Oxygen mixed with a fuel gas is one of the most widely used industrial thermal cutting processes, because it can cut material that is up to 250mm thick, is cost effective, and can be used either manually or mechanically. The two most widely used cutting fuels are LPG (propane) and acetylene, with acetylene being seen for years as the industry standard. However, recently many have questioned whether acetylene is better for cutting than propane or LPG and a debate in oxy-LPG vs. acetylene has emerged. Below, we compare the two and look at the advantages and disadvantages of each, so you can decide where you fall in the oxy LPG vs. oxy acetylene debate.
Oxy LPG advantages
• Propane has a greater total heat of combustion
• Oxy propane is easy to obtain and cheaper
• Propane is more stable.
Oxy LPG disadvantages
• Propane produces a lower flame temperature
• There is increased pre-heat time
• Propane flames are less focused and therefore piercing is slower
• Propane can’t be used for gas welding because it doesn’t have a reducing zone
• In terms of oxy propane vs. oxy acetylene, propane is often used when cut quality is not essential.
Oxy acetylene advantages
• Acetylene produces the hottest flame temperature for oxy fuel cutting and welding
• The hotter temperature creates a quicker piercing of materials
• Oxy acetylene can be used on sites with no power supply
• It is quite a versatile process and can be used to weld most metals.
Oxy acetylene disadvantages
• Acetylene weld lines are rougher in appearance and need more finishing
• Acetylene is unstable and expensive
• Regarding oxy propane vs. oxy acetylene, there are more safety issues with oxy acetylene, because there is a naked flame.
Oxy LPG vs. oxy acetylene – it’s your call!
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