There is no discount for bringing a tank back with a few pounds left you
still pay for a full bottle.
We routinely run the bottles empty with no complaints from the supplier.
Shielding gas on the other hand gets removed from the machine once it is
below a hundred pounds. Only because you always run out in a corner where
removing the porosity is the most difficult.
I've always used 40 Lbs for the Ac (never heard anything about Oxy
before???). I have also heard 25Lbs on the Ac. The important things to
remember are this:
1.) That funky smell isn't actually the acetelyene...it's the acetone.
Ac is actualy oderless & the smell the acetone gives it helps you to
know if there is a leak.
2.) Acetone (I'm told) isn't added everytime bottles are
filled...thereby draining it could be a bad thing, as acetone also
helps to stabalize the acetelyene.
3.) The reason acetelyene bottles can't be laid down & used is because
the acetone seperates. Bottles that have been laid down must be stood
upright for 1 hour (amount of time varies depending on who you ask)
before being used.
4.) Acetone is bad on regulators that have neoprene (I'm a really bad
P.S. You should see how the Kurds in Iraq get their Ac...it's really
cool....and really dangerous.
Oky doak Leo...here goes,
Acetylene isn't a naturaly occuring gas...it's a compound made by
inducing calcium carbide into water. A violent reaction takes place,
and acetylene is emitted as a by product. Plants where acetylene is
manufactured and bottled are almost entirely automated and it is a VERY
dangerous operation. In fact, acteylene is so unstable it will actually
blow up (without any source of ignition) once it hits 29 pounds per
square inch. This is the reason an acetylene bottle is so much heavier
than an oxygen bottle. In order to get more than 29 pounds of acetylene
in a bottle...it has to be tricked. A large piece of balsa wood is
placed in the bottle and the bottle is lined with celulose, next
acetone is pumped in the bottle...and finaly (and slowly) acetylene is
pumped in. What ends up happening is that the acetylene & acetone are
obsorbed by the balsa wood like a giant sponge. The gas you end up
using is then bleeded back out of the balsa wood. It should be noted at
this point that there is a safe rate that acetylene can be bled out of
the bottle....1/7th of the bottle's total capacity per hour...it should
be further noted here that for this same reason "rose bud" heating tips
are NOT supposed to be used with single acetylene bottle set ups. They
can only safely be used with manifold systems that incorperate multiple
acetylene cylinders. O.K. now that I made you suffer through that class
(too many years of teaching soldiers & oxy/acet is my favorite class) I
will tell you about the Kurds as promised.
In April of 2003 (until November) I went back to Iraq (Did the 1991
gulf war also). I ended up with a really unique assignment living
amongst the Kurds (with very little military around) and running a
Kurdish shop building machinegun mounts. Iraq's only acetylene plant
was blown up in the 1991 gulf war & never got rebuilt. The Kurds go to
the general market (hooches set up on the side of the street) and buy
"the carbone" as they call it. They bring it back to the shop...open up
this funky looking little drawer/box thingy with the acetylene hose
coming out of the top...poor some water in...whack off a piece of "the
carbone" & chuck it in the water...close & seal the drawer..and it
emits acetylene to the torches. Get the wrong mixture of "carbone" &
water...or (God forbid!) there is rain & the "carbone" gets wet....&
Hope this was all more interesting than boring.
Interesting experience, thanks! You should consider putting your
experiences together into a book. I think you would do well.
My grandfather had an Acetylene generator when I was very young. It used
calcium carbide granules in a container in the bottm and water in a
container in the top. The water dripped into the calcium carbide at a rate
controled by a valve, much like a large version of the old carbide lamps the
miners used. I got to play with the "majik rocks" and make all sorts of
interesting smoke and flames and an occasional bang. A mason jar with
enough gravel in it to make it sink, some water and a handfull of calcium
carbide makes a respectable depth charge :)
I became VERY close to the Kurds. I had two bodyguards who layed
thier life on the line for me several times. If someone can explain to
a newby how to attach a file in this news group, I'll shoot out a
picture of the whole crew:
Me- CW3 Glass
My Sergeant- Terry Hulett
My Interpreter- Nazradean...aka "Naz"
Body guard- Amin...aka "Jed Clampet"
Body guard- Sharzodt...aka "James Bond"