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  • Acetylene shortage?

    Anyone hear this? Is it just them or other outfits also?

    I went to my LWS, (GTS-Welco), this week to swap out some bottles & I got the last large acetylene he had. He told me to use it sparingly because he won't be getting any more of any size for 4 months. Whatever is on his dock is it. The supplier they get it from in Kentucky had an explosion & is off line.

    He said they are switching over their big customers to propane.
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  • #2
    Yes, the plant that makes calcium carbide in Kentucky, that is what most all the local gas plants use. Plus the price is going up 40% or there about's. Don't know when or how long before the plant is back on line if ever. 2 dead
    No-reason-discovered-for-Carbide-Industries-plant-explosion

    Looks like we be screwed again!!
    glen, If your not on the edge, your wasting space

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    • #3
      Well I guess the Local welding supply shops are rationing it, if you don't have a hard account with the stores, you can't get a bottles filled. And yes a lot of it is made from natural gas, but since welding use is only a small part. The bulk users may get preference. Get ready for PVC plastic's based on acetylene and anything else that uses it in its manufacture to go up.

      Propylene seems to be what they are changing the must have customers to with propane a close second.

      a new hydrogen-base metal cutting gas that independent users rate as cost-competitive, safer, faster, cleaner than other metal cutting gases while replenishing the oxygen depleted by fossil fuels.LINK

      It appears hydrogen for cutting in some form will be making a come back.

      Both the LWS in my area are closed on the week end. Whether it is true or just an excuse to raise prices and add a surcharge. I don't know, but it is happening now. And the guys on a HVAC forum are already talking about their suppliers taking steps to ration and that even some are cutting off schools for the rest of the year, or will be limiting the number of bottles delivered.

      Google Acetylene Shortages USA

      plant explosion/fire LINK
      glen, If your not on the edge, your wasting space

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      • #4
        I got the last 2 bottles of acetylene from my supplier on Thursday. I was told it would be at least 8 or 9 months before it becomes available again. I'm thinking someone will come up with a way to produce calcium carbide within a few months though. Our country has far too big of a demand for acetylene to be able to last the better part of a year without it. There is also truth to the rumor that the preferred customers are getting the remainder of acetylene, that's how I got mine. Sad part is those 2 bottles won't last me 3 weeks. I'm praying though that someone will be able to start producing acetylene again soon. I've heard there is calcium carbide available from china but it's in a powder form which our acetylene generators can not use.

        And yeah I'm sure it's also going to give the producers of acetylene an excuse to raise the prices sky high just like the oil companies are doing with gasoline (as high as 3.79 (regular) here).
        Blondie (Owner C & S Automotive)

        Colt the original point & click interface!

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        • #5
          I just got my full size acetylene cylinder refilled two days ago. (Right around 280 CF)

          It was just shy of $190 bucks. Have to check for sure, but that & a full size O2 cylinder was about $230 out the door.

          Don't wanna do that again any time soon.
          So you're telling me...You're not nostalgic? Then, give me another word for it......

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          • #6
            So what are your preferences in alternate cutting gases?

            I'll use propane for cutting but am curious about the cost/benefit ratio of propylene, Chemtane, and so forth.

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            • #7
              I was just warned about this shortage on Friday by my supplier. But he told me they will not be short but the price is going up. They get there gas from Linde and they are an international company with suppliers of calcium carbide world wide. Luckly I don't us emuch as of right now.

              -Dan
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              • #8
                I have no problem using propane as a cutting fuel, cuts as clean and just about as fast, justs takes slightly longer to preheat. Only problem is I'm not aware of any scarfing tips available for propane, or even if it's possible.
                Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....

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                • #9
                  Only problem is I'm not aware of any scarfing tips available for propane, or even if it's possible.
                  I know they are available for the major brand torches. Look for "gouging" tips. Actual steel mill scarfing tips are typically propane.

                  You can find decent pics on Ebay and copy the flameholder recess on the end of the propane tip on your acetylene tips with a small end mill if you are really motivated.

                  Random adverts:

                  http://www.harrisproductsgroup.com/e...l-6290-GG.aspx

                  http://www.weldfabulous.com/Torch-Ti...-p7614048.html

                  http://www.weldfabulous.com/Smith-Sp...-p8403575.html

                  http://www.atlweldingsupply.com/Oxwe...1-reviews.html

                  Since it's not difficult (with some study and patience) to buy the above brand cutting torches for from five to thirty bucks off Ebay, you can have multiple brands and take advantage of cutting tip deals when they turn up. Gouging tips tend to cost more retail, but don't seem to move fast on Ebay.
                  Last edited by 1930case; 04-03-2011, 01:19 AM.

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                  • #10
                    I noticed that this page seemed to have some good info also..

                    http://www.bakersgas.com/acetylene-s...formation.html

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                    • #11
                      Everything seems to go up in a shortage...NEVER goes back down?!?!?

                      Well, I guess I am happy that I don't use much acetylene and that I do have a back-up bottle that is full. Thing is, I remember GIVING a B full tank of it that I got somewhere away a while back just to get it out of my shop and out from under foot!

                      A poster above was talking about gasoline prices...Diesel for my truck is $4.09+ here in the Reno area and I have seen it OVER $4.25 a gallon over in the San Jose area in CA. Now I drive my sporty car as much as I can because it only takes SUPER, which is 4.07+ a gallon and the car gets like 22 or 23 MPG around town and my truck gets 18.5 MPG at best on the highway. Sad, but true is that the car is now a good bit cheaper to drive than the truck, so I guess I'll be doing that if I don't have to haul anything. What ever happened to diesel being the cheapest vehicle fuel you could buy, anyway? Also, I guess I will be riding one of the motorcycles now that the weather is letting up. I have one that has like 142 HP at the rear wheel and still gets at least 40 to 42 MPG no matter HOW HARD I whip it! Fun to ride as long as one of the wide variety of HORRIBLE drivers on the road doesn't kill me some day and believe me, they have tried it every way imaginable!
                      Don J
                      Reno, NV

                      Never pick a fight with an old guy. Old guys are too smart to fight and get hurt. They'll just kill you and get it over with.

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                      • #12
                        We've all had since the 1970s to get ready for inevitable, repeated, escalating gas price increases.

                        They will continue. End of story.

                        If things get tight enough it may mean fewer cars on the road and an improved motorcycling environment.
                        Last edited by 1930case; 04-06-2011, 12:26 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Well, low horse power motorcycles and scooters anyways, thanks to new noise laws.
                          Diesel price here is $4.32/ US gallon

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dondlhmn View Post
                            Well, I guess I am happy that I don't use much acetylene and that I do have a back-up bottle that is full. Thing is, I remember GIVING a B full tank of it that I got somewhere away a while back just to get it out of my shop and out from under foot!

                            A poster above was talking about gasoline prices...Diesel for my truck is $4.09+ here in the Reno area and I have seen it OVER $4.25 a gallon over in the San Jose area in CA. Now I drive my sporty car as much as I can because it only takes SUPER, which is 4.07+ a gallon and the car gets like 22 or 23 MPG around town and my truck gets 18.5 MPG at best on the highway. Sad, but true is that the car is now a good bit cheaper to drive than the truck, so I guess I'll be doing that if I don't have to haul anything. What ever happened to diesel being the cheapest vehicle fuel you could buy, anyway? Also, I guess I will be riding one of the motorcycles now that the weather is letting up. I have one that has like 142 HP at the rear wheel and still gets at least 40 to 42 MPG no matter HOW HARD I whip it! Fun to ride as long as one of the wide variety of HORRIBLE drivers on the road doesn't kill me some day and believe me, they have tried it every way imaginable!
                            Yeah it's making me think seriously about using the bikes as my main mode of transportation. But it always seems that somewhere during the day I have to pick up or deliver something and seem to always be driving my truck. Mine isn't as bad as yours. I have a gas burner that gets 20's on the highway so it's not that horrible for a full size truck. My diesel Jetta got over 50 when it ran good and diesel was cheaper than gas. My brother has 2 2500 4x4 Dodges with the Cummins in them and he can get low 20's on the highway but no longer is it cheaper to drive than my gas burner with diesel the way it is. Here the norm is about 4.09 per gallon for diesel and 3.79 for gasoline.

                            1930Case,
                            Perhaps so, but over in Europe that's the way things were and for sure in countries like India. Not many people can afford to drive cars so they ride motorcycles and scooters around. Now the trick would be for American motorcycle manufacturers to make bikes that are competitively priced with the asian imports!!!

                            Back to the original subject though I guess I'm going to have to consider going propane at least for awhile anyway. I'm going to give it a try this weekend cutting up some scrap I've got laying around. Who knows I just might get used to it? I worked one place 30 some years ago that used it and I remember I didn't like the way the propane cut but perhaps the equipment had something to do with it as well. I'm not sure since the guy who owned the place was a cheap skate, it could well have been the torches weren't the right ones for propane.
                            Blondie (Owner C & S Automotive)

                            Colt the original point & click interface!

                            Millermatic 35 with spot panel
                            Miller 340A/BP
                            Victor O/A torches
                            Lincoln SP125
                            Too many other tools to list

                            03 Ram 1500
                            78 GS1000
                            82 GL1100 Interstate

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                            • #15
                              I know Airgas has a propane blend to get a hotter flame. They said a price increase for acetylene is on the way. I filled two #5 bottles Monday for $136.00
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