ignition energy
- low moisture content flame
- non-toxic (may cause dizziness in high concentrations)
- oxygen and acetylene together produce a flame temperature of approximately 3150°C
- the oxy-acetylene flame gives very good localised heating with a minimum of wasted heat
- in cutting, oxy-acetylene gives the fastest preheating and piercing times of any fuel gas combination
- in oxy-acetylene cutting processes, improved cut quality, higher cutting speed, faster cut initiation time and reduced oxygen use are achieved
- when used with either oxygen or air, acetylene can produce a thin layer of black carbon particles. This can prevent components sticking in their moulds
- unused gas will not collect in low-lying areas, ducts and drains causing a potential hazard
- acetylene is stored in specially-designed cylinders to prevent decomposition
- the flame has a low moisture content making it a good choice for many critical heating applications
Application and use
- flame heating
- flame gouging
- gas welding. The only fuel gas which can be used to weld steel
- flame hardening. An oxy-acetylene flame can be used where the hardened surface of carbon steel components is either in situ as a remedial process or on components too large to fit in a furnace
- flame cleaning. A wide oxy-acetylene flame is held very close to a steel surface to be cleaned
- flame straightening where the precise and efficient flame properties are used to remove distortion in plate material
- thermal spraying of various metals and ceramics. The material to be sprayed is fed through the flame
- spot-heating applications
- branding wooden pallets
- glass and metal castings
- mould release and other anti-stick applications
- the only fuel gas recommended for use in underground working conditions
Please note: in any confined spaces, extraction devices should be used to remove any potentially dangerous by-products.
Acetylene can ignite and burn instantly from a spark or piece of hot metal.
It can form explosive acetylide compounds with some metals, most notably copper, silver and mercury.
Please note: copper alloys containing less than 65% copper and silver solder containing less than 43% silver are considered safe.
Hoses used with acetylene are coloured red and are designed to resist acetone. For this reason other fuel gas hoses must not be used.
For a full list of materials which are not allowed or are recommended only under certain conditions, please consult BCGA Codes of Practice CP5 and CP6
- care must be taken when using acetylene as it is an asphyxiant
- acetylene is highly reactive. It is dissolved in acetone and contained within a porous mass inside the cylinder
- acetylene can react over time with some metals to form explosive acetylides
- acetylene is slightly lighter than air and will collect at ceiling level