The basics of gas welding
The complex jewelry manufacturing process was already familiar with the use of gas welding even in mid nineteenth century, but only a combination of oxygen and hydrogen was used in the process since, together, they produced a very intense and hot flame. It was the discovery of acetylene at the end of the same century that made gas welding what it is today. Acetylene is a gas that results from the chemical combination of water and calcium carbide; in gas welding, this compound may provide flames with a temperature of up to 4000 degrees Fahrenheit. Presently, it is pretty common to use a combination of acetylene and oxygen in gas welding so as to achieve even higher temperatures of 6000 deg. F.
The advantages of gas welding include lower costs, mobility of equipment transportation and versatility, as compared to the use of electric set ups. Furthermore, there is no difference in terms of efficiency since any metal can be welded, cut or heated using a gas welding device on oxygen and acetylene. The materials are stored within cylinders under pressure, and they require extra tests and checks in order to ensure good functionality. If you choose gas welding, keep in mind the fact that the cylinders need to be kept in a vertical position, and that the valve caps must be in place when the cylinders are not in use.
The cylinders are connected between them and to the torch with all sorts of hoses, available in various sizes; one important mention here is that all hoses used in gas welding need to be marked with the type of service level they are meant for: heavy, standard or light. When purchasing the equipment, make sure that you know all the details for the rubber welding hoses. The gas mixture required in the process is achieved with the help of a torch mixer; yet, special care is required here since improper operation may lead to accidents. Gas welding exposes the user to the danger of combustion in the hoses and regulators; therefore, regular valve tests are required in order to prevent flashbacks.
Some gas welding equipments are especially designed to stop flashbacks; this is achieved with the help of a flashback arrestor. This device is similar to a check valve, but it also includes a trap that cuts of the gas flow in case a flashback occurs; consequently, arrestors are a must-have kind of equipment that prove essential for those who use gas welding. Cheap and easy to put into practice, they bring safety and comfort by decreasing the risks of material damage and operators' injury.