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Oxy Acetylene Welding

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Oxy acetylene welding is a type of welding that uses fuel gas and oxygen to do the welding.  This type of welding is actually one of the oldest welding techniques known to man, however the use of this type of welding has declined into a lesser known form to non-welders due to less common use.

Oxy acetylene welding was first implemented in 1903 by Edmond Fouché and Charles Picard who were two French engineers.  Immediately after being implemented this process soon became widely used during the early nineteen hundreds.

The process of oxy acetylene welding involves two cylinders, one which contains a fuel gas such as acetylene, and another cylinder which contains oxygen.  While most welding techniques use air as part of the process, oxy acetylene welding uses pure oxygen.  The use of oxygen instead of air allows the oxy acetylene welder to hold a higher flame temperature than other methods of welding would allow.  An oxy acetylene flame heats up to around 3,500 °C (6,330 °F).

This form of welding can also be used for cutting metal as well.  This is possible because the welding torch generates enough heat to bring the metal up to a melting temperature, allowing for the metal to be cut cleanly.

When doing oxy acetylene welding it is very important to ensure you have the correct torch attached to the welder as there is a different torch for oxy acetylene cutting and welding than is used for any other type of welding.

The welding torch used in the welding process has the gas hoses attached to the base.  The base then attaches to the cylinder with the gas "on" and "off" valves.  Two pipes come out of the cylinder and will attach to the head of the torch.  There are even more differences between the oxy acetylene cutting torch versus the welding torch.  The cutting torch will have an oxygen blast trigger on the top, an oxygen blast valve on one side, three pipes instead of two, and a nozzle that can be unscrewed which is located on the head of the torch.

Today, oxy acetylene cutting and welding is used in metal artwork, stone work, pipe and tube work, the glass industry, jewelry production, and in a few other industries.

Ed C.


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