Oxyfuel Gas Welding
Air acetylene welding (AAW) Chemical welding process, not popular.
Oxy-fuel welding (commonly called oxyacetylene welding, oxy welding, or gas welding in the U.S.) and oxy-fuel cutting are processes that use fuel gases and oxygen to weld and cut metals, respectively. French engineers Edmond Fouché and Charles Picard became the first to develop oxygen-acetylene welding in 1903. Pure oxygen, instead of air (20% oxygen/80% nitrogen), is used to increase the flame temperature to allow localized melting of the workpiece material (e.g. steel) in a room environment. A common propane/air flame burns at about 3,630 °F (2,000 °C), a propane/oxygen flame burns at about 4,530 °F (2,500 °C), and an acetylene/oxygen flame burns at about 6,330 °F (3,500 °C).
Oxy-fuel is one of the oldest welding processes, though in recent years it has become less popular in industrial applications. However, it is still widely used for welding pipes and tubes, as well as repair work. It is also frequently well-suited, and favored, for fabricating some types of metal-based artwork.
In oxy-fuel welding, a welding torch is used to weld metals. Welding metal results when two pieces are heated to a temperature that produces a shared pool of molten metal. The molten pool is generally supplied with additional metal called filler. Filler material depends upon the metals to be welded.
In oxy-fuel cutting, a cutting torch is used to heat metal to kindling temperature. A stream of oxygen is then trained on the metal, and metal burns in that oxygen and then flows out of the cut (kerf) as an oxide slag.
Torches that do not mix fuel with oxygen (combining, instead, atmospheric air) are not considered oxy-fuel torches and can typically be identified by a single tank (Oxy-fuel welding/cutting generally requires two tanks, fuel and oxygen). Most metals cannot be melted with a single-tank torch. As such, single-tank torches are typically used only for soldering and brazing, rather than welding.
Oxygen/Propane welding Gas welding with oxygen/propane flame.
Oxyhydrogen welding (OHW) Hydrogen has a clean flame and is good for use on aluminium. It can be used at a higher pressure than acetylene and is therefore useful for underwater welding and cutting. It is a good type of flame to use when heating large amounts of material. The flame temperature is high, about 2,000 °C for hydrogen gas in air at atmospheric pressure, and up to 2800 °C when pre-mixed in a 2:1 ratio with pure oxygen (oxyhydrogen).
For some oxyhydrogen torches the oxygen and hydrogen are produced by electrolysis of water in an apparatus which is connected directly to the torch.
Types of this sort of torch:
- The oxygen and the hydrogen are led off the electrolysis cell separately and are fed into the two gas connections of an ordinary oxy-gas torch. This happens in the water torch, which is sometimes used in small torches used in making jewelry and electronics.
- The mixed oxygen and hydrogen are drawn from the electrolysis cell and are led into a special torch designed to prevent flashback.
Pressure gas welding (PGW) Gas flames heat surfaces and pressure produces the weld