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Chemtane


#1

A few years ago Chemtane became available, which (as I understand it)
is a “synthetic” version of propane. Glassworkers like it because it
burns much cleaner than propane and the glass isn’t as susceptible to
discoloration from reduction. An oxy/propane burner or torch can be
used with it. However, I was told by my propane company that welders
have had problems with it because it doesn’t have enough carbon, i.e.
too much oxidation.

Does anyone have experience using chemtane instead of propane with an
oxy/propane torch? I don’t want to switch over to it for my glasswork
unless I can also use it for jewelry. Thanks for your advice -

Rene Roberts


#2

Hi Rene, I suspect this is propylene. It burns a little hotter than
propane. It has the same carbon count and less hydrogen per mole but
has a double bond that gives it the extra kick. Its initial use was
to give gas suppliers a competitive gas to MAP , methyl acetylene
propadiene, which Dow had as a byproduct (waste) and AIRCO had the
rights to sell. This has a slightly higher output. These gases are
used in oxygen steel cutting where the extra preheat helps the
burning started little better. They are also used in brazing such as
larger copper tube where the extra heat helps against the high
thermal conductivity of copper. Get an MSDS , It should say what it
is. There were also some proprietary “goosed” propane’s that were
basically propane with some ethyl ether added. I sometimes have a MAP
throw away cylinder with a bernzomatic pencil torch which gets used
interchangeably with propane because it there- it is a little hotter.
whether it would bother you on silver is probably just a personal
thing. Off to cast bronze. Jesse