FUEL/AIR Torches (Hot Head - Quiet Torch/Fireworks) - Gases – Tanks - Regulators

By Dale Meisenheimer

A compilation of information from the internet and written sources.

GASES.

Names for brazing/cutting fuels are:

MAPP - Registered brand name of Air Reduction Company.

Propylene – Common product name

FlameX, - FlameX Industries, Inc., St. Petersburg, Fla.
(The additive is shippable by UPS with extra hazardous shipping cost.)
http://www.flamex.com/

Chemtane2 - JALAPA GAS & CHEMICAL CORPORATION
(A proprietary mix of Chemtane2 and propane)
http://www.chemtane2.com/home.html

PCG (Pure Cutting Gas). [can not find origin for this product]

FG-2 - Brand name of Praxair (propylene)
http://www.praxair.com/

HPG - High Performance Gas (propylene)
http://www.awesco.com/sections/weldi...opics/WC2.html


Regardless of what it is called, you want a brazing /cutting fuel that burns at about 3600 degrees

According to MSDS these fuels are a mixture of, or may contain any of the following:

Methylacetylene-propadiene (MAPP gas)
Propylene
Propane
n-Butane
isobutane
1,3 Butadiene
Chemtane-2 (less than 1% and propane)

May also contains ethyl mercaptan. As a odorant for leak detection ( "garlic oil" may be only a rumor).

Tank pressure according to MSDS may range from 97 psi to 157 psi at 70 Deg F. Depending on what actual fuel you are using.

Check material data safety sheets for the gas product you intend to use for specific safety and handling instructions.

http://www.boc.com/gases/msds_us/index_msds_us.cfm

Recommend one does a search of web sites for MSDS as some sites don't cover all types of gases.

Check with "welding gas" suppliers or "industrial gas" suppliers to find the above mentioned gasses.


TANKS!

Bulk tanks come in all sizes. You can either "buy" a tank or rent/lease it.

Some common references to tanks are like a #10 pounder….. Which really means the tank holds 10 pounds of fuel. My 10 pounder is actually 16.5 pounds empty and 26.5 pounds full. It measures about 8 inched in diameter and is 21 inches tall. In contrast a aluminum 7 pounder weights about 8 pounds empty and about 16 pounds full.

For another example tanks may come in 30 pound size, this is most likely 30 pounds of gas and the tank probably weighs 25 to 33 pounds itself. Check the empty weight and the full weight on the cylinder to know what terminology you are dealing with. The terminology (not capacity) varies from area to area and distributor to distributor.

Yes cylinders vary for size and weight. It's all stamped on cylinders. Also who manufactured the cylinders and the date it was made, and dates that it was last inspected. Also cylinders with brazing fuels (MAPP/Propylene) may be painted yellow (if not plain aluminum color).

Its been mentioned on several web sites that one can just go to Home Depot or Lowe's or where ever and just buy a tank and take it to gas supplier and get it filled. BE WARNED ... Not all gas suppliers will fill a tank you bring in off the street. EVEN if it is brand new. It has to do with product liabilities and laws governing containers and suppliers responsibilities, so check with supplier before you just bring in tank to get it filled. Gas suppliers usually will sell you a tank properly labeled for the type of gas that it contains. It is also usually customary to exchange tanks because not all suppliers have facilities to actually fill tank on site, but usually have a number of full tanks available for exchange.

Almost all gas suppliers will NOT fill a propane tank (they have to have new OLD overfill valve anyway) with "brazing fuel" because they do not what the chance mixing of fuel types. MAPP/Propylene tanks are exempt from the new overfill valve law, because its usually a "gas technician" filling the tanks and not the "gofer" at local gas station or boat yard.

Open the tank valve all the way when you use it. If you partially open the valve you might get freezing in the line as the gas expands through the hose. Also most valves are designed with a seal around valve shaft so it will not leak when full open.

Bulk tanks "may" be also sold back to gas distributor when no longer needed (at a discount).

A reference source for tank information (flammable gasses and high pressure oxygen) is:

http://www.worthingtoncylinders.com/index.html



HOSES

A hose rated for propane is acceptable for use with MAPP or other brazing fuels. Hoses will usually have rating printed or embossed on hose. A grade or type "T" is what is required for propane use. Hose may also have "LP Gas Approved" or similar statement embossed or printed on hose. Hoses stamped "RM" are acetylene rated only hoses.

Hoses may be ordered for reputable glass suppliers or found at local camping and hardware stores.

Places like Sears, Home Depot, Lowes, Wal-Mart, local hardware stores , sporting goods, and propane dealers and recreational vehicle dealers may also have them. These hose types are common to camping activities and BBQ equipment. Brand names that come to mind are Coleman and Mr. Heater.

Typical hose will be from 5 to 8 feet long (or more). Have a female 1x20 inch "disposable bottle" connection on one end (for torch) and have a P.O.L. fitting on the other end (tank).

Hoses may also have a 1x20 inch disposable cylinder, female fitting on one end and a 1x20 inch disposable cylinder male fitting on the other end. This would allow one to use torch on small disposable bottles and allowing bottle to be placed on floor or out of way. A 1x20 inch disposable cylinder, female fitting to P.O.L. adapter is available so this hose type can also be used with bulk tanks (P.O.L. valve.

Actual valve nomenclature for P.O.L. fitting is CGA 510-.885" – 14 NGO-LH-INT

A hose is also available with the 1x20 inch disposable cylinder, female fitting on one end and a 1/4 inch pipe thread fitting on the other end (suitable for adapting to regulators or other plumbing situations).


REGULATORS.

First off let me say "A regulator is not required with a Hot Head or a Quiet Torch/Fireworks torch"

If you desire to use one, or are forced to buy one by a gas distributor, you need one that will have a high side (tank) gauge that will measure from 0 to 300psi minimum. Have a regulated out pressure between 80-to 120 psi average. YES!…… Again Hot Head and Quiet torch/Fireworks is designed to run at tank pressure ( 97 psi for MAPP) . If you do not have these pressure its doubtful whether then Hot Head or Quiet Torch/Fireworks will function properly.

You will also have to adapt whatever the threaded fitting on the regulator is to the appropriate hose with what ever adapters that are necessary.

Cindy Jenkins, the author of the book "Glass Bead Making" also states that and regulator is not needed or required for the Hot Head to Operate Properly.

The people who design (engineers) and manufacturer the Hot Head state a regulator is not required.

Mike Aurelius of Aura Lenses who imports and sells the Quiet Torch, will also confirm that the Quite Torch requires full tank pressure of MAPP or Propane or Propylene to operate properly. And that no regulator is needed and will probably cause you problems.

As a side note: There are cases where people using a regulator have solved some of their problems by placing a regulator in their systems. BUT these are exceptions they not the norm.


GUNK

The oily goo/gunk in the hose that may cause spitting and sputtering is rumored to be garlic oil, but most like is ethyl mercaptan, that gives the gas an odor for leak detection. Disconnect hose from torch and tank and hang them over something with connectors down and drain your hoses to rid them of the oil. Maybe once per week or so for general principles. Put a pan or something under hose ends to catch oils.

Gunk or Goo shouldn't be a problem if you exchange tanks each time but if there is a problem with a particular tank take the tank back to the supplier and demand a "clean" one. If you own the tank, have the gas supplier purge it for you.


SAFETY and STORAGE

Using the bulk refillable canisters in your home is not recommended, and is most likely prohibited in most areas. Check local codes and ordnances to see if storage of a bulk container is permissible in your local. It's quite possible during a fire or catastrophic event that your insurance may be voided if investigation finds a bulk fuel container illegally stored inside your premises. A garage or porch area is a safer place for the big canisters. Some people secure their tanks in a homemade box just outside a window or door. That prevents a propane/MAPP/propylene tank stored outside from being tampered with while still allowing easy access so you can attach your hose and run the hose indoors to make beads! Always bleed (or burn off ) the fuel from your hose before shutting the torch down for the day!


FOOTNOTE(s)

When using Hot Head or Quiet Torch on a hose, you will need to have some sort of bracket to support HH to work surface and you will no longer have the tank to use as a mode of securing the torch.

Yes if all else fails you can use propane with a Hot Head or Quiet Torch/Fireworks.

Keep Fire extinguisher available at all times and keep it accessible.


Rev 10-06-03