Gas welding processes are a group of welding processes in which a weld is made by heating with a gas flame or flares. Pressure and/or filler metal may or may not be used. Also referred to as oxyfuel gas welding, the term gas welding is used to describe any welding process that uses a fuel gas combined with oxygen, or in rare cases, with air, to produce a flame having sufficient energy to melt the base metal. The fuel gas and oxygen are mixed in the proper proportions in a chamber, which is generally a part of the welding tip assembly. The torch is designed to give the welder complete control of the welding flare, allowing the welder to regulate the melting of the base metal and the filler metal. The molten metal from the plate edges and the filler metal intermix in a common molten pool and join upon cooling to form one continuous piece. Manual welding methods are generally used.Acetylene was originally used as the fuel gas in oxyfuel gas welding, but other gases, such as MAPP gas, have also been used. The flames must provide high localized energy to produce and sustain a molten pool. The flames can also supply a protective reducing atmosphere over the molten metal pool which is maintained during welding. Hydrocarbon fuel gases such as propane, butane, and natural gas are not suitable for welding ferrous materials because the heat output of the primary flame is too low for concentrated heat transfer, or the flame atmosphere is too oxidizing. Gas welding processes are outlined below.
Pressure Gas Welding. In this process, a weld is made simultaneously over the entire area of abutting surfaces with gas flames obtained from the combustion of a fuel gas with oxygen and the application of pressure. No filler metal is used. Acetylene is normally used as a fuel gas in pressure gas welding. Pressure gas welding has limited uses because of its low flame temperature, but is extensively used for welding lead.
Oxy-Hydrogen Welding. In this process, heat is obtained from the combustion of hydrogen with oxygen. No pressure is used, and filler metal may or may not be used. Hydrogen has a maximum flame temperature of 4820°F (2660°C), but has limited use in oxyfuel gas welding because of its colorless flare, which makes adjustment of the hydrogen-oxygen ratio difficult. This process is used primarily for welding low melting point metals such as lead, light gage sections, and small parts.
Air-Acetylene Welding. In this process, heat is obtained from the combustion of acetylene with air. No pressure is used, and filler metal may or may not be used. This process is used extensively for soldering and brazing of copper pipe.
Oxy-Acetylene Welding. In this process, heat is obtained from the combustion of acetylene with oxygen. Pressure and/or filler metal may or may not be used. This process produces the hottest flame and is currently the most widely used fuel for gas welding.
Gas Welding with MAPP Gas. Standard acetylene gages, torches, and welding tips usually work well with MAPP gas. A neutral MAPP gas flame has a primary cone about 1 1/2 to 2 times as long as the primary acetylene flame. A MAPP gas carburizing flame will look similar to a carburizing acetylene flame will look like the short, intense blue flame of the neutral flame acetylene flame. The neutral MAPP gas flame is a very deep blue.
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