Hard- Surfacing, Building Fusion Welding Carbon Welding Non-Ferrous Metals Heating & Heat Treating Braze Welding Welding Cast Iron Welding Ferrous Metals Brazing & Soldering Equipment Set-Up Operation Equipment For OXY-Acet Structure of Steel Mechanical Properties of Metals Oxygen & Acetylene OXY-Acet Flame Physical Properties of Metals How Steels Are Classified Expansion & Contraction Prep For Welding OXY-Acet Welding & Cutting Safety Practices Manual Cutting Oxygen Cutting By Machine Appendices Testing & Inspecting
2 Dr. Carl Von Linde of Germany built his first plant for producing liquid air (to be used for refrigerating purposes) in 1895, the same year in which Le Chatelier discovered the remarkable properties of the oxy-acetylene flame. In 1902, Von Linde built a plant which not only liquefied air, but then fractionated it to produce pure oxygen. With acetylene already widely available, the basic resources needed for general exploitation of the oxy-acetylene processes were now available. In 1907, the first U.S. plant to use the Linde process was started in Buffalo, N.Y. Although several plants which made oxygen (and hydrogen) by electrolysis of water were started up in the 1907- 1912 period, by 1914 the ”liquid air” process was recognized as the way to produce high-purity oxygen, and it remains so to this day. Some Early Exploits Although oxygen cutting was actually demonstrated at the Seattle World’s Fair, shortly after the century opened, commercially-useful torches were not available for several years. In 1907, Eugene Bournonville, one of the outstanding figures in the development of the oxy-acetylene processes in the U.S., showed the U.S. Navy Yard in Brooklyn that 14-inch portholes in armor plate 2-3 in. thick could be cut in 12 minutes.  Before that demonstration, the portholes were being chipped out, after huge kerosene torches had preheated the steel. It had taken two torch operators and five chippers 10 days to cut one porthole. Later that year, American-made cutting torches were used on the demolition of the old Grand Central Station in N.Y. City, at one-twentieth the cost that older methods would have entailed. The next year, three men with cutting torches cut out the four 70-ton structural steel shields which had been used in construction of the H & M railroad tunnels under the Hudson River, a job which would otherwise have required 20 workmen. Fig. 2-1. This sketch of an early oxy-acetylene welding operation was printed in a 1906 issue of the ACETYLENE JOURNAL.