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The Functions of Acetylene Cylinder and Oxygen Cylinder

Acetylene cylinders and oxygen cylinders are widely used industrial gases. Mainly used for cutting and welding industrial products such as metals, synthetic fibers, acetaldehyde, and other materials. They are usually stored in the same workplace and are extremely volatile and dangerously reactive. When the fuel mixture of oxygen and acetylene enters the cutting torch, the metal parts are welded or cut by the heating process. And this process is called oxy-acetylene welding.

Oxygen cylinder

The oxygen cylinder is a cylinder made of a single layer of high-grade steel and contains pure oxygen. There is usually some auxiliary equipment to prevent oxygen leakage, such as outlet valves, metal valves, low melting point safety plugs, etc. Pure oxygen will not burn and explode by itself, but if the pure oxygen is contacting other combustibles, the burning speed of the combustibles will be accelerated and the temperature of the combusted gas will be higher. When using oxygen cylinders, we must be careful to make sure that the oxygen cylinder does not leak, because the oxygen content of the oxygen cylinder is very high, which is easy to cause fire, especially when it comes into contact with the grease.

The reason why the oxygen cylinder leaks are due to the damage of the hose and the valve, or the loose connection and the failure to close the switch, which will cause the oxygen to leak. Besides, we also need to use oxygen cylinders carefully to avoid falling or impacts when using them, as this will also cause damage to the cylinders. Therefore, when moving oxygen cylinders, we usually recommend using a two-wheeled trolley to move. However, we should be aware that oxygen cylinders exposed to the sun will cause an explosion as well. We need to ensure that the oxygen cylinder is not in an empty state to avoid the backflow of gas. When storing oxygen cylinders, the most appropriate safe storage distance between them is 20 feet.

Acetylene cylinder

Acetylene gas cylinders are mainly steel cylindrical cylinders that store acetylene gas. Its appearance is similar to the oxygen cylinder, but the color of both cylinders is different so that it can be distinguished. The acetylene gas cylinder also contains acetone. The role of acetone is to serve as a porous filler in the gas cylinder to help the acetylene be stored in the gas cylinder more stably. When using an acetylene cylinder, the acetylene in the acetone will dissolve, and then the acetylene gas will be decomposed. The acetone will remain in the cylinder so that the refilled acetylene can be used. The decomposed acetylene gas is mixed with the oxygen in the oxygen cylinder and can be used for welding and cutting equipment in various industries.

Acetylene is a very unstable and flammable gas, so we need to pay more attention when storing and transporting it. Acetylene cannot be kept in a sealed, high-temperature, and high-pressure environment for a long time, as this will cause an explosion. Besides, there must be a certain distance between the acetylene cylinder and the oxygen cylinder to prevent accidental gas leakage and cause fire hazards. During transportation, make sure that the acetylene cylinder cannot lie down to avoid decomposition of acetone and acetylene in the cylinder. The top of the cylinder has a metal cover, a safety plug, and a brass valve to prevent the leakage of acetylene.

When using an acetylene cylinder, we need to pay attention to the following conditions to prevent explosions:

  1. All acetylene cylinders used need to be certified.

  2. When supplementing acetone, be cautious of the amount of acetone and not excessive.

  3. Do not place the acetylene cylinder near the heat source or the place with poor ventilation.

  4. Do not lay down the acetylene cylinder.

  5. Try to avoid hitting the acetylene cylinder.

The acetylene inside the acetylene cylinder is an extremely volatile and combustible gas. Since oxygen itself is a combustion-supporting gas, when acetylene is mixed with oxidant to react and heat, it will cause an explosion. The oxygen cylinder is a compressed gas cylinder with high purity and high-pressure oxygen. During the work, acetylene gas cylinders and oxygen cylinders must be kept at a distance of more than 5 meters to reduce accidents.

What kinds of accessories or parts need to be used for acetylene and oxygen cylinder?

In this oxy-acetylene welding process, we need to use the accessories as below.

Cutting hose

The cutting hose used for cutting or welding engineering is made of two colors which are blue and red. Red represents acetylene, and blue represents oxygen. This cutting hose is mainly connected to the acetylene gas cylinder and the oxygen cylinder. The head of the cutting hose has a spiral pattern, which is convenient to install on the gas cylinder.

Gas regulator

The gas regulator plays an important role. It is used to reduce the pressure in the gas cylinder, reduce the required working pressure for welding, and maintain the pressure during work.

Pressure gauge

The purpose of the pressure gauge is to display the pressure index in the cylinder. There are two different pressure gauges, one is used to measure the pressure of the gas which transfers into the cutting torch (low-pressure gauge); the other is to measure the pressure of the gas in the cylinder (high-pressure gauge). By observing the high-pressure gauge, we can know the amount of gas left in the cylinder.

Cutting torch

A cutting torch is a cutting tool, which mainly mixes oxygen and acetylene to form a flame, and then sprays it on the parts that need to be cut.


According to the above article, we briefly explain the key points that we need to pay attention to when storing acetylene gas cylinders and oxygen cylinders:

  1. Keep a distance between the acetylene cylinder and the oxygen cylinder

  2. Store upright on the floor indoors

  3. Store in a well-ventilated place

  4. Make sure that the valves of the acetylene gas cylinder and the oxygen cylinder are closed tightly to avoid gas leakage

  5. Keep away from fire or heat source

  6. Impact and collision are prohibited

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Photo credit: Pixabay, Indiamart

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