Oxyacetylene welding is one of the most common welding processes still in use. It is versatile and once it is mastered it can be used to weld almost any type of metal. The flame used in oxyacetylene welding burns at 6000 degrees Fahrenheit and is the only gas flame that is hot enough to melt virtually all commercial metals.
Some of the primary benefits of using oxyacetylene welding are that it’s an easy process to learn. The required equipment is generally cheaper than most other equipment needed in other welding processes. Oxyacetylene welding equipment tends to be more portable than other welding equipment used by welders, and oxyacetylene welding can be used to flame-cut larger pieces of metal than other welding processes.
Just as there are advantages in using oxyacetylene welding there are also disadvantages. Oxyacetylene weld lines tend to be much rougher in appearance than other welds created using different techniques and often require more finishing when neatness is required. Oxyacetylene welds also tend to have large heat affected zones than other welds.
When preparing to weld using acetylene it is important to assemble all of the materials you will need once you begin welding. This involves gathering parts, equipment, fixtures, safety gear, filler rods and the material you will be welding. You will want to thoroughly clean the materials you will be welding to remove any contaminants that can cause welding defects later. The next step is to place the materials you will be welding in place using clamps or vise grips, and then you will want to choose the correct size nozzle for the type of weld you will be performing. Using the correct size nozzle will make the welding process much easier.
The next step in oxyacetylene welding is to light the torch flame. You will need to open the main valve located on the cylinder — you should give the valve a 1/2 turn clockwise. Once you have opened the acetylene tank and have set it for the right amount of pressure you will now want to open the oxygen tank. When you have opened the valve of the oxygen tank the next thing you should do is regulate the amount of oxygen flowing through the regulators. Once everything is adjusted and you feel comfortable with the amount of pressure of both gases, you can ignite the flame.
Now that you have gathered your materials and have ignited the flame you are ready to begin welding. When welding with oxyacetylene it is important that all safety guidelines be followed in order to protect you and those around you from becoming injured. Oxyacetylene is one of the most popular welding methods being used today because of its ability to be used with many different metals. It is a technique worth mastering and once you do, you will be grateful you took the time to learn this technique.