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Swapping from Oxy Acetylene to Oxy Propane or Propylene

Wednesday, 10th June 2020
Graham (Tech Advisor)

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.

Cheers

Graham

The Welders Warehouse

16 responses to “Swapping from Oxy Acetylene to Oxy Propane or Propylene”

  1. 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.
    Andy

    • 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

  2. 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?
    Thanks
    Andy

    • 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

  3. Ursula Reynoso Cuestas says:

    calorific value propane vs altitude?

  4. dave says:

    cheers

  5. Walter Bacchio says:

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

    • 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
      Graham

  6. 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

    • 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
      Graham

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    • 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
      Graham

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