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Acetylene FAQs

What are the most important points to be aware of when carrying cylinders? plus minus

Whenever you are carrying cylinders, please follow these simple but important guidelines

  • Ensure the valve is closed
  • Disconnect any regulators and re-check the valve is closed
  • Always take care when lifting – cylinders are heavy

Please read our safety datasheet 'General Cylinder Handling'.

How do I use oxygen and acetylene cylinders safely? plus minus
  • Secure cylinders in an upright position during storage, transportation and use. Use a suitable trolley when moving cylinders
  • Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) as required by legislation and your company guidelines
  • If you need to transport an acetylene cylinder horizontally, ensure it is left to stand upright for 24 hours prior to use
  • If using acetylene for welding and cutting, use all required approved gas control equipment and safety devices as required by legislation and your company guidelines
  • Use an approved lighting up and shutting down procedure for your welding or cutting torch

Take a look at our video offering additional information about the safe use of oxygen and acetylene for trained users of these gases:

Do not approach cylinders that are involved in the fire until you have been advised by the emergency services that it is safe to do so.

  • Raise the alarm and evacuate the area
  • Contact the emergency services
  • Inform them of the number, type and location of the cylinders where possible
  • Advise Air Products on (tel number)

Any gas cylinder that is exposed to extreme heat may rupture due to an increase of temperature and pressure. If acetylene cylinders are exposed to extreme heat (for example if the welding torch flame comes into contact with the cylinder), the following actions are recommended:

  • Warn personnel and evacuate the area
  • For heated cylinders, a suitably sized hazard zone of up to 200 meters should be established, based on a number of criteria, such as the size and number of cylinders involved and shielding available
  • Prevent access to the area
  • Call the emergency services and the gas supplier
  • If safe to do so, immediately start the cooling of heated cylinders by deluging them with water from a safe place (behind heavy machinery or a solid wall) without approaching the cylinders
  • Where possible, establish information about the time that the fire started, the number and location of acetylene cylinders and other cylinders or chemicals involved
  • Give this information to the emergency services on arrival
  • Close the cylinder valve
  • If the leak has stopped
    • Take cylinder out of service and clearly identify it
    • Contact us to arrange for the cylinder to be collected
  • If the cylinder is still leaking
    • Ventilate the room by opening doors and windows
    • Avoid ignition sources such as non-EX electrically operated fans
    • Evacuate the area within the vicinity of the cylinder
    • Contact the fire services and contact us
How should I store my acetylene cylinders? plus minus
  • When not in use, store gas cylinders closed and in a secure well-ventilated area
  • Never store acetylene cylinders in an occupied building, unventilated rooms, underground rooms or in areas accessible to the public
  • Store and use acetylene cylinders in an upright position to avoid loss of solvent which reduces the cylinder capacity. Provide a means of preventing cylinders from falling if accidentally bumped
  • Keep cylinders away from external sources of heat
  • Separate flammable gas cylinders from oxygen and other oxidizing gas cylinders during storage and keep full acetylene cylinders separate from empty ones
How do I transport cylinders safely? plus minus

Cylinders are very heavy and travel at the same speed as your vehicle. However, unlike your vehicle, they are not fitted with any brakes and unless they are adequately secured they can move forward under braking and cause severe damage.

There are some basic safety rules to follow:

  • No smoking
  • Check that cylinder valves are properly closed
  • If the cylinder is designed to have a cylinder valve cap, then one should be fitted
  • Ventilate your vehicle and keep windows open. Do not transport a cylinder in the car boot
  • Dismantle equipment such as regulators and hoses and torches
  • Ensure all cylinders are properly secured and prevented from moving during your journey
  • Go directly to your destination
  • Immediately unload when arriving at destination or if stopping for a longer time and store cylinders in a ventilated place

Since January 1, 2007, there is a requirement for the driver of any type of vehicle, not only for those above 3.5 tonnes, carrying dangerous goods in excess of the threshold limits to be in possession of a vocational training certificate, or ADR Licence as it is better known.

If you wish to benefit from the exemption of some of the requirements of the ADR regulations (such as the obligation to have orange plates, high visibility vests and wheel chocks), you need to understand the 1000 points rule and the limited quantity thresholds. The full ADR regulations only apply if your cylinder load exceeds this quantity threshold.

Please download our guide on ADR and the 1000 point rule.

What is the ADR classification of acetylene? plus minus
  • UN/ID No: UN1001
  • Proper shipping name: ACETYLENE, DISSOLVED
  • Class or Division: 2
  • Tunnel Code : (B/D) Label(s): 2.1
  • ADR/RID Hazard ID no: 239
  • Marine Pollutant: No
  • Chemical formula: C₂H₂
  • Synonyms : Acetylene (dissolved), Ethyne, welding gas
  • REACH Registration Number: 01-2119457406-36
  • Flammable gases - Category 1 H220: extremely flammable gas.
  • Chemically unstable gases - Category A H230: may react explosively even in the absence of air.
  • Gases under pressure - Dissolved gas H280: contains gas under pressure; may explode if heated.

What equipment should I wear when handling cylinders? plus minus

When you handle cylinders we strongly recommend that you wear

  • safety glasses
  • safety shoes
  • ordinary work gloves

For cutting and welding operations you should use

  • welder’s gloves
  • welder’s helmet and goggles
  • leather sleeves
  • leather apron
  • and other standard protective equipment in accordance with the appropriate task risk assessment

Safety Boot