Water torches

My co-worker showed me a video of a torch that ran off of hydrogen oxygen generated by electrolysis. Seemed like a great idea but then I
wondered about a couple of things.
Since the O and a couple H get together, can I assume hydrogen embrittlement isn't a issue?
Then there is conversion efficency. How much energy in vs how much energy out? Compared to the cost of demurage on bottles, cost of gases and such, certain amounts of loss could still make this look good as far as money spent versus results out.
Thanks,
Wes
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snipped-for-privacy@lycos.com wrote:

Never used one, so take this with a little salt...
They are sold mostly to jewellers and that ilk. Output is limitted by the amount of water, and subsequently the area/volume of same that can be put to the electrolysis to produce gasses. The ones I have seen were set up to run 110v houshold currents.
I doubt there is a real "efficiency" to using one of these. They seem to be targeted at those that do not want to have bottles on hand, and only require a limited size of flame.
FWIW
Cheers Trevor Jones
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Okay, that is the problem. Size / Area issue. Doesn't scale well for larger applications such as a replacement for O/A or even alternative fuel vehicles.
Thanks,
Wes
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It requires more energy input (electricity) to split water than burning the hydrogen creates.
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Some don't require electricity, only platinum.
b

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Hmmm.
I didn't know that. More research for me! :)
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Dave Lyon wrote:

NOT SO--they are equal...
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Where can i get one of those no loss, 100% efficency power supplies ?
Best Regards Tom.
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the
Really? Here on earth? I hope you got a patent.
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Dave Lyon wrote:

I was just going to mention Entropy but will refrain. :-) ...lew...
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wrote:

I believe that it is, which is why these are not normally used on steel; silver, gold, platinum, etc - jewelry work, mostly.
--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by

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snipped-for-privacy@lycos.com wrote:

I don't know what demurage is, do you mean rental?
Theoretically all of the hydrogen in the flame recombines with the oxygen. If, however, you suppose that some part of the flame isn't combusted, that would leave some oxygen to combine with the metal (bad) and also some hydrogen to diffuse into the metal (bad).
I've been hearing about these torches for over 20 years. They seem like a good idea for really tiny work.
GWE
--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


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Hydrogen embrittlement happens when protons(hydrogen nucleus, remember?) zip into the metal's crystalline stucture and start grabbing electrons out of the lattice. You need a pretty good plasma to strip electrons off hydrogen, you won't see it at oxy-hydrogen blowpipe temps and with no juice applied to the workpiece.
The torches are a great idea for jewelers that work where fire regs/ local laws/insurance provisions prevent storage and use of compressed gas bottles. For rings and things they're fine, anything larger would take a lot more juice to generate gas and there'd be more hazard due to the volume of same. Might as well use TIG, then.
Stan
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On Tue, 20 Mar 2007 09:22:23 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@lycos.com wrote:

Google on browns gas. Lots of info, lore and utter BS on this subject.
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Thanks for key words. I started looking. It is like wallowing into peak oil, snake oil, global warming, and polytics.
Wes
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We used them frequently at work (NASA) to silver solder stainless steel instrumentation tubing. The tubes were 0.040" and 0.062", and had neat little unions just like larger copper plumbing tubing. The brand we used was Water Welder. The torches are really tiny, the tips are hypodermic needles. The gas mix was bubbled through an alcohol chamber to pick up alcohol vapor to increase the flame size.
--
Dennis


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I'm a jeweller and I've got one. As others have said, its only good for small items - eg. jewellery and dental work, but for such items its very good indeed. The H and O2 are produced in just the right combination to burn properly, but for most work this produces a flame that is just too hot. The gas mixture is passed through a single pipe into a separate chamber that contains a liquid, and from there to the torch via another single pipe. The liquid in the chamber is used to control the flame temperature: MEK is used for the "coolest" flame (can melt silver, gold, brass and iron), meths for a slightly hotter flame, and water for the hottest. The latter being able to melt platinum. The liquid can also contain a flux so that soldering can be done without having to apply flux manually.
The torch is about the size of a white-board marker, but a bit longer, and the nozzle is a hypodermic needle. The flame size is determined by the size of the nozzle used and ranges from one about 0.5mm long up to around 30mm long, the maximum size being limited by the amount of gas that can be generated and varies with the model of generator.
The advantages over using bottled gas are: no bottles that need to be refilled, no insurance problems with storing bottled gas, and no need to adjust the gas mixture; you just open the valve and light the flame. The main disadvantage is that only small items can be worked. I started with an air/propane torch, but the smallest flame was just too big for delicate work. I then got a small Oxy/propane set with bottled O2 which was fine for delicate work but always a problem with getting the O2 bottled refilled. The water torch is now used for most things.
--
Regards, Gary Wooding
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