Avoiding Torch and Tip Malfunctions

Railcutting with a Harris torchMost, if not all serious oxy-fuel torch and tip malfunctions can be traced back to either abuse or misuse of the equipment.  Abuse is the result of bad personal work habits or complacency.  Misuse is usually a result of not reading the instructions until something bad happens.  The most important instructions for using oxy-fuel equipment, tip charts, and cylinder capacity charts are made available for free by any reputable manufacturer of gas equipment and by your local gas supplier.  Both charts are used to help select the proper safe tip and cylinder size for the application.  Picking the wrong tip or cylinder usually results in poor performance, equipment failure, or injury.
READ THE CHARTS TWICE – LIGHT THE EQUIPMENT ONCE.  Download Harris tip charts for reference here.

The data below, along with oxy-acetylene tip charts, can provide the information needed to determine the minimum cylinder size requirement and/or the maximum tip size recommended for a particular oxy-acetylene application.

  1. Determine minimum acetylene cylinder size for a specific acetylene tip

    Acetylene consumption rate from tip chart X 7 = Minimum Cylinder Size in cubic feet.
  2. Determine the maximum withdrawal rate and/or the maximum tip size allowable for a specific size acetylene cylinder

    Cylinder size in cubic feet ÷ 7 = Maximum cylinder withdrawal rate in SCFH