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The Drax torch


G’day; I have just seen an article about a new torch under
development in the town of Guildford, Surrey, England which, in the
light of the recent thread on torches here, most orchidists would
be interested to learn about. It was invented in Britain, and at
present a fellow called Neil Downie is trying to get it on the
market - so it isn’t available yet.

It works on a similar principle to the that of the very famous
invention of Robert Bunsen’s burner, using propane and air. It has
two flames, one inside the body of the torch which serves to
pre-heat the incoming fuel to around 500C, so the second flame at
the business end of the torch has a head start on the normal
torches. Also the fuel gas gets partially broken down into
hydrogen and hydrocarbons, including acetylene. This second flame
is small and concentrated and is reported to be hot enough to melt
steel, being almost as hot an acetylene flame. It is suggested
that it would be very useful for developing countries where
acetylene gas is hard to come by and is very expensive.

My thought is that it would be pounced upon by jewellers, in that
having a very hot small flame, it would be most useful in jobs like
resizing, repronging, and when a small piece has to be soldered to
a larger piece, especially in sterling, which as you all know,
conducts heat away from the right spot faster that the heat can be
applied in many cases.

From whence did I get this Well, for many years I
have subscribed to a British journal called, “The New Scientist”,
which in some ways is similar to “The Scientific American” but has
articles in greater depth and with less bull (padding). The articles
range from Chemistry to Cosmology and from Physics to Anthropology
but written in such a way that you and I can understand, with
plenty of illustrations and diagrams, and it has a very marked
sense of humour. It has a web page:-

and you might find it interesting to have a look at. Cheers,

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/ /___| \ @John_Burgess2
(______ )
At sunny Mapua, Nelson NZ