Gas Cutting Torches

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Propane vs Acetylene Cutting Torches

Propane is cheaper than acetylene and easier to transport. Unlike acetylene, propane cannot be used for gas welding as it does not have the properties to create a reducing zone that cleans a metal surface. Acetylene reaches a higher burning temperature and produces a higher quality cut than propane.

What is oxy-fuel welding?

Both oxygen and fuel gas is utilised to heat the metal that will be cut. A "jet" of oxygen is then fed through the centre, with the oxygen and fuel gas on either side heating the metal. The combination causes a reaction through the centre creating "slag". The jet of oxygen forces the slag downward cutting through the metal to the desired position.

Make sure the oxygen and fuel gas is heated below the melting point to avoid melting the metal before the cutting proceeds. The melting point has to be lower than the surrounding metal to force the slag jet through the metal.

What is oxy-fuel cutting?

The temperature of metal is heated to kindling point by a torch before a surge of oxygen is trained to the metal which burns it into a metal oxide before flowing out as solid impurities.

What is a cutting torch?

A cutting is similar to a welding torch, it differs in that it has an oxygen blaster trigger/lever. It has a 60 or 90 degree angled head.

What is a welding torch?

A welding torch does not have an oxygen-blast trigger unlike a cutting torch. However, it does come with one/two pipes that run to the nozzle as well as two valve knobs at the bottom of the handle enabling the welder to alter the stream of oxygen and fuel.

What is an injector torch?

Also known as an equal-pressure torch, it combines two gases together. A nozzle extracts oxygen at high-pressure inside the torch pulling the fuel gas tandem.

What is an acetylene torch?

An acetylene torch has one/two hoses that connect to two separate tanks of oxygen and acetylene. The two gases are used together to heat the metal.

What is the difference between a cutting torch and a welding torch?

A cutting torch is for cutting metal while a welding torch is for melting and joining pieces of metal together.

Can you weld with an acetylene torch?

Yes, acetylene is hot enough to melt steel and weld two pieces of metal together.

What are the two types of gas torch?

  • Positive pressure type
  • Low pressure type/injector type

The high pressure torch supplies oxygen and acetylene to the nozzle and is filled with regulating valves to alter the pressure as required.

What are the parts of a gas cutting torch?

  • Neck
  • Nozzle
  • Shank

What is in a gas cutting torch kit?

  • Flashback arrestors
  • Regulators
  • Hose
  • Tips
  • Gas tanks

How thick can a oxy acetylene torch cut?


What are the three types of welding flames?

  • Natural flame
  • Carburizing flame
  • Oxidizing flame

How does a gas cutting torch work?

A filler metal fed through a torch is heated to form a weld pool which is used to bond the metals.

Can you weld with a cutting torch?

Yes, it requires the correct attachment to the nozzle to weld.

Advantages of oxy-fuel cutting

It can cut 0.5mm to 250mm thick, the equipment and consumables is inexpensive and a variety of gas cutting nozzles can be used for different weld types.

Maximum neutral flame temperature of propane in oxygen?

2,822 degree celcius

What temperature does a Oxy/Propane flame burn at?

Approximately 2,253 °C

What temperature does a Oxy/Acetylene flame burn at?

3,500 °C

Common types of fuel gases?

  • Acetylene
  • Propane
  • MAPP
  • Propylene
  • Natural gas

Fuel Gas Characteristics

Fuel gas Maximum flame temperature (°C) Oxygen to fuel gas ratio (volume) Primary heat distribution (kJ/m3) Secondary heat distribution (kJ/m3)
Acetylene 3,160 1.2:1 18,890 35,882
Propane 2,828 4.3:1 10,433 85,325
MAPP 2,976 3.3:1 15,445 56,431
Propylene 2,896 3.7:1 16,000 72,000
Hydrogen 2,856 0.42:1
Natural Gas 2,770 1.8:1 1,490 35,770

Acetylene has the highest flame temperature and highest primary heat distribution of the common fuel gas types. Propane has a lower flame temperature than acetylene but it is the highest for secondary heat distribution. Natural has the lowest flame temperature and the least primary and secondary heat distribution.

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Company Registration: 07988136 Registered Office: Olympic House, Collett, Southmead Park, Didcot, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, OX11 7WB


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