Figure 1 – Acetylene Cylinder Filling Systems

Acetylene gas finds application in various industries. It is popularly used in Welding, cutting and heat treatment of metals but is not limited to this. Hence, acetylene plants are commonly found in point-of-use applications as well as industrial cylinder filling plants. Acetylene is a highly flammable gas with an ignition temperature of 325 °C. While it lends itself for various industrial uses its flammable and explosive property means it can be a potential hazard. This is especially true in Acetylene plants.

Non-sparking hand tools are widely used in plants that may have flammable gases such as Hydrogen, Hydrocarbons, etc. However, it is not advised to use Aluminium Bronze and Beryllium Copper Tools directly with Acetylene. This is because it reacts with any alloy of Copper with Copper content over 65% to create a new, highly explosive compound, called Copper Acetylide. This compound explodes easily when dry.

We recommend the following best practices when using hand tools in Acetylene Plants:

1.        For those applications where tools may come in contact with Acetylene we have developed tools from a special Copper alloy that maintains its non-sparking property but also has Copper content under 65% to prevent any reaction with Acetylene gas. Open & Ring Spanners as well as Cylinder keys are usually procured in this alloy to ensure safety is maintained at all times

2.      Within rest of the Acetylene plants we recommend using Beryllium Copper non-sparking tools as it has the best mechanical properties of all Copper alloys and is best suited for hand tool applications. Using BeCu tools ensure safety and integrity of your plant at all times

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