The Oxy Acetylene welding process is the most common of a group of similar welding processes called Oxy Fuel Welding or OFW. With the particular welding processes, the welder has the ability to join different pieces of metal using gas flames or alternatively flares.
After extensive research, we finally came to the conclusion that the 3M Speedglas Aces High (check it here), is an ideally suitable auto darkening welding helmet for Oxy welding. We advise you to test it and find out about its awesome capabilities yourself, and how it can improve your workflow and safety.
Regarding the oxy acetylene welding process, the welder does not need to use filler metal, which makes it a very flexible and handy welding process for many industries. What is more, no pressure needs to be applied during the oxy fuel processes, which makes them even more convenient.
What is Oxy Acetylene Welding?
As a general rule, the OFW uses oxygen as the main factor that causes heat. All welding processes that apply fuel gas and oxygen in order to heat and join the metal, can be considered oxy fuel welding procedures.
Very broadly, during the oxy acetylene welding process the welder melts metal pieces used as a base and the filler metals (only when needed), using the arc flame produced by specific torches designed for such welding processes.
In order to mix the fuel gas and the oxygen, there are used specially designed chambers that can host such operations. There are certain proportions of each element used in order to achieve the desired combination, and different percentages of the of fuel gas and oxygen lead to different results.
A molten pool is created by the combination of the molten base metal and the filler metal (if used). This molten pool, when frozen, it results to a new, solid and sturdy piece of metal created by mixing and joining the initial pieces of metal.
The advantages of Oxy Acetylene
The are certain advantages when using the Oxy Acetylene welding process. First of all, one of the most important advantage of the particular welding process is the precision it offer for thin metals. Thin pieces of metal such as sheets or small diameter tubes are ideal for oxy acetylene.
Another great advantage of this welding process, is the fact that the welder has absolute control over the weld. He can control the amount of heat that can be applied on the metal, or the temperature of the welding area and the oxidization applied.
What is more, the welder can have control over the bead size and shape during the welding process. This happens because the heat source and the filler metal are mixed separately in the weld.
Oxy acetylene welding equipment
The portability and affordable price of the equipment required to initiate the oxy acetylene welding process are two factors that make this process a preference for a large number of welders. You can acquire the necessary equipment even you are on a limited budget, and work both indoors and outdoors.
In addition to the above, you can purchase the particular equipment and kits, and use for the majority of the common welding processes. Operations that are similar or accompany the oxy acetylene can also be handled with these pieces of equipment, so it is an investment worth the money.
Oxygen cutting processes can also be operated with the equipment of oxy acetylene. The welders though, need to make minor changes and adjustments to the equipment, in order to turn them into effective tools for the rest of the welding processes.
Generally speaking, the only processes that are not suitable with the particular equipment are the welding of reactive metals and refractory.
Oxy acetylene torch
The angle of the oxy acetylene torch and the surface of the welding area is called torch angle, or in some occasions lead angle. Welders tend to use a 50 degree torch angle in order to achieve higher cutting speeds when it comes to light-gauge steel because of its tougher surface.
Regarding thicker pieces of metal, the welder needs to obtain even higher travel speed. This can be achieved if the user applies a 70 degree lead torch angle. It is common knowledge in the welding world, that cutting thicker pieces of metal with an acute lead angle is not too effective. Instead, the torch should be perpendicular to the metal surface in order to cut it successfully.
The angled torch can very easily cut thinner pieces of metal. You can start h process when the plate is burning, as it is going to be fairly easy to pass through the surface of the material and cut through it. In contrast, for thicker material the torch should be perpendicular and go across from one edge of the surface to the other.
Oxy acetylene flame
The main advantage of the oxy acetylene gas flame is the fact that it can easily melt the majority of common metals because of the high temperature that it produces. This is why many professional welder prefer working with the oxy acetylene welding method.
The rest of the gases and fuels such as propane, propylene or natural gas are only able to produce low flame propagation rates, although these temperatures are sufficient enough for many welding processes.
The OFW gas flames easily produce the necessary heat for transferring because they are extremely oxidizing. In order to ensure the stability of operation and effective transfer of heat, welders need to use device that have the ability to hold flames.
Oxy fuel gas used for welding processes, can also be used for oxygen cutting because of their wide range of different usages. These gases can also be used for other processes, assuming that the flames and the heat transfer is not similar or close to general welding processes.
Oxy acetylene pressure settings
The oxy acetylene pressure settings work in accordance to the tip orifice. There is a wide variety of different orifice diameters and tip numbers, and they depend solely on the manufacturer. Usually, in the welding world lower numbers indicate smaller diameters.
Best welding helmets for oxy acetylene & oxy fuel welding
As we have seen, welding helmets are an essential headgear for every welder no matter the welding method or technique he uses on his projects. Regarding oxy acetylene and oxy fuel welding, we have gathered 5 of the best welding helmets in the market and we recommend them in the list below:
Top welding helmet for oxy acetylene
1 – 3M Speedglas Aces High
- 1.73 x 3.66 in. viewing area
- Excellent optical quality
- Sensitivity adjustment that allows use with all...
- Optical quality gives worker a good view of the...
- Skull and flames graphics look street smart on the...
If you want to improve your weldings with oxy acetylene, acquiring this amazing auto darkening welding helmet is the right move for you. The 3M Speedglas Aces High makes it significantly easy to have a clear view of the puddle, although it does not have the biggest viewing area in comparison to other helmets of the same price range.
The particular welding helmet has an amazing design, which amazes mainly modern welders. It has very detailed graphics, and it is clear that great job from amazing artists have taken place in order to achieve this beautiful result.
As far the weight of the helmet is concerned, it is very light, easy to carry and it is going to be very convenient if you have to wear it for long hour oxy acetylene welding projects. However, you have to stabilize it cautiously before using it, because some times it falls a bit due to slightly loose headbands.
The 3M Speedglas Aces High which you can check on Amazon for more info, is my top pick for oxy acetylene and oxy fuel welding, although it is more than certain that you can use it for a wide variety of welding processes with equal convenience.
It is fairly priced, considering its features, specifications and amazing design, and the sturdy structure along with the high quality materials it is made of are going to guarantee that you will be able to use this welding helmet for a long time without issues.
2 – Miller Electric Vintage Roadster Blue
- Price For: Each Headgear: Ratchet Material: Nylon...
- Features: 1/20, 000 sec. Lens Speed, Sensitivity...
- Color: Blue Plate Width: 3-7/8" Battery Type:...
The Miller Electric Vintage Roadster Blue is one of my favorites when it comes to oxy acetylene welding. The reason why is because I have to stay lots of hours under the helmet in order to complete my tasks, and this welding helmet apart from being minimal and pretty, is one of the most comfortable headgear I have ever tried.
It wears great on the head, stays in position and the nice headbands guaranteed that you are not going to spend time lifting it up or repositioning it to improve your view. It is nicely designed and structured, fairly light and wears conveniently on most head sizes.
The solid structure ensures the welder, no matter the welding process he uses, that his protection comes first. It has a fascinating response time when it comes to darkening, which is extremely helpful for sensitive eyes.
The Miller Electric Vintage Roadster Blue which you can find here, is an option you should consider if you want to get into oxy acetylene welding. Make sure that you read carefully all its specifications and features, to make sure this is the right helmet for you.
The affordable choice
3 – Lincoln Electric K3282-2 Viking
- ANSI Z87.1-2010 & CSA Z94.3 Compliant
- Perfect 1/1/1/1 Optical Clarity
- Auto On / Off Functionality
- Variable 9-13 Shade, Sensitivity & Delay Control
- User Replaceable AAA Batteries
Lincoln Electric is a trustworthy manufacturer that brings to the market some of the highest quality welding helmets. Along with this stated, keep in mind that they also create affordable-priced welding helmets for small budgets, like the Lincoln Electric K3282-2 Viking.
The particular auto darkening welding helmet has awesome optical clarity, if precision and detailed welding is your thing. It considered high class especially when compared to the rest of the competition of the same price point, and along with the large viewing area it manages to boost the levels of visibility for the welder.
It is a light weight welding helmet, easy to carry around if you work outdoors, and very comfortable to wear which I find extremely helpful for oxy acetylene welding projects. Also, it is solar powered which means that you don’t have to worry about running out of batteries.
For more information about the price, features and specification of the Lincoln Electric K3282-2 Viking, make sure that you visit Amazon.
An even more affordable welding helmet
4 – Antra AH7-360-7311
- 【Safety & Protection Passive Filter with...
- 【Comfort & Convenience Very light total weight,...
- 【Performance】4 Premium redundant arc sensors,...
- 【Reliability Interference Suppression...
- 【Versatility】 A great personal protection...
Another effective and right-for-job welding helmet by the Antra Company, this time at a fascinating low price for the welder on a very limited budget. For under $100, the particular welding helmet is going to offer every feature need to work properly on oxy acetylene and oxy fuel welding projects.
It has 4 arc sensors and a smart chip for maximum capability regarding detecting the welding arc. The auto darkening lens works great, and the ADF (auto darkening filter) is as protective as it gets, ranging from shade 5 to 9, and 9 to 13.
This welding helmet is suitable for most welding processes such as TIG, MIG or stick welding, although I do find it especially effective for oxy acetylene welding because of its fast response time and comfortable wear. For more information about its price and specifications, check the Antra AH7-360-7311 here.
Last but not least
5 – Forney 55708 Advantage Series Patriot
- Expanded ultra clear viewing area
- Light weight
- High impact resistant nylon
Reaching the end of our reviews, I have left the Forney 55708 Advantage Series Patriot as my last choice of the 5 presented in this article for no particular reason. Another great design like most of the welding helmets listed in the article, and a high quality protective headgear.
It is a nice, lightweight helmet, which enhances the convenience for the welder making his work a pleasant experience, even after long hour of welding with oxy acetylene. It has a great touch which differs significantly from the majority of the welding helmets in the market, due to its rubbery feel of the distinguishing finish.
There are plenty of adjustment controls you can experiment with until you bring the shades and the functionality of the auto darkening filter to your desired state. The grind mode along with the amazing graphics make it a great choice.
Regarding the optical clarity of the helmet, you can rest assured that you can see everything crispy clear through the high quality lens of the helmet. The viewing area is as large as it should, boosting the visibility even more. For more info about the Forney 55708 Advantage Series Patriot, visit Amazon.
Oxy acetylene welding and oxy fuel welding are preferred by many welders mainly because of the fact that they can easily melt and work on wide range of different types of metals.
In this article, we have listed 5 of the best auto darkening welding helmets that are going to help welders stay safe and protected, while allowing them to have great visibility and control over the adjustments of the shades and the ADF of their helmet. Happy welding!