The benefits of using acetylene for cutting and welding applications are well established. Acetylene is extremely efficient and has excellent thermal properties. It’s fast processing translates into significant cost and time savings. However, since it is highly flammable, acetylene can present serious safety hazards if not properly transported, stored, and handled.
Following are 6 safety tips to keep your acetylene tanks from exploding:
1. Storage Precautions
Acetylene cylinder tanks must be stored and handled with care in order to avoid damage to the safety fuse plug or the valves. The cylinder must be stored vertically in a well-protected, well-ventilated, and dry location at least 20-30ft from highly flammable materials e.g. packing materials, paint, oil, etc. You should also make sure that the tanks aren’t stored near furnaces, radiators, or in any area with above-normal temperatures. Valve protection caps must always be in place, except when the acetylene cylinder tanks are in use.
2. Allow the Tank to Stand Vertically Before Use
It is highly recommended that you store and transport the acetylene cylinder tanks vertically in approved tank racks. If they have been stored lying on their side, then make sure to allow them to stand vertically for at least 30 minutes before use.
3. Reduce Pressure Before Use
lways reduce the pressure via the pressure-reducing regulator before using acetylene. The pressure must never be in excess of 15 psi. It is also recommended that you open each acetylene cylinder valve for a second or two before attaching the pressure regulators so that the dirt is blown out of the nozzles.
4. Take Precautions when Opening the Cylinder Valve
Before opening the cylinder valve, be sure to release the regulator tension screw. Open the valve slowly so that there is no strain on the regulator instrument that records the pressure of the cylinder tank. Don’t open the valve more than one turn. Also, use the special T-wrench for the cylinder valve. When the cylinder is in use, leave the wrench on the valve’s stem so you can quickly turn off the acetylene in case of an emergency.
5. Keep Nozzles in Good Condition
Poorly maintained nozzles increase the risk of flashback by causing turbulent gas flow. That’s why it is recommended that you inspect nozzles on a regular basis. Make sure they are not blocked by spatter or dirt. If they are damaged, immediately replace them.
6. Test All Joints with Soapy Water
Never test an acetylene cylinder tank with an open flame. If you must, use soapy water to test all the joints. In case of a leak around the valve stem, close the valve and make sure that the packing nut is tightened. If there is a leakage around the safety fuse of the cylinder tank, then it is recommended that you take that cylinder outdoors, away from all sparks and fires, and then slightly open the valve to allow the contents to escape.
JT Racking Systems is dedicated to supplying our customers with the highest quality Cylinder Storage Racks available. Our Cylinder Storage Racks are fully made in America with US Steel and Chain, and are Welded and Powder Coated at our facility in Southern California. Regularly used in hospitals, universities, or laboratory gas storage rooms, our cylinder racks can be utilized wherever securing of cylinders is needed. We ship anywhere in the United States from our Los Angeles area facility, at the best prices on the market since you are buying direct from the manufacturer.