Recently I was on the hunt for an oxy-acetylene kit. I found most of the hardware stores kept units which were for the DIYer, which is really no problem except I don’t know how long it will last in the cylinders provided, usually propane or MAP/Pro and I couldn’t make out what was actually in the cylinder. An entire kit (without bottles) cost U$199.00 through Harborfreight for Map Pro and Oxygen. This is a great price but what’s the quality like? Scouring the web we come across many such advertisements, much from our Asian exporters. The information through manufacturers or blogs is mainly around how to cut, how to weld, braze and getting the right colour flame but really to find one useful advertisement covering an entire kit with bottles is a difficult catch. In fact it’s like the proverbial needle in the haystack.
The entire being of Parts-Ring is to make finding parts, accessories and kits a greater experience for all. Finding this ‘kit’ which comprises of a torch, regulators, hose is not a problem, finding the bottles is. A common point that arises is that these bottles of acetylene cannot be purchased they have to be leased. Also suppliers are closed when you need them most – probably week-ends – there seems to be some sort of control on where you can get it or whom will sell to whom. I am sure authorities internationally all have their own set of rules as well. What are the pitfalls to owning an acetylene torch? Where are the places to get the gas and why is acetylene such a hard catch?
The interesting part about acetylene is that the DIYer or welding market is extremely tiny compared to Big Brother Chemicals which can make sourcing difficult or cheap. Acetylene is a hydrocarbon C2H2, manufactured through partial combustion of methane, possibly from coal, it’s primary use is in the preparation of polyurethane and polyester plastics. (Further read: PVC Facts – polyvinyl chloride manufacturing).
A Brief History
1836: Edmund Davy: (not to be confused with Humphry Davy of Lamp fame). First known to have discovered Acetylene, what he then thought already to contain Hydrogen.
1860: Marcellin Berthelo passed vapours of methanol and ethanol through a red hot tube and collected the by product which he called Acetylene. He later obtained Acetylene by passing hydrogen through the poles of a carbon arc.
The combustion of acetylene with oxygen yields a flame of over 3600 K / 3300 °C or 6000 °F.
Hydrocarbons are bad for the environment.