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Swapping from Acetylene to Propane or Propylene

Wednesday, 10th June 2020
Graham (Tech Advisor)
The Welders Warehouse Online Shop

I’ve already written an article Titled Can I use Propane or Propylene Instead of Acetylene so I won’t go over that ground again here.

Instead I want to concentrate on the equipment differences and what you need to change when swapping from Oxy Acetylene to Oxy Propane or Propylene.

Oxy Propane set up

Gas Welding Equipment

OK, so you already have an Oxygen Regulator, Flash Arrestor and Hose, along with a Torch. There’s no reason why you can’t continue to use these, although there is another option that I’ll come to later!

Here’s the rub, you CANNOT use Acetylene Equipment for Propane or Propylene! Sorry about that, but the internal materials are different and Propane will corrode the internal materials that Acetylene equipment is made of (Propylene is around 50% Propane).

So swapping from Oxy Acetylene to Oxy Propane or Propylene will require some new Gas Equipment.

Oxy Propane Kit

The least you’ll need

  • You WILL need to change your Acetylene Regulator to a Propane type (including for Propylene).
  • You WILL need to change your Acetylene Hose to a Propane Hose (including for Propylene).
  • You will need to check the label on your Flash Arrestor, if it says “Fuel”, it’s OK to use with Propane & Propylene. If it says “Acetylene” you will need to change it for a “Fuel” type.
  • Your Torch SHOULD be OK for Acetylene, Propane or Propylene, ours certainly are, but if in doubt, you should check with the manufacturer. DON’T TAKE RISKS WITH GAS!!!!
Oxy Propane Brazing Torch

Another Option

Now I mentioned earlier that there was another option.

Depending on the condition of your Oxy Acetylene kit, you may find it doesn’t cost a great deal extra to sell your existing kit (as a complete kit), then buy a complete NEW Oxy Propane/Propylene Kit.

The advantages of this option are:

  1. You have all new kit, with a warranty
  2. You’re not mixing old kit with new

Other Benefits

If you buy a new kit from The Welders Warehouse, you’ll not only get a Propane Regulator with Gauges (most have no gauges), but you’ll also get one of our EXCELLENT, purpose designed Multi-Jet Torches.

Relevant Product Options

View our range of Oxy Propane or Propylene Kits

View our Range of Hoses

View our Propane/Propylene Regulator

View our Fuel Flash Arrestor

View our Oxy Propane/Propylene Torches

I hope you found this blog article about swapping from Oxy Acetylene to Oxy Propane or Propylene useful.

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.



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  1. JOAKIN says:


    1. Graham says:

      Hi Joakin
      Oxygen + Acetylene to Gas Weld. Pure Argon To Tig Weld.

  2. Barry Wood says:

    Hi Graham, greeting from across the pond. Hows our cousins doing this yr, haha?
    Ive switched to propane because of the cost and refill rate of Acetylene was getting out of control very quickly.
    I’m using a Victor model 100 series torch handle.
    Can the welding nozzles (00,0,1,2 & etc} still be used with propane for heating bolts, stock and other random objects?
    I have a 4-3-GPN tip on the torch and MNF-6 rose bud but they all are too big for small or tightly spaced jobs.
    Hate to have all these tips laying around and not be able to use them since the swap to propane.
    Any info or links you can respond with would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks for your time, your long lost cousin.

    1. Graham says:

      Hi Barry
      Generally speaking, you can use Oxy/Acet Nozzles with Oxy/Prop, but they can be finicky to light and can blow out easily, so not ideal. I regret I am not familiar with Victor equipment, as it’s not widespread in the UK. So for definitive advice, I would suggest contacting Victor in the US, or your local Victor agent.

  3. Andy Davies says:

    Hi Graham I’m a hobby jeweller and I have a Flametech Map gas and oxygen brazing kit. (for refrigerator engineers) Can I use the Map gas hose and torch with propane with an appropriate regulator, or must I replace the hose and nozzle. I’m using a #7 nozzle and it burns just like acetylene with something like the same size cone. Kind regards . . . Andy

    1. Graham says:

      Hi Andy
      From what I know of the Flametech kit, I don’t see any reason why you can’t fit a Propane Regulator to the existing Hose!
      You will also need a Flash Arrestor and suitable fitting (select either 5mm Left Hand 3/8″ Thread OR 6mm Left Hand 3/8″ Thread, depending on the bore size of your hose).
      Hope that helps

  4. Royce says:

    Hey my Graham my question is can I use an asettling cutting tip on a torch to cut with propane or do I need to change the tip…

    1. Graham says:

      Hi Royce
      You need to change to an Oxy/Propane Cutting Nozzle. You can find these here: https://www.thewelderswarehouse.com/Welding-Supplies/HD-Oxy-Propane-Cutting-Nozzle.html
      Hope that helps

  5. Jesse G Ziech says:

    I’d like to trade my Properly tank for an acetylene tank

    1. Graham says:

      Hi Jesse
      At very least you will need to get an Acetylene Regulator and Hose. Depending on what you have you MIGHT need a Torch and Flash Arrestor as well.
      Cheers Graham

  6. Elizabeth Nikolas Sex says:


    Can oxy propane be used for repairs on the vehicles body?


    1. Graham says:

      Hi Elizabeth
      You would normally weld vehicle bodies and Oxygen+Propane cannot be used for welding.
      You can braze with Oxygen+Propane, so if brazing is practical for the repair, then you could do that.
      Hope that helps
      Regards Graham

  7. Duane Gaul says:

    I would like to weld a #6 solid copper ground wire to copper coated steel ground rods. This is for an amateur radio antenna ground system. Can I use a propylene torch instead of using Cadweld exothermic welding with a ceramic mold? Thank you for your reply.

    1. Graham says:

      Hi Duane
      You can’t weld Copper to Steel, you would need to Braze or Silver Solder it. Depending on the thickness of the materials, it might be possible to use a Propylene + Air Torch to Silver Solder, but I would favour a Propylene + Oxygen Torch as this would be hotter and a more precise flame. Propylene + Oxygen would be necessary for Brazing.
      Hope that helps
      Cheers Graham

  8. Arems says:

    Can I use propane cylinder for acetelyn?

    1. Graham says:

      Hi Arems
      No, you cannot use a Propane Cylinder for Acetylene.
      Regards Graham

  9. Layton Bryan says:

    Thanks Graham for your informative blog. I have an oxy/ acetylene kit, but in Australia unless you own a engineering company the rent on the cylinders is just a joke. I wish to complete a copper boiler for a model locomotive, so I will take your advice and buy a matched kit, and sell the old one. thanks again Jim Bryan.

    1. Graham says:

      Hi Layton
      Glad you’ve found the blog helpful.

  10. Nigel Eyre says:

    Thanks Graham, that really does help, I didn’t realise that. I believe that Mig & Tig also produce welds that are too brittle for panel work although if I’m right Tig is better than Mig but nowhere near as good as Oxy Acetylene?

    1. Graham says:

      Tig produces a Malleable weld, as does Gas.
      Mig produces a less malleable weld.
      Which process is best for thin car body steel is more down to personal preference than Technical.
      Mig is arguably the easiest to use for the the inexperienced.
      Tig and Gas are more controllable.
      Tig will put less heat into the surrounding area than Gas, so distortion may be easier to limit.
      I’ve written a blog article that covers distortion.
      Hope that all helps
      Cheers Graham

  11. Nigel Eyre says:

    Why can’t you use oxy propylene for gas welding mild steel car panels when mild steel melts at around 1500C and these sets generate heat of circa 3000c as against 3600c for oxy acetylene? Look forward to hearing as I need it only occasionally. Many thanks Nigel.

    1. Graham says:

      Hi Nigel
      It’s not about the heat of the flame, which as you say, is hot enough.
      The problem is Oxidisation of the weld pool.
      The composition of Acetylene makes it self shielding, so the weld pool does not suffer oxidisation.
      Propylene does not have this property, so the weld pool does suffer oxidisation.
      Oxidisation results in weak, brittle welds.
      I’ve experimented with both gases and whilst Oxy/Acetylene produces nice, malleable welds that bend test very well, Oxy/Propylene produces a weld that cracks and breaks when bend tested.
      Hope that helps!
      Kind Regards Graham

  12. Andy DeComyn says:

    Cheers Graham
    Yes it is as you described, ie melting the parent metal and adding filler. In the foundry this is done with TIG, but I want a portable system for on site repairs. Oxy acetylene works well but I don’t want to rent bottles and so I’m considering propylene.
    Thanks for your help, very much appreciated.

    1. Graham says:

      hobbyweld.co.uk offer Acetylene on a No Rent basis, Air Liquide also offer an “Albee” cylinder that is rent free, albeegascylinders.com (we have one of these ourselves). So rent free Acetylene is out there!
      Hope I’ve helped, cheers, Graham

  13. Andy DeComyn says:

    Hi Graham
    I want to gas weld silicon bronze castings (fine art sculpture), will it fusion weld with propylene or will there be a problem with hydrogen embrittlement?

    1. Graham says:

      Hi Andy
      I regret I’m slightly confused about what exactly you’re seeking to do as there’s possible terminology confusion on my part.
      If by Welding Silicon Bronze, you mean you want to melt the parent metal and add filler wire (as steel welding), then I regret I have no experience of this and do not believe it’s possible as Bronze is an alloy, so melting it could cause all kinds of issues.
      If however, you mean “Bronze Welding”, or “Braze” as it’s more commonly (if incorrectly), known, then Polypropylene + Oxygen should be fine. I’ve Brazed Steel and Cast Iron very successfully with Oxygen + Polypropylene.
      Bottom line might be to try it on some scrap material and see if the results meet your requirements.
      Hope that’s helped, at least a bit 😀
      Cheers Graham

  14. Ursula Reynoso Cuestas says:

    calorific value propane vs altitude?

    1. Graham says:

      Hi Ursula
      Sorry, can’t help you with that one!
      Try speaking to your Propane supplier, they should be able to help.
      Kind Regards

  15. dave says:


    1. Graham says:

      Anytime Dave!

  16. Walter Bacchio says:

    Hi Dave, can I use Butain and compressed air using micro torch, must I use flash back areso

    1. Graham says:

      Hi Walter
      This is “Graham’s blog”, not Dave’s 🙂 That’s not to say we’re “Daveist” it just means we don’t currently have any Dave’s working for us 🙂
      Our Model ‘O’ Micro Torch is designed for use with Oxygen+Acetylene, Hydrogen, Propane or Propylene. I regret we’ve never tried it with Butane and Air, but I suspect it wouldn’t work very well.
      A Device for protection against Flash Backs is mandatory for Oxygen and Fuel gases as a Flash Back that ignites the cylinder can cause a Life threatening explosion.
      Most small regulators designed for Oxygen or Butane will have an anti flash device built in, but if your not sure you should definitely check!
      Hope I’ve helped
      Kind regards

  17. Malcolm Hudson says:

    Very informative. Sometimes people forget to tell the reader the basic information or assume we all already know! Not always the case here! Many thanks

    1. Graham says:

      Thanks for the kind comment Malcolm. I do try hard to cover as much of the basics as possible, so it’s nice to know it’s appreciated.
      Best regards

  18. Desmond Rowbotham says:

    Hi Graham what is the temperature difference between using propane and acetylene ?
    Also is it possible to use a cutting torch with oxy/propened ?
    Thanks Des.

    1. Graham says:

      Hi Desmond
      Thanks for the Questions
      Oxygen + Propane has a flame temp of around 1800ºC
      Oxygen + Propylene has a flame temp around 3000ºC
      Oxygen + Acetylene has a flame temp of around 3600ºC
      You can use a Cutting Torch with all 3, but Oxy/Propane & Oxy/Propylene use a different Nozzle to Oxy/Acetylene.
      Only operational difference is it will take slightly longer to get the steel up to cutting temperature before you activate the Cutting Oxygen. Most operators don’t find this a problem.
      A suitable Cutting Torch can be found here: https://www.thewelderswarehouse.com/Welding-Supplies/Cutting-Torch.html
      Nozzles for Oxy/Propane or Propylene can be found here: https://www.thewelderswarehouse.com/Welding-Supplies/Cutting-Torch.html
      Hope I’ve helped
      Kind regards

  19. dave says:

    do you get the same control with oxy propane as you do with oxy acetylene.
    i lead weld professionally for a living.
    so it is vital i have similar control/performance

    1. Graham says:

      Hi Dave
      Short answer: Yes!
      Longer answer: I’ve done some testing with Simon Wood at the Lead Sheet Training Academy in Kent and he thought Oxy/Propane worked really well. He found that he needed to go up a Nozzle from No3 with Acetylene to No4 with Propane because of the lower flame temp.
      Only negative feedback I’ve had from guy’s on roofs is that Propane can be difficult to light as the flame blows out easily before you bring the Oxy on. We’ve just introduced a new “Pro-Jet” Nozzle for the Model ‘O’ Torch that overcomes this irritating issue. The feedback so far has been fantastic, but admittedly, it’s that new that not many guys have them yet.
      With Acetylene becoming increasingly frowned upon at commercial sites, getting in now with Propane or Propylene could be a smart move.
      Give me a call (number on our website), next week for a chat and I can bring you up to speed a bit more.
      Hope I’ve helped.
      Kind Regards

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