Acetylene-A Bit of History
Acetylene, something you might use but haven’t heard the history of. Here at Northern Gases we have a long history of producing and selling acetylene, so we wanted to share a bit of that with you.
Seeing a demand for the product in the area, Northern Gases was one of few to construct their own acetylene plant for filling and distributing cylinders for industrial use. From starting out with a small plant in a chicken house that was powered by a gasoline engine in 1947, to today’s 3600 cubic foot per hour plant, things have definitely changed. The folks at Northern Gases have experienced and worked hard at it all.
Acetylene was first discovered in 1836 and by 1892 it was used for lighting; especially for car headlamps and other lighting needs because the flame from the burn was so bright. It was the invention by Charles Picard in 1901 of the oxyacetylene blowpipe which led to the rapid development of the acetylene industry as a result of the many uses of the oxyacetylene flame in steel welding and oxygen cutting.
Acetylene is a colorless, highly flammable gas with a garlic-like odor. Mostly used for oxy-fuel applications like welding and cutting for metal work. Acetylene is still the hottest gas that man has ever produced and when paired with oxygen it has higher flammability.
Acetylene gas is made by mixing calcium carbide and water. In this process, acetylene is cooled, purified, dried and compressed into cylinders. These cylinders are filled with a porous mass material. This keeps the acetylene stable and safe for transporting and storage.
The gas should be kept away from hot surfaces, heat, open flames, and sparking or ignition sources. A user should avoid smoking near acetylene gas. The gas should always be discharged at pressures below 15 PSIG (103 KPA), and should be protected from sunlight, if temperatures exceed 125°F (52°C). Therefore, it is recommended to store the gas in a cool and ventilated area. It is recommended for anyone handling acetylene cylinders to wear proper PPE, such as gloves, safety glasses and cotton clothing to prevent static electricity.
First aid safety for acetylene: if it gets in the eyes, wash them out immediately with water and seek medical help. If gas is inhaled, it can cause asphyxiation. Move to fresh air and get oxygen and prompt medical attention.
Be safe. Know what you are working with and pay attention.
Northern Gases has acetylene gas available in the following cylinder sizes and cubic feet.
|Cylinder||Cubic Feet||Diameter (inch)||Length (inch)|
Contact us today to get you going with acetylene for cutting or welding.
References: rexarc.com, Northern Gases Acetylene Safety Data Sheet
Information listed is only in reference to a few safety hazards-for complete list see Acetylene SDS.Back to Blog