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Oxy-fuel welding

Dec 02, 2016

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.[1] Pure oxygen, instead of air, 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 2,250 K (1,980 °C; 3,590 °F),[2] a propane/oxygen flame burns at about 2,526 K (2,253 °C; 4,087 °F),[3] an oxyhydrogen flame burns at 2,800 °C (5,070 °F), and an acetylene/oxygen flame burns at about 3,773 K (3,500 °C; 6,332 °F).

Oxy-fuel is one of the oldest welding processes, besides forge welding. In recent decades it has been obsolesced in most all industrial uses due to various arc welding methods offering more consistent mechanical weld properties and faster application. Gas welding is still used for metal-based artwork and in smaller home based shops, as well as situations where accessing electricity (e.g., via an extension cord or portable generator) would present difficulties.