Did i just almost die (oxy-acetylene) – page 3 gas in babies home remedies


Modfying oxygen fittings for oring is a very bad idea. Many materials will self ignite with higher oxygen concentrations and pressures than normally found in the atmosphere. I expect this would include orings.Many won’t just "ignite". They can detonate explosively.

Valves in an Air products A1, A2 or DELON 500 Oxygen Generating plant of fifty years and more ago required teflon grease, The Halogens as a clan, Fluorine at the head of the list, having an even more tenacious grip on their Hydrocarbon captives than Oxygen can contest.

Such fatal accidents had happened. The Army had also produced the Liquid oxygen for the Redstone Missiles, as Germany had done before us for their V2. That was, in fact the only thing Dr.Von Braun and I had in common when we chatted some time later at Redstone. His WWII Oxygen plants had been of rather higher capacity than I would have expected for their earlier age. Then again, I had never had to build rockets, only aim them (NIKE, and solid-fueled).

The Oxygen/Acetylene production training course at Ft.Belvoir occupied 26 weeks. Same Engineer Center and School, we produced a rather competent Officer of Engineers in only 21 weeks. Neither course ran only an 8 hour day. Neither course dared admit dummies as entrants, carry them long, nor graduate any resemblance to such. Too much at stake, either category.

As with gasoline, bearing greater energy than dynamite, and taken for granted as no big deal by the milliards of gallons, nothing in that chain is ultimately effective if the last person in the line pisses all that safety effort away – and does something careless or contrarian-stupid.

I am astonished at the general lack of knowledge about O/A torches displayed in this thread, but it’s not unexpected. Most folks never use them for anything but cutting anymore now, as shown by the suggestion to get rid of the torch and get a TIG machine. A torch and a TIG machine are in no way interchangeable and I’d have (and had for years) a torch set before I found a good cheap TIG.

Used to get this type of fire on the jobsite when I worked for an industrial mechanical contractor right out of highschool. It is not going to explode. Acetylene won’t burn in the absence of oxygen and the pressure in that tank is over 15psi because the acetylene gas is dissolved in acetone, like CO2 in a beer and the solution is soaked in a porous medium (used to be balsa wood years ago). That’s why it is dissolved, to prevent it being unstable at those temperatures. You had a leak and fire. No big deal. Check your connections every time by opening the bottle after mounting the gauge, then shut the bottle off and watch for ANY pressure loss over a period of a minute or so. You can also sniff around the fitting to see if you catch a whiff of the sweet garlicy smell of acetylene. I wouldn’t put an O ring on a regulator. They work fine if both regulator and bottle fitting are in proper operating condition. Make sure both are clean and shiny before you install the gauge on the bottle. A quick scotchbrite scrub if there are spots of corrosion. A gouged or scored fitting should be replaced.

If your torch is popping, as said, you are running the wrong tip. Turn the regulator totally off and open the torch valve. Crack the regulator just enough too light the acetylene and turn up the reg until the smoke disappears. Keep going until the flame jumps off the tip. Back off the reg 1/4 turn, or until the flame re-attaches. Repeat for O2 now. Open the regulator until the flame turns blue and the feather on the inner cone is as you require (carburizing, neutral or oxidizing flame). Now, your regs are properly set. You simply open the valves of the torch, light it and go to work instead of futzing around trying to set your flame right with just the torch knobs (which is useless for a beginner).

As for the bottle valves, any high pressure bottle should be opened completely to seal the open packing in the valve. If you run that valve partly open, you are losing gas for no reason. High pressure gasses are usually not flammable (except hydrogen and that’s another whole set of rules), so you are not in such a hurry to shut them off, even if there is a fire.

Acetylene and other fuel bottle (again, except hydrogen) are low pressure bottles and should only be opened 1/2 too one full turn, at most. This is in case of fire, so the bottle can be shut down quickly as possible. High flow rates are not required for fuels, anyway and there is no open packing in the valve.

Get a copy of the old Oxy/Acetylene handbook. It will instruct you in the proper way to operate a torch. I was very fortunate to get a copy of that book in the late 70s when my dad bought a torch set and got it. I then got to work at the museum in the 90s with a mechanical engineer who was a WWII vet and who also worked for Union Carbide/Linde as a welding engineer.