Recently a representative of a manufacturer of welding supplies stated his belief — “only 10 percent of the people using oxygen-acetylene equipment really know what they are handling or have any formal training”.
Listed below are ten facts about oxyacetylene that should be brought to the attention of all employees and supervisors:
- Acetylene has an explosion range of 2.5 to 80. (The widest explosion range of any commonly used gas).
- Acetylene cylinders are not hollow. (Packed with diatomaceous earth, saturated with acetone).
- Acetylene cylinders should never be used from a horizontal position. (Loses liquid acetone from cylinder — gums gauges, ruins hoses).
- Acetylene should never be used at a hose pressure gauge in excess of 15 p.s.i. (Acetylene will self ignite and explode when compressed in the gaseous form at pressures slightly greater than 15 p.s.i.).
- Any amount of acetylene in an oxygen gauge is an explosive situation. (It can’t stand the over 2,000 pounds pressure under which oxygen is stored).
- Oxygen under pressure is explosive upon contact with oil or grease. (A little dab from the hands while changing cylinders could cause such an explosion).
- Acetylene cylinder valves should be closed when leaving the job unattended. (Defective hoses are the most likely places for gas to escape into the room where a spark from any source can explode it).
- Each cylinder has several heat safety plugs at both ends that will come out at the temperature of boiling water. (Don’t store next to furnaces or allow slag to touch them).
- These safety plugs are thin brass shells sometimes protruding from the cylinder in recessed tops. (Storage of tools in the top could break them off causing a fire from the hole in direct proportion to the pressure in the tank).
- Carbide should be stored in a moisture-proof area and only one can opened at any given time. (One drop of water in a can of carbide will generate acetylene to escape into the room).
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