How to Use an Oxy-acetylene Torch for Welding?

It is a process that also gets referred to as torch or gas welding. It involves the combustion of the two gases coming from separate cylinders to produce a hot flame. The flame is scorching up to 3200 degrees Celsius and can weld most types of metals including steel.

The flame can only get achieved if the components required are in the right proportions. The mixing takes place within a hand-held torch or blowpipe. In this article, you get to learn the steps that you need to undertake when using oxy-acetylene for welding. Read on to find out.

Required equipment for the process

The whole unit used in this type of welding is portable and straightforward to use. First, as mentioned above, you need oxygen and acetylene to produce a flame. These gases should get stored carefully. Therefore, you should have two airtight steel cylinders.

Also, you must take safety measures with the cylinders. The cylinder you use has to have a regulator. The purpose of this regulator Is to control the flow of gases. Also, regulators help to control the pressure at which the gases come out.

Besides, you need flashback arrestors. These usually get fitted between the regulators and hoses that pass the gases. They are essential in preventing sparks and flames produced from reaching cylinders.

How does welding take place?

Using an oxy-acetylene torch is one of the easiest ways you can weld. The unit uses oxygen and acetylene gases in equal measures to produce a flame. There are two types of lames from this unit, i.e., the oxidizing and carburizing flames.

Both of these flames can only get achievable if both gases get into the unit in the right quantities. The oxidizing flame gets achieved by a good supply of oxygen getting into the system. For carburizing flames, you get to see the flame when the acetylene flows.

How to use an oxy-acetylene torch properly

Oxy-acetylene torches are usually easy to use. However, that is only possible when the correct directions for use get followed. Therefore, if you are trying an oxy-acetylene torch for the first time, this section is a must-read.

What to do before lighting your torch

Using an oxy-acetylene torch can be risky if the correct instructions do not get implemented. You should begin by first understanding what you need to do before lighting your torch. First, you should make sure that you have backed out the regulator screws and closed the torch valves.

Also, avoid standing in front of the regulator for personal safety. The next step should be releasing the gases. Do this by opening the cylinders containing oxygen and acetylene separately and slowly. Go ahead and open the torch valves and slowly while controlling the flow.

You can depress the cutting lever if need be. Also, adjust the pressure to your preference and hold the torch or pipe correctly.

Lighting and adjusting the torch

Lighting the torch has been a challenge, especially for newbies. Remember not to open the torch suddenly as this has been the leading cause of accidents. Also, it can cause considerable damage to your cylinder; therefore, you should do it slowly.

You should open the cylinder valves in only one turn. Turn on the valve for the cylinder containing fuel gas. Set the pressure to the correct level according to the work you are handling. Also, this is the same procedure you should follow when opening the oxygen cylinder.

If you cannot set the pressure to your preference, then you should stick to the standard limits. You can set the acetylene pressure at 5 to 7 psi and oxygen at 7 to 10 psi.

Also, remember to put the lighter at the correct position in front of the nozzle. Avid using liquid lighters because they can cause fires easily. Always use gas lighters because they are far much safer compared to the latter.

Shutting down the torch

Shutting down an oxy-acetylene torch also requires a lot of care. You should begin by closing the valve at the hand-held torch. Then go ahead and close the oxygen valve, which lets the oxygen in. Without oxygen, combustion stops immediately, thus eliminating both the flame and soot.

Then you should go-ahead to close the valves that control the fuel gas. Open the valve that you closed on the hand-held torch. You should then turn the regulator and remove all the screws. Always remember that it is advisable to start with closing the oxygen cylinder valves.

Safety rules when using oxy-acetylene torches

As mentioned earlier, it is essential to make sure that the necessary safety measures get adhered to the later to avoid accidents. Also, we said the need to open the valves slowly. That is one of the primary measures you need to keep in mind when using an oxy-acetylene torch.

You should begin by lighting the acetylene first. That is whenever you are using other gases with oxygen in welding. However, it is permissible to light the torch while both gases are flowing. You only need to exercise care on the way you hold the lighter to avoid accidents.

You must use the correct tip for the right amount of pressure. Every tip type has an amount of pressure it can handle. You should avoid using too much or less pressure than a tip can handle. Mostly, it may lead to a backflow of gases, or the tip may sputter or pop.

Conclusion

Welding works at high temperatures, and therefore, the gases used can be dangerous. There is a need to understand the properties of the gases used in welding. For instance, most of the gases burn at very high temperatures, which requires a lot of care.

Using oxy acetylene requires that you have the necessary skills to handle the equipment used. For example, you need to understand how an oxy-acetylene torch works. Also, the safety measures that you should take to stay safe.

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