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Setting up a Gas Regulator

Saturday, 28th October 2017

How you use your Gas Regulator will have a direct impact on long term life and accuracy.

Incorrect use of a Gas Regulator and incorrect storage are the two most common reasons for Gas Regulator failure, or the delivery gauge becoming inaccurate.

Oxygen Gas Regulator

Putting Gas Equipment together

When putting Gas Equipment together, including fitting the Gas Regulator onto the Cylinder, it’s important to:

NOT use any kind of thread sealer (ptfe tape etc). Gas Equipment threads do not seal at the thread and using thread sealer will most likely cause leaks and can be dangerous.

NOT to over tighten any of the fittings.  Fittings only need to be nipped up with a short spanner.  Heaving on a spanner, especially a long spanner, will almost certainly lead to damage of the sealing surface causing leaks.

Setting Gas Delivery Pressure or Flow Rate

You should refer to your equipment for the amount of gas required to operate it.

Mig and Tig Welders will normally specify a Flow Rate in Litres Per Minute (LPM).

Gas Welding and Cutting Equipment will normally specify a Pressure in PSI or Bar.

When you first fit your Gas Regulator to the Cylinder the cylinder will obviously be OFF. The following list explains delivery Flow Rate/Pressure setting (if using two gases, do one gas at a time).  Carry out procedure in a well ventilated area with no combustion sources if the gas is flammable.

Ensure the Gas Regulator Control Knob (big Black Knob with Blue Cap in the picture), is unscrewed to the point where it is loose and floppy.

Slowly open the Cylinder Valve to turn the Gas ON. Note the Contents Gauge Needle pops up to show the pressure in the cylinder.

DO NOT open the Cylinder Valve with the Gas Regulator Control Knob screwed in as this may damage the Delivery Gauge.  Manufacturers will not warranty replace parts damaged by this sort of incorrect use.

Open your Gas Torch Control Valve ½  turn (note no gas will come out at this time). If your setting gas flow on a Mig or Tig, operate the machine so it’s gas valve is open.

Slowly turn the Gas Regulator Control Knob clockwise. When you start to feel resistance the gas should start to flow and the Delivery Gauge Needle will start to move around the scale.  Continue to turn the Control Knob until the desired Flow Rate/Pressure is reached.

Close the Gas Torch Valve or shut off the Mig/Tig Welder so gs no longer flows.

Note that when gas is no longer flowing the Delivery Gauge Needle will creep above the value set.  This is quite normal and will go back down once gas starts to flow again.

Closing Down your Equipment for the Day

Closing down your equipment correctly is as important to its long term reliability and accuracy as the set up.  Follow these simple steps (if using two gases, do the following for each gas separately):

Turn the Cylinder Valve OFF

Open your Gas Torch Control Valve or activate Mig/Tig Welder, so gas flows, note how the Delivery Gauge and Cylinder Contents Gauge Needles drop to Zero.

Unscrew the Gas Regulator Control Knob until it goes loose and floppy.

Close the torch Control Valve or deactivate the Mig/Tig Welder.

Storing Gas Regulator

If you don’t intend using your Gas Regulator for a Month or more, it’s a good idea to apply just a small amount of pressure to the internal valve, to stop it from sticking.

Do this by slowly screwing the Control Knob clockwise until you just feel resistance, then screw it one quarter turn further.

Remember to unscrew the Control Knob bar to loose and floppy before fitting to a pressurised gas cylinder.

Well I hope you found that informative and useful.  More information on Gas Equipment can be found within this blog, or in our Knowledge Zone.

Please let me know what you thought of this article by leaving a comment.  Don’t worry, your email address won’t be added to a database or shared and you won’t receive any unsolicited email.

Cheers

Graham

The Welders Warehouse

Choosing Welding Gas Regulators

Monday, 23rd October 2017

All compressed gases are dangerous, some more than others, so the correctly choosing Welding Gas Regulators is essential.

Gas Regulator Construction

Gas Regulators vary in construction, depending on the gas they’re intended for.  Probably the most obvious difference is the screw threads.  

Regulators for combustible gases (Acetylene, Propane, Propylene etc), usually have Left Hand Threads.  The left hand thread is indicated by little cuts in the flats of the Hexagon.

Gas Regulator Threads

Regulators for non combustible gases (Oxygen, Argon, Co2 etc), usually have Right hand Threads and as such do not have the cuts on the Hexagon.

Another important difference can be the material used to manufacture internal components.  

For example, internal Acetylene Regulator components are manufactured from different material to Propane Regulators.  It’s therefore important that the correct regulator is used as failure to do so can be extremely dangerous.

In the example outlined above, Propane will corrode the internal components of an Acetylene Regulator, inevitably leading to failure and leaking!

So when choosing welding gas regulators, ALWAYS select the correct regulator for the gas!

Oxygen Gas Regulators

Choosing Welding Gas Regulators for Oxygen (4 bar)
Choosing Welding Gas Regulators for Oxygen (10 bar)

The most common type of Oxygen Regulator has a 0-10 bar outlet.  However, as Gas Welding Torches typically only require around 0.2 bar, a Regulator capable of delivering up to 10 bar is going to be difficult to adjust accurately at such a low pressure.

To overcome this, 0-4 bar Oxygen Regulators are also available.  These are much easier to adjust at the low pressures required for most Gas Welding & Brazing torches.  Even Cutting Guns can be used with nozzles up to 1/16″.

0-10 bar are for where larger Nozzles are going to be used.

I would also recommend not considering an Oxygen or Argon regulator with less than a 300 bar input rating as 300 bar cylinders are becoming more common and are likely to become the norm in future.

Acetylene Gas Regulator

Regulator for Acetylene Gas

Acetylene becomes unstable and explosive if compressed to a high pressure. Because of this, Acetylene is dissolved in a special material.  

Because of the low pressure nature of Acetylene cylinders, the Gas Regulator for Acetylene has a different internal set up.  

Most Acetylene Regulators have a maximum delivery pressure of 1.5 bar.

Propane Gas Regulators

Choosing Welding Gas Regulators for Propane (2 Gauges)
Choosing Welding Gas Regulators for Propane (No Gauge)

Propane Regulators are commonly supplied with, or without gauges.  

As discussed earlier, Acetylene and Propane Regulators should never be used with any other gas than that which they are designed for, although Propane Regulators can be used for Propylene, which is made up of around 50% Propane.

Argon and Argon/Co2 Gas Regulator

Choosing Welding Gas Regulators for Argon Gas

Argon Gas Regulators are much the same as Oxygen Regulators.  However, a key thing to look out for is the Delivery Gauge (usually on the Right).

On an Oxygen Regulator the delivery Gauge normally shows Pressure in Psi and Bar.  Argon Regulators normally show Gas Flow Rate in Litres Per Minute and Cubic Feet Per Hour.  

It’s important to make sure the Delivery Gauge reads Flow Rate as most Mig and Tig Welders will quote a recommended delivery in Litres per Minute.

An Argon Regulator should also be used for Argon/Co2 Mixed gases.

CO2 Gas Regulator

Choosing Welding Gas Regulators for Co2 Gas

Most of a Co2 Regulator is the same as an Argon Regulator.

The one BIG difference is the Cylinder Fitting, which is Female.

All the other Regulators we have discussed have a Male thread to go into a Female Fitting on the cylinder.  Co2 Cylinders have a Male thread, so the Regulator has to have a Female fitting.

Gas Regulators for Disposable Gas Cylinders

Regulator for Disposable Cylinders
Regulator for Disposable Cylinders (with Gauges)

Regulators for Disposable Gas Cylinders do the same job as their refillable cylinder counterparts, except the fitting onto the Cylinder is completely different.

Disposable Cylinders are filled to a lower pressure.

For these reasons, Disposable Cylinder Regulators are not compatible with refillable cylinders.

Regulators for use with Disposable Cylinder can have no Gauges, 1 Gauge or 2 Gauges.

Conclusions

Correctly choosing welding gas regulators is important as pressurised gas cylinders can be dangerous.

But as long as care is taken to choose good quality and the right specification/type for the gas you’re going to be using, all should be well.

I hope you’ve found this article useful, you can find more Gas Equipment related information in our Knowledge Zone and in other articles of my blog.

Please let me know what you thought of this article by leaving a comment.  Don’t worry, your email address won’t be added to a database or shared and you won’t receive any unsolicited email.

Cheers

Graham

The Welders Warehouse

Welded Scrap Metal Art

Monday, 16th October 2017

Hi Everyone

I recently attended an International Welding Expo in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Whilst wandering around I came across an impressive display of Welded Scrap Art.

OK, so most of us would have seen this sort of thing before, but it’s the first time I’ve seen more than one piece in one place.  All were made from scrap metal, and old car or motorcycle parts, so as well as being impressive to look at, it struck me a a great way to recycle!

I couldn’t get photos of every item because it was VERY busy with people taking selfies next to them, but I hope you enjoy the photos I did get.

To give you a sense of scale, the 4 figures were all around 7ft/2.2M tall and the car was full size.

Please let me know what you thought of this article by leaving a comment.  Don’t worry, your email address won’t be added to a database or shared and you won’t receive any unsolicited email.

Cheers

Graham

The Welders Warehouse

Alien Metal Sculpture Archer Metal Sculpture Car Metal Sculpture Eagle Metal Sculpture Warrior Metal Sculpture Predator Metal Sculpture