Gas welding or oxygen-acetylene welding is made possible because there are some gasses that burn at extremely high temperatures. With this process, oxygen as well as acetylene are fed from holding tanks to a torch and then when needed ignited. This combination makes a gas that burns at an incredible 5500 degrees Fahrenheit. This process was first put into use during the early part of the 1900s. The individual doing the welding holds a filler metal rod in one hand and the torch in the other, and using the intense heat at the end of the torch melts the filler metal into a joint which fuses two pieces of metal together.
This process can be used to fuse pipe together or to repair splits. It is particularly useful with pipe that is less than 2 inches diameter. It can also be used to work with sheet metal, as well as just about any metal that is used in industry. Gas welding is a bit slower than when using arc welding but it is also seen to give the welder much more control over the work they are trying to do.
There are some things to remember when working with gas welding that must be kept in mind for the sake of safety.
- For the sake of safe storage, keep cylinders of oxygen and other gases stored separately with at least 20 feet between them, or they can be divided by a proper firewall.
- Cylinders can burn easily so it is recommended that they be kept away from any combustible and flammable materials.
- Maintain cylinders in storage areas where others cannot get to them to tamper with them, away from heat and to prevent damage to them.
- Cylinders should always be maintained in an upright position, and when possible, chained to retain this position even when jostling takes place.
- Always check the valves to assure they are closed prior to moving the cylinders.
- Always have regulators and defending caps in place.
- Never pull cylinders. Instead roll them on their bottom edges when moving is necessary.
- During transport, reduce the cylinder movement by placing chains around them to prevent falling and extreme movement.
Oxy-acetylene is the typical combination used in gas welding and is generally chosen for general cutting and welding work including work to repair rips and tears in metal. Each gas is contained in its own cylinder and combined through the use of separate hoses leading from regulators attached to the top of the cylinders. These hoses then lead to the torch where they are attached to create the mixture needed to create the intense heated to work with metals.
The regulators are necessary to control the flow of gases, and a non-return valve is also needed to prevent the possibility of detonation of the acetylene tank. This valve is all part of the checks needed for proper and safe use of oxy-acetylene gas welding.
Other equipment required to work with oxy-acetylene gas welding would be a check valve, welding torch, cutting torch, rose-but torch, and injector torch. All of this equipment do different types of gas welding and allow the user to make the right cuts or joints that are required for the work they are completing.