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  • Propane instead of acetylene

    Thought I would start this as some of us will have to switch over from acetylene due to the shortage/price increase. I have never used propane always acetylene. Maybe some of you who use propane regularly can add to it.

    Needed to switch over -- propane tips, grade T hoses in place of grade R, regs should be fine, regulator adapter to fit propane tank.

    What size tank is recommended? Does propane have draw down issues with large rosebuds like acetylene does?
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  • #2
    People use R hoses for years with no problem. Self included

    Unless you have a small acetylene tank your regulator probably has a CGA-510 fitting which screws into a BBQ propane cylinder just fine.

    Does propane have draw down issues with large rosebuds like acetylene does?
    No. That's another nice thing about it. You can toss a jug in your truck and it can slosh around without the problems of acetone in an acetylene cylinder. Great for salvage runs.

    I use both acetylene and propane (ended up with a bunch of acetylene cylinders free/cheap so I exchanged them) and am fine with either. You may prefer a larger propane tip for improved preheat.

    There are LOTS of CHEAP LP tips on Fleabay and they've been there a while.

    They aren't mine, I already gorged all I need for a few years. Just grab a selection and play.

    They are mostly Victor and Harris style, but torches are cheap enough you could easily get a cutting torch for each tip style to take advantage of cheap tips. That's what I did, and my Oxweld/Purox/Linde/Harris/Victor/Smith torches mostly cost me less than the postage.
    Last edited by 1930case; 04-08-2011, 08:47 AM.

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    • #3
      a BBQ propane tank will outlast at least a couple oxygen bottles. I think im on my fourth oxygen bottle to 1 bbq propane tank, but im not using the large O2 bottle.

      im also still running the R grade hoses, i have the new ones in the drawer, but have not switched them out yet. From what i understand the danger isnt so much in a leak, but from the rubber inside the hose breaking down/flaking off and clogging your torch.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by youfoundtheking View Post
        im also still running the R grade hoses, i have the new ones in the drawer, but have not switched them out yet. From what i understand the danger isn't so much in a leak, but from the rubber inside the hose breaking down/flaking off and clogging your torch.
        When the hose breaks down what do you think will happen to it? It will probably rupture and leak propane, probably not a good idea.
        at home:
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        at work:
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        Retired:Shopmaster 300 with a HF-251

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        • #5
          Technically R is verboten by code, so buy T-rated hose if worried. An R-rating doesn't automatically mean acetylene will eat that particular hose.

          For the heck of it I'll soak some of the next hunk of R hose I have left over in straight liquid acetone (I mix acetone with leftover ATF for outstanding penetrant!) in a glass jar to see if it gets munched.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by 1930case View Post
            Technically R is verboten by code, so buy T-rated hose if worried. An R-rating doesn't automatically mean acetylene will eat that particular hose.

            For the heck of it I'll soak some of the next hunk of R hose I have left over in straight liquid acetone (I mix acetone with leftover ATF for outstanding penetrant!) in a glass jar to see if it gets munched.
            What does acetone have to do with the grade of hose used or acetylene ?

            Grade R,RM or T is for Acetylene

            Grade T hose can also be used for MAPP Propane, Propylene or any similar fuel gas and also acetylene!
            glen, If your not on the edge, your wasting space

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            • #7
              Originally posted by PTsideshow View Post
              What does acetone have to do with the grade of hose used or acetylene ?
              There's a porous filler and liquid acetone inside an acetylene tank even if it reads empty. They are not constructed like any other gas cylinders. Acetylene tanks are unique to acetylene. Over 15 psi acetylene is unstable in gaseous form so it's dissolved "in solution" in the acetone so they can fill the tank to ~250ish psi. The acetylene gases out of solution from the acetone when you open the tank valve sort of like how the CO2 bubbles form when you open a can of soda pop. Ever see those little blue flecks in the flame if you try to run an acetylene torch just after the cylinder has been bumped around? That's liquid acetone. Acetone and most rubber/plastic products don't play well together.

              I thought this was common knowledge?
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              • #8
                Are we sure about the regulators?

                Originally posted by MMW View Post
                Thought I would start this as some of us will have to switch over from acetylene due to the shortage/price increase. I have never used propane always acetylene. Maybe some of you who use propane regularly can add to it.

                Needed to switch over -- propane tips, grade T hoses in place of grade R, regs should be fine, regulator adapter to fit propane tank.

                What size tank is recommended? Does propane have draw down issues with large rosebuds like acetylene does?

                Originally posted by youfoundtheking View Post
                a BBQ propane tank will outlast at least a couple oxygen bottles. I think im on my fourth oxygen bottle to 1 bbq propane tank, but im not using the large O2 bottle.

                im also still running the R grade hoses, i have the new ones in the drawer, but have not switched them out yet. From what i understand the danger isnt so much in a leak, but from the rubber inside the hose breaking down/flaking off and clogging your torch.
                Originally posted by c wagner View Post
                When the hose breaks down what do you think will happen to it? It will probably rupture and leak propane, probably not a good idea.
                [QUOTE=1930case;263046]Technically R is verboten by code, so buy T-rated hose if worried. An R-rating doesn't automatically mean acetylene will eat that particular hose.


                Originally posted by PTsideshow View Post
                What does acetone have to do with the grade of hose used or acetylene ?

                Grade R,RM or T is for Acetylene

                Grade T hose can also be used for MAPP Propane, Propylene or any similar fuel gas and also acetylene!
                Hi Guys,
                I was talking to Linde here in Toronto to see about getting my "B" tanks filled.
                He said there supply was still Ok, but that it could change any given week...

                I asked him about propane, and he mentioned the hose thing, different tips if you need the high heat, and he also mentioned the regulator(s), which makes sense.
                Regulators have rubber diaphrams, so if the "R" hose they use for acetelyne need to be changed, why would you assume the rubber in the regulator(s) would be OK?
                My first thought is they would use the same rubber as the hose....

                So untill I verified the material used for the regulator diaphrams, I wouldn't assume that it is Ok.

                I'm not saying that it isn't, just don't want to see anyone get hurt...

                Hobbynut

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MR.57 View Post
                  There's a porous filler and liquid acetone inside an acetylene tank even if it reads empty. They are not constructed like any other gas cylinders. Acetylene tanks are unique to acetylene. Over 15 psi acetylene is unstable in gaseous form so it's dissolved "in solution" in the acetone so they can fill the tank to ~250ish psi. The acetylene gases out of solution from the acetone when you open the tank valve sort of like how the CO2 bubbles form when you open a can of soda pop. Ever see those little blue flecks in the flame if you try to run an acetylene torch just after the cylinder has been bumped around? That's liquid acetone. Acetone and most rubber/plastic products don't play well together.

                  I thought this was common knowledge?
                  I understand that, but soaking the hose in acetone and transmission fluid is silly as that isn't even remotely a fair test. Secondly it is the components in the other fuel gases that cause the problems with the deterioration of the hoses and cause leaking and catastrophic failure of the hose, and possible fire etc. Like most deterioration of leaks it sneaks up on you and bites you when you least expect it!

                  The only time there is carry over of the acetone from a cylinder is if it used on it side, or not letting the acetone reabsorb in to the Agamassan, Which is the name of the monolithic filler material. After it has been transported on it side, or using it below 25 to 50PSIG the low pressure cause the acetone to be carried over with the gas.

                  The open area under the valve neck is about 3" dia and 5 " deep this is the area that the acetylene comes out of suspension. In addition to the damage to the hoses, the seal and o rings can be damaged in the regulator. And flaming drops of acetone can come off the tip of the torch.
                  glen, If your not on the edge, your wasting space

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                  • #10
                    propane rosebud

                    My preference is using propane with a rosebud. I have both acetylene and propane on the truck and always use the propane with the rosebud. I do not remember the stats but I do know that a given weight of propane will produce more heat than acetylene. I still prefer using acetylene for cutting and only use propane for back-up.

                    Byron

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                    • #11
                      I used propane for cutting many years ago and had problems with it. Earlier this week I picked up a couple of rebuilt propane cutting torches and found out why I had the problems years ago. Seems the company was too cheap to buy the proper tip for the hand cutting torches and were having us use the VVC tips from the burning machines in the hand torches. I picked up an NX style tip with the torches and started using them this evening to process some scrap. I upgraded my hoses to the grade T hoses and screwed my regulator onto a gas grill tank and went at it. I was surprised at the results, I don't really notice a difference in the performance of the propane versus the acetylene, I suppose perhaps once I get into some heavier stuff I might notice a difference in preheat times but that's minor compared to the outrageous pricing of acetylene if you can find it at all in my area.
                      Blondie (Owner C & S Automotive)

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PTsideshow View Post
                        What does acetone have to do with the grade of hose used or acetylene ?

                        Grade R,RM or T is for Acetylene

                        Grade T hose can also be used for MAPP Propane, Propylene or any similar fuel gas and also acetylene!
                        Exactly, I'm not sure what soaking an R rated hose in acetone has to do with anything.
                        Why not soak an R rated hose in PROPANE, that's what will cause it to break down.
                        at home:
                        2012 325 Trailblazer EFI with Excel power
                        2007 302 Trailblazer with the Robin SOLD
                        2008 Suitcase 12RC
                        Spoolmatic 30A
                        WC-24
                        2009 Dynasty 200DX
                        2000 XMT 304
                        2008 Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52
                        Sold:MM130XP
                        Sold:MM 251
                        Sold:CST 280

                        at work:
                        Invision 350MP
                        Dynasty 350
                        Millermatic 350P
                        Retired:Shopmaster 300 with a HF-251

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                        • #13
                          stay with acetylene. you will wind up the same with spending even more on oxygen with propane cause you need more oxy for propane. Acetylene cuts faster!

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                          • #14
                            It's hard to continue to use acetylene when it's not available. If and I do mean IF you can find it you will pay dearly for it which will cost you much more than the additional oxygen you'll use.
                            Blondie (Owner C & S Automotive)

                            Colt the original point & click interface!

                            Millermatic 35 with spot panel
                            Miller 340A/BP
                            Victor O/A torches
                            Lincoln SP125
                            Too many other tools to list

                            03 Ram 1500
                            78 GS1000
                            82 GL1100 Interstate

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PTsideshow View Post
                              I understand that, but ....
                              Best explanation I've ever seen (with a picture even!). Have you ever considered going into teaching?
                              2007 Miller Dynasty 200 DX
                              2005 Miller Passport 180

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