AN ACETYLENE ALTERNATIVE
Blue Flame Plus is an outstanding product because it has a high flame temperature of 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit in oxygen, a flame structure well suited to heavy burning and heating, an energy content of 2,810 BTUs per cubic foot of vapor, and startling cost effectiveness. These properties enable Blue Flame Plus to cut, heat treat, flame harden, metallize, and braze quickly, cleanly, and economically.
In starting a cut on plate, pipe, or any structural shape, the preheat time will be noticeably less than competitive fuels. This is due to the flame temperature of Blue Flame Plus being several hundred degrees hotter than other fuel gases, including acetylene, which brings the steel to ignition temperature more quickly. The cutting speed is noticeably greater when making straight cuts, beveling, and gouging due to the higher flame temperature, which preheats the surface rapidly as the torch advances. At the same time, the heat release of the high-energy secondary flame adds to the heat of combustion from the burning steel beneath the surface. The flame temperature of the secondary flame combination allows intricate patterns to be accurately cut and sharp turns to be made without “losing the preheat.” Piercing is accomplished quickly and cleanly. Cuts are smooth with no gouge marks. There are no rolled edges. Preheating with another torch is often eliminated. These results are obtained with either a hand or machine torch.
As various types of cuts are made, it will be noted that slag is minimal and weldback does not occur. Again, labor expense is saved because cleanup time is virtually nothing. Weldback does not occur because Blue Flame Plus does not have an excess of carbon available during combustion, which is the case with acetylene and some other fuel gases. Extra carbon promotes the welding process and causes weldback. It is the absence of the excess carbon which makes gas welding with Blue Flame Plus difficult. On the other hand, those fuels with excess carbon produce a black, sooty flame, which is a hindrance in certain applications.
The secondary flame energy release, mentioned earlier, makes Blue Flame Plus a “forgiving” gas. That is, the operator can achieve good results even though he might hold the heating or cutting tip too close to the workpiece or open the distance to one to two inches. Maintaining an exact distance from the workpiece is not critical, as with acetylene. The ability to cut effectively at a two inch distance is advantageous when flame cutting in tight corners or other inaccessible places. With the tolerance afforded by Blue Flame Plus, the experienced operator adapts quickly to its use, and less experienced personnel learn to use it more readily, ruining less material.
It was stated that one cubic foot of Blue Flame Plus vapor releases 2810 BTUs when combusted. Acetylene vapor releases only 1470. Therefore, to apply a given amount of heat (BTU’s) to a piece of steel, only 53% as much Blue Flame Plus vapor must be used in comparison. This allows the flow of Blue Flame Plus to be reduced accordingly, so that it can be drawn from the cylinder at about one half the rate of acetylene. With less Blue Flame Plus being burned, the amount and cost of oxygen consumed in combustion are proportionately reduced. The significant heat content advantage and reduced flow rates of gas and oxygen are the primary reasons that Blue Flame Plus costs substantially less to use than acetylene.
Earlier, the ability of Blue Flame Plus to flame cut metal at short or extended distance from the workpiece was discussed. The ultimate in short distance is to set the cutting or heating tip against the workpiece. Even under the extreme, Blue Flame Plus does not tend to backfire. This significant safety feature is appreciated by operators and safety engineers.
Blue Flame Video Series – Cutting and Heating
Blue Flame Video Series – Brazing
Blue Flame Plus is sold in five portable cylinder sizes and is also available in bulk tanks ranging up to 30,000 gallons. If you contact us, one of our dealers will be pleased to go into greater detail and depth in explaining and demonstrating the advantages of Blue Flame Plus under your working conditions.
The Key Factors in Selecting a Fuel Gas:
- Flame temperature because it is an indicator of cutting and heating ability
- BTU content because it is an indicator of the quantity of energy being purchased
- Unit cost, which must be compared with competitive products
About Cee Kay
Cee Kay Supply is the largest independent supplier of compressed gases, welding and cutting equipment, and supplies in Missouri. Our five retail locations throughout Missouri & Illinois support all your welding needs. We invite everyone to “Discover the Difference” when dealing with Cee Kay Supply, Inc.