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Old 04-05-2013, 09:41 AM   #1
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Mapp gas?


Hope its ok to ask a question about brazing in this forum (my instructor who's been in the business for 30+ yrs is away for 2 weeks). I am going to buy a proper torch but wanted to know why my friend was telling me that he uses Mapp Gas? What type of torch head is he talking about? I haven't read anything about this in any of my texts.

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Old 04-05-2013, 09:46 AM   #2
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Mapp gas?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAPP_gas

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Old 04-05-2013, 10:11 AM   #3
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Mapp gas?


Google turbotorch and hit images. Mapp gas is acetylene gas mixture in a hand held bottle and is a company trade name. The hand held bottles don't last long and are meant for plumbers changing hot water heaters or small jobs. Most guys use the larger 2' high pure acetylene bottle with a hose and turbotorch handle and different tips. If you are very serious and/or doing larger units then some guys (myself included) use a small oxy acetylene kit with a oxygen bottle and acetylene bottle in a kit and professional welding tips. That you buy at a welding gas supplier/Pro welder supply shop. Larger companies may supply that but most give you the basic turbotorch and one acetylene bottle kit or nothing at all.
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:19 PM   #4
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Mapp gas?


Thank you for your response, I googled it but found it a little frustrating as people were debating too much about it. I'd much rather get the straight scoop from someone who's know what they are talking about. So thank you for doing just that! I'm going to a supply store Monday and will keep this in mind.
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:39 PM   #5
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Mapp gas?


MAPP is no longer made. The "MAPP/Pro" you see in stores is just propylene.

If you're gas-welding steel, there's no substitute for acetylene. Gotta have it for the concentrated heat. For anything else -- general heating, oxy-cutting, brazing, soldering, etc -- then propylene will do just fine. Not quite as hot so it takes a bit longer, but it works great.

Two problems with acetylene: 1. you have to keep the bottles upright. 2. If you have a small acetylene bottle, you can only draw off so much acetylene per minute. Failure to observe these rules results in liquid acetone fouling your regulator and torch, a potentially hazardous situation.

If you're doing low volume heating/cutting/brazing/soldering, then by all means use propylene. Use as much as you want as fast as you want, and transport the bottles on their side if you feel like it. Cost is a little expensive, but is not a big deal if you're not going through gallons in a day.

Another alternative is propane. Burns a bit cooler than propylene, so you're taking a bit longer, but propane is so incredibly dirt cheap compared to propylene and acetylene that you still save in the long run. Oxy-cutting torch tips do need to be propane-specific, though.

Note, most welding hoses designed for acetylene can't handle propylene or propane. You'll need to make sure your hoses are rated for "alternative fuels" if you're not using acetylene.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:03 PM   #6
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Mapp gas?


Perfect! Thanks so much! Nothing like the real scoop instead of reading stuff that seems to go back and forth. I'm learning this stuff basically on my own but do have an instructor who I meet twice a week. He's away for a little while but that doesn't mean I have run out of questions... Thanks!
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:21 PM   #7
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Mapp gas?


Did you google the term turbotorch and read lots of conflicting views? or hit images at the top of the google page and look at the torches? Turbotorches are LOUD have a not very concentrated flame and tend to burn up cabinets and insulation and anything around them as the flame is a wide fluttering blowtorch flame. A oxyacetylene torch is very refined with a small concentrated welding tip and for fine or delicate work CANNOT ever be beat. Turbotorches are quick, light, portable and very easy to carry up to a rooftop unit vs the oxyacetylene which is heavy, expensive to rent the tanks etc. All depends on what specific type of work you are going to be doing. For an entry level tech a turbotorch with single tank is affordable and a good way to start but if you get serious about the trade you may eventually want to get an oxyacetylene rig. I have been in this biz for 34 yrs and used both and they both have advantages. Turbotorch is good if you only do small residential install work and want to get in quick and easy whereas once you start changing compressors and doing work in tighter places they burn the heck out of everything and a proper oxyacetylene is MUCH better. Some techs are too unskilled to properly use a oxyacetylene so they poop all over the topic but Journeymen who do Commercial and larger work use oxycetylene and larger torches. The more concentrated flame gets the weld done a lot sooner in a smaller area and produces less carbon inside the pipe and less contamination which in pure refrigeration systems of very low temps etc is incredibly important. Even though we flow nitrogen we don't want to take ANY chances of contamination in a VERY expensive refrigeration system.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:27 PM   #8
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Mapp gas?


Yeah... big difference between an air+fuel torch and an oxy+fuel torch. My earlier post assumed oxy+fuel. I'd list them in this order:

oxy+acetylene
oxy+propylene
oxy+propane
air+propylene
air+propane

I've brazed with oxy+propane and I've soldered with air+propylene. I wouldn't care to try brazing with air+propylene.
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:42 PM   #9
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Mapp gas?


Thanks so much for the responses....really. I hate reading little bits here and there and trying to piece it all together. The information you guys have given me is straight to the point and written in a way that makes it easy to understand. It's difficult being a rookie at this (feel like a moron sometimes trying to explain myself). However, the one supplier I have been dealing with is somewhat helpful. This is something I've wanted to learn for years and am 100% determined to do it well so all of your help so far is truly appreciated.
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:29 PM   #10
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Mapp gas?


Have any of you tried the petrogen torch?

I am in search and rescue and we have used them for cutting steel. It is great because it actually runs on gasoline and oxygen and is fairly cheap to operate and is readily available at any service station.
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:57 PM   #11
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Mapp gas?


At first I thought you were joking but I googled it and it is real. Sounds like something a terrorist would come up with. We don't do a lot of steel cuting in the HVAC biz (other than with electric sawzalls) but in other industries that looks like a great idea. Especially in remote areas where getting acetylene is incredibly expensive due to the weight and shipping costs. Propane is more popular there.
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:01 PM   #12
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Mapp gas?


Yes, I never heard of it until it showed up at one of our trainings. It seems like a great idea for Fire/Rescue, just wanted to see if you guys thought it was practical in the industry. I am not very familiar with torches other than cutting things apart and the basic 1/2" copper pipe soldering.

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Old 04-05-2013, 07:58 PM   #13
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Mapp gas?


all the cutting torches I have ever used have been acetylene and oxygen because it is easy to get in a city. in the oil industry and large construction they use propane instead of acetylene because it is much cheaper as a fuel even though it does not burn as hot it works good for demolition etc. We call a cutting torch a gas axe.

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