Problems with getting acetylene, any ideas on substitutes?

Discussion in 'Tube and Fabric' started by Patanke, Apr 12, 2011.

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  1. Apr 12, 2011 #1

    Patanke

    Patanke

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    Acetylene is very hard to get right now, my understanding is that the factory that makes the carbide the acetylene producers use to produce the gas blew up at the end of March. Both Air Gas, and Prax-Air will not sell it to non-contracted customers, due to a shortage that is expected last several months to a year. They are recommending using propylene, but I don't know what effect this will have on the welds. Any one have any idea? Otherwise I guess I'll have to figure out how to TIG.

    Scott Y.
     
  2. Apr 12, 2011 #2

    JIC

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    You might have to go back to doing like they did years ago, using a carbine generator to produce Acetylene.
    It would mix water and carbine together to produce Acetylene.
    My dad had one in his shop when I was a kid going up.

    JIC
     
  3. Apr 12, 2011 #3

    Dana

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    ^^ Wouldn't do any good if it's the carbide (a carbine is a short rifle!) itself that's in short supply...

    -Dana

    Lie ? Me ? Never! No, no, no, the truth is far too much fun!
     
  4. Apr 12, 2011 #4

    Robby

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    Even if you get the carbide and start mixing (with water ) - you still need to have a way to pressurize it and IF you do not have the right equipment and KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING, you are quite likely to level a significant portion of the area around you.

    This stuff is NOTHING to play with or try the -

    'just trying to 'rig up something' so I can weld'

    trick.

    You're likely to get killed or burnt very badly.
     
  5. Apr 12, 2011 #5

    Dan Thomas

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    The acetylene generator is a small tank. Water goes into the tank, calcium carbide is dropped in, the lid is screwed on tight, and the reaction generates pressure. Very, very unstable stuff. Above 15 PSI it can spontaneously fracture and go BOOM with no oxygen. Not something for homebuilders, certainly.

    I'd buy a TIG welder.

    Oxypropylene: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxy-fuel_welding_and_cutting


    Dan
     
  6. Apr 13, 2011 #6

    JIC

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    I wasn't saying to go out and do this, I was only saying that it was a way it use to be done. Carbide was the word I was
    trying to think of when I wrote carbine.
    The generator man dad had in his welding shop was pretty good size and made of heavy metal. The carbide was put into the
    top and it had a lever to measure a certain amount of carbide going into the water tank below. The mixing of the carbide and
    water created the pressure. It had a gauge so you could see how much pressure was inside the tank. I doubt you could even
    find one today because of osha safety rules.

    JIC
     
  7. Apr 13, 2011 #7

    stol

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    xxxx
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  8. Apr 14, 2011 #8

    johnnyd

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    I've seen some of the "locals" using propane in place of acetylene.
    I think that you have to use a bigger tip?
    They were using it for cutting...don't know how well it works for welding.
     
  9. Apr 16, 2011 #9

    autoreply

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    I know almost nothing of welding and I'm pretty bad at it, but wouldn't the lower flame temperature of propane be a major problem?
     
  10. Apr 16, 2011 #10

    RJW

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    I have never seen anybody use propane for welding. The only places I have seen using propane torches are large scrap metal processors. They use it for cutting, as propane is cheaper than acetylene.

    Welding with an oxy-acetylene flame isn’t that difficult. Like anything a little instruction and some practice will make perfect. I enjoy welding with a torch. It’s nontoxic, cheap, and beautiful welds can be made. I have been toying with trying to weld aluminum with it like the old-timers did before TIG was around. None of the local suppliers carry flux anymore though.

    Rob
     
  11. Apr 16, 2011 #11

    JMillar

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    Propane will not give a "neutral" flame, is the problem I believe. You will cook the carbon out of the steel and ruin it. Cuts just fine though. Linde dealer here, maybe I should read those emails titled "Acetylene" - maybe that's what they're trying to tell us about.
     
  12. Apr 16, 2011 #12

    indios

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    there was an article about a torch system that uses car gas instead of acetylene, it posted in the "farm show magazine" several issues back, I will look for it later. Great magazine for tinkers, packrats and junk collectors. (my wifes quote)
     
  13. Apr 20, 2011 #13

    roverjohn

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  14. May 22, 2011 #14

    chintonmd

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    You should be able to find acetylene in many small towns in farming country. You'll have to ask around because it won't be from a welding shop. Ask about it at the local farm co-op or farm supply place. You'll probably have to sign a lease on a tank though since that's just how it's done. Just about every farm will have a cutting rig.
     
  15. May 23, 2011 #15

    fly2kads

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