Air Acetylene VS Oxy Acetylene December 17 2014
When to us Air Acetylene or Oxy Acetylene
In brazing or soldering applications, the question is; what is the best, most efficient and economical way to get the job done. The 2 best ways are Air Acetylene and Oxy Acetylene. There are benefits to both. The benefits to using Oxy Acetylene are: By far it has the hottest flame (5000 degrees vs. 2700 degrees) and can get the job done the quickest, especially on piping 3” diameter and up. It is sturdier than some plastic handled torches so it holds up better to abuse (ASCO handles would be the exception because of their heavy brass construction) and the gases last longer therefore you can braze / solder more joints without having to change the tanks.
There are also drawbacks to using Oxy Acetylene set ups as well.
For example, it is a more cumbersome set-up. It has a much bigger handle and bulkier hose. This makes it much harder when in tight spaces or if you are brazing / soldering smaller diameter pipe. It has 2 tanks instead of 1 to carry around and the flow of gas needs to be regulated closely.
Replacement parts need to be specific to the manufacturer (you cannot mix and match different manufacturer set-ups) and it is a more expensive set-up as you need 2 tanks. Finally since copper melts at around 2500 to 3000 degrees there is less room for operator error so not to melt or distort the pipe.
Air Acetylene set-ups offer a better and more economical alternative to brazing and soldering.
The use of just 1 tank makes it much less expensive and easier to carry and store. The handle and hose are far less cumbersome to use. It is ideal for tight spaces and smaller diameter pipe, while still offering the ability to be effective on the larger diameter pipe. Whereas oxy acetylene is almost twice the temperature and the 2700 degree heat takes a little longer in brazing applications it virtually eliminates the possibility of distorting or melting the metal. Air Acetylene equipment is also completely interchangeable. Regardless of manufacturer all Air Acetylene equipment will work together. In all, the Air Acetylene set ups are definitely the way to go for everyday use in plumbing HVAC and AC/R applications.