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Gas Welding
1. Gas Welding 7

Although the oxy-acetylene process has been introduced long time ago it is still applied for its
flexibility and mobility. Equipment for oxyacetylene welding consists of just a few ele-
ments, the energy necessary for welding can be transported in cylinders, Figure 1.1.

density in normal state [kg/m3]

3 2.5

1.5 1.29 1.17



natural gas
5 0.5
8 0
7 ignition temperature [OC]
9 645 645
1 600 510


natural gas


1 oxygen cylinder with pressure reducer
acetylene cylinder with pressure reducer 0
3 oxygen hose flame temperature with O2
flame efficiency with O2
4 acetylene hose flame velocity with O2
43 1350
5 welding torch 3200

6 welding rod 2850
10.3 370

8.5 330
7 workpiece 2770

natural gas
8 welding nozzle
0 k cm
9 welding flame C
/cm2 /s
br-er1-01.cdr ISF 2002 br-er1-02.cdr ISF 2002

Equipment Components Properties of Fuel Gas in

for Gas Welding Combination with Oxygen

Figure 1.1 Figure 1.2

Process energy is obtained from the exothermal chemical reaction between oxygen and a
combustible gas, Figure 1.2. Suitable combustible gases are C2H2, lighting gas, H2, C3H8 and
natural gas; here C3H8 has the highest calorific value. The highest flame intensity from point
of view of calorific value and flame propagation speed is, however, obtained with C2H2.

1. Gas Welding 8

C2H2 is produced in acetylene gas genera-

loading funnel
tors by the exothermal transformation of cal-
material lock cium carbide with water, Figure 1.3. Carbide
is obtained from the reaction of lime and car-
bon in the arc furnace.

gas exit
C2H2 tends to decompose already at a pres-
feed wheel
sure of 0.2 MPa. Nonetheless, commercial
quantities can be stored when C2H2 is dis-
solved in acetone (1 l of acetone dissolves
approx. 24 l of C2H2 at 0.1 MPa), Figure 1.4.

sludge pit
br-er1-03.cdr ISF 2002

Acetylene Generator

Figure 1.3

Acetone disintegrates at a pressure of more acetone acetylene

than 1.8 MPa, i.e., with a filling pressure of
1.5 MPa the storage of 6m of C2H2 is possi-
ble in a standard cylinder (40 l). For gas ex- porous mass
change (storage and drawing of quantities up
to 700 l/h) a larger surface is necessary,
N acetylene cylinder
therefore the gas cylinders are filled with a acetone quantity : ~13 l

porous mass (diatomite). Gas consumption acetylene quantity : 6000 l

during welding can be observed from the cylinder pressure : 15 bar

weight reduction of the gas cylinder.

filling quantity : up to 700 l/h

br-er1-04.cdr ISF 2002

Storage of Acetylene

Figure 1.4
1. Gas Welding 9

Oxygen is produced by
gaseous fractional distillation of
nitrogen cylinder liquid air and stored in cyl-
inders with a filling pres-
sure of up to 20 MPa, Fig-
ure 1.5. For higher oxygen
oxygen liquid
air consumption, storage in a

tank car
liquid state and cold gasifi-
vaporized cation is more profitable.

cleaning compressor separation supply

br-er1-05.cdr ISF 2002

Principle of Oxygen Extraction

Figure 1.5

The standard cylinder (40 l) contains, at a 50 l oxygen cylinder

filling pressure of 15 MPa, 6m of O2 (pres- protective cap
cylinder valve gaseous
sureless state), Figure 1.6. Moreover, cylin- take-off connection
ders with contents of 10 or 20 l (15 MPa) as p = cylinder pressure : 200 bar
V = volume of cylinder : 50 l
well as 50 l at 20 MPa are common. Gas
Q = volume of oxygen : 10 000 l

consumption can be calculated from the pres- content control

sure difference by means of the general gas
foot ring
safety valve

still user

liquid gaseous


Storage of Oxygen

Figure 1.6

1. Gas Welding 10

In order to prevent mistakes, the gas cylinders are colour-coded. Figure 1.7 shows a survey
of the present colour code and the future colour code which is in accordance with DIN EN
The cylinder valves are
old condition DIN EN 1089 old condition DIN EN 1089
blue white grey brown also of different designs.
blue (grey) grey
Oxygen cylinder connec-
oxygen techn. helium
yellow brown red red tions show a right-hand
thread union nut. Acetylene
acetylene hydrogen
grey dark green grey vivid green
cylinder valves are
grey grey equipped with screw clamp
argon argon-carbon-dioxide mixture
retentions. Cylinder valves
darkgreen black grey grey
darkgreen for other combustible
nitrogen carbon-dioxide gases have a left-hand
br-er1-07.cdr ISF 2006

Gas Cylinder-Identification thread-connection with a

according to DIN EN 1089
circumferential groove.
Figure 1.7

cylinder pressure working pressure

Pressure regulators re-
duce the cylinder pressure
to the requested working
pressure, Figures 1.8 and

br-er1-08.cdr ISF 2002

Single Pressure Reducing Valve

during Gas Discharge Operation

Figure 1.8

1. Gas Welding 11

At a low cylinder pressure (e.g. acetylene cylinder) and low pressure fluctuations, single-
stage regulators
discharge pressure locking pressure
are applied; at higher cyl-
inder pressures normally
two-stage pressure regula-
tors are used.
The requested pressure is
set by the adjusting screw.
If the pressure increases
on the low pressure side,
the throttle valve closes the
br-er1-09.cdr ISF 2002

increased pressure onto

Single Pressure Reducing Valve,
Shut Down the membrane.

Figure 1.9

The injector-type torch consists of a body with valves and welding chamber with welding
nozzle, Figure 1.10. By the selection of suitable welding chambers, the flame intensity can be
adjusted for welding different plate thicknesses.

The special form of the mixing chamber guarantees highest possible safety against
flashback, Figure 1.11.
welding torch
The high outlet speed of injector or blowpipe
the escaping O2 gener- hose connection
coupling nut
for oxygen
ates a negative pressure mixer tube mixer nozzle oxygen valve A6x1/4" right

in the acetylene gas line,

in consequence C2H2 is
sucked and drawn-in. pressure nozzle
suction nozzle hose connection
for fuel gas
C2H2 is therefore avail- welding nozzle fuel gas valve A9 x R3/8 left
able with a very low
welding torch head torch body
pressure of 0.02 up to br-er1-10.cdr ISF 2002

0.05 MPa -compared

Welding Torch
with O2 (0.2 up to
0.3 MPa). Figure 1.10

1. Gas Welding 12

A neutral flame adjustment allows the differentiation of three zones of a chemical reaction,
Figure 1.12:

0. dark core: escaping gas mixture

1. brightly shining centre cone: acetylene decomposition
C2H2 -> 2C+H2
2. welding zone: 1st stage of combustion
2C + H2 + O2 (cylinder) -> 2CO + H2
3. outer flame: 2nd stage of combustion
4CO + 2H2 + 3O2 (air) ->
4CO2 + 2H2O
complete reaction: 2C2H2 + 5O2 ->
4CO2 + 2H2O


welding torch head injector nozzle pressure nozzle

coupling nut torch body

br-er1-11.cdr ISF 2002

Injector-Area of Torch

Figure 1.11

1. Gas Welding 13

welding flame welding flame

combustion ratio of mixture
excess of normal excess of
welding nozzle centre cone outer flame acetylene (neutral) oxygen

welding zone




effects in welding of steel
sparking foaming
400C spattering
carburizing reducing oxidizing
br-er1-12.cdr ISF 2002 br-er1-13.cdr ISF 2002

Temperature Distribution Effects of the Welding Flame

in the Welding Flame Depending on the Ratio of Mixture

Figure 1.12 Figure 1.13

welding flame By changing the mixture ratio of the volumes

balanced (neutral) flame
nozzle size: for plate thickness of 2-4 mm O2:C2H2 the weld pool can greatly be influ-
discharging velocity and weld heat-input rate: low
2 enced, Figure 1.13. At a neutral flame ad-
justment the mixture ratio is O2:C2H2 = 1:1. By
reason of the higher flame temperature, an
soft flame
discharging velocity and weld heat-input rate: middle excess oxygen flame might allow faster
welding of steel, however, there is the risk of
oxidizing (flame cutting).
moderate flame Area of application: brass
discharging velocity and weld head-input rate: high
4 The excess acetylene causes the carburising
of steel materials.
Area of application: cast iron

hard flame
br-er1-14.cdr ISF 2002

Effects of the Welding Flame

Depending on the Discharge Velocity

Figure 1.14
1. Gas Welding 14

By changing the gas mixture outlet speed the flame can be adjusted to the heat requirements
of the welding job, for example when welding plates (thickness: 2 to 4 mm) with the welding
chamber size 3: 2 to 4 mm, Figure 1.14. The gas mixture outlet speed is 100 to 130 m/s
when using a medium or normal flame, applied to at, for example, a 3 mm plate. Using a
soft flame, the gas outlet speed is lower (80 to 100 m/s) for the 2 mm plate, with a hard
flame it is higher (130 to 160 m/s) for the 4 mm plate.

Depending on the plate thickness are the working methods leftward welding and rightward
welding applied, Figure 1.15. A decisive factor for the designation of the working method is
the sequence of flame and welding rod as well as the manipulation of flame and welding rod.
The welding direction itself is of no importance. In leftward welding the flame is pointed at
the open gap and wets the molten pool; the heat input to the molten pool can be well con-
trolled by a slight movement of the torch (s 3 mm).

Leftward welding is applied to a plate thickness of up to 3 mm.

The weld-rod dips into the molten pool from time to time,
but remains calm otherwise. The torch swings a little.
easy to handle on thin plates plate thickness gap sym-
range s [mm] preparations denotation
from to
~ s+1



flange weld

welding-rod flame welding bead

plain butt
Rightward welding ist applied to a plate thickness of 3mm weld
upwards. The wire circles, the torch remains calm. 1,0 4,0
- the molten pool and the weld keyhole are easy to observe
- good root fusion 3,0 12,0 V - weld
- the bath and the melting weld-rod are permanently protected
from the air 1-2
- narrow welding seam
- low gas consumption 1,0 8,0 1-2
corner weld

1,0 8,0 lap seam

1,0 8,0 fillet weld

weld-rod flame
br-er1-15e.cdr ISF 2002 br-er1-16.cdr ISF 2002

Flame Welding Gap Shapes for Gas Welding

Figure 1.15 Figure 1.16

1. Gas Welding 15

In rightward welding the flame is directed

butt-welded seams in
gravity position onto the molten pool; a weld keyhole is
gravity fillet welds formed (s 3 mm).
Flanged welds and plain butt welds can be

PB horizontal fillet welds applied to a plate thickness of approx.

vertical fillet and butt welds 1.5 mm without filler material, but this does
s f PF vertical-upwelding position not apply to any other plate thickness and
PG vertical-down position
weld shape, Figure 1.16.
horizontal on
PC vertical wall

By the specific heat input of the different

PE overhead position welding methods all welding positions can be
carried out using the oxyacetylene welding
method, Figures 1.17 and 1.18
PD horizontal overhead position

ISF 2002
When working in tanks and confined

Welding Positions I
spaces, the welder (and all other persons
present!) have to be protected against the
Figure 1.17
welding heat, the gases produced during
welding and lack of oxygen ((1.5 % (vol.) O2
per 2 % (vol.) C2H2 are taken out from the
ambient atmosphere)), Figure 1.19. The addi- PA

tion of pure oxygen is unsuitable (explosion PB


A special type of autogene method is flame- PC

straightening, where specific locally applied

flame heating allows for shape correction of PG
workpieces, Figure 1.20. Much experience is PD
needed to carry out flame straightening proc- PE
The basic principle of flame straightening de-
br-er1-18.cdr ISF 2002

pends on locally applied heating in connec-

Welding Positions II
tion with prevention of expansion. This proc-

Figure 1.18
1. Gas Welding 16

ess causes the appearance of a heated zone. During cooling, shrinking forces are generated
in the heated zone and lead to the desired shape correction.

Safety in welding and cutting inside of

Flame straightening
tanks and narrow rooms

welded parts

Hazards through gas, fumes, explosive mixtures, first warm up both

electric current lateral plates, then belt

protective measures / safety precautions

1. requirement for a permission to enter
2. extraction unit, ventilation butt weld double fillet weld
3. second person for safety reasons 3 to 5 heat sources 1,3 or 5 heat sources
close to the weld-seam
4. illumination and electric machines: max 42volt
5. after welding: Removing the equipment from the tank

br-er1-19e.cdr ISF 2002 br-er1-20.cdr ISF 2002

Gas Welding in Tanks and

Flame Straightening
Narrow Rooms

Figure 1.19 Figure 1.20