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Torch fuel selection in NYC


#1

I am currently a jewelry manufacturer in NYC. I have been using a
natural gas/oxy mix for my shop (I do everything from small repairs
to smelting platinum) recently NYC has made it manditory to have
flashback arresters which will require me to purchase & install a
torch booster. my question is should I switch to another fuel like
propane/oxy or hydrogen/oxy?


#2

i would suggest at first if you have not already thought of this is
to, carefully review/read the city ordinance or laws written to
cover new upgrade. if you have difficulty doing this find someone who
can an attorney or contract law person the question that immediatly
comes to mind is what about all of the appliances that are installed
in NYC buildings using natural gas ? like furnaces, gas stoves ?
etc… do they all have to have this new upgrade ? if not, then, why
not them ? most newly manufactured gas appliances have electronic
ignition or hot surface igniters. perhaps somthing as simple as an
electric sparkigniter for your torch will satisfy the new code.
carefull review of the exact wording of the code or law as it is
written is in my opinion your first best option. you must also rule
out the possibility of an overly zealous code or fire in spector that
perhaps does not understand the law as written to determine the
"exceptions" which you may be one of - best regards goo


#3

Dear Izzo:

I am currently a jewelry manufacturer in NYC. I have been using a
natural gas/oxy mix for my shop (I do everything from small
repairs to smelting platinum) recently NYC has made it manditory to
have flashback arresters which will require me to purchase &
install a torch booster. my question is should I switch to another
fuel like propane/oxy or hydrogen/oxy? 

At the MJSA Expo. New York, there were a few torches running. For the
second year in a row, the fire authority shut all but one of them
down at this event. Our (Spirig) fully patented multicell
hydrogen/oxygen generator, the Spirflame[tm] Karat 250 system was
allowed to run. We have a good number of happy customers.

Next year at this event, we will be supporting two firms who need a
torch in their booths to demonstrate their product. Our system is
all over NYC, including historic buildings with the full approval and
permission of the NYC Fire Inspectors. We have been operating for
many years legally in the 47 St. jewelry district, the Canal Street
area, multi-use buildings,and apartment complexes.

Since the show, I have been very busy installing more Spirflames[tm]
in NYC to comply with the new laws and tougher individual
requirements at specific buildings. Not just for reasons of safety,
but because we can provide a cleaner, more accurate, easier to use
flame, which produces better results under the same conditions.

Many shops commonly run several operators off of one of our
Spirflames[tm] without difficulty. We are not for melting large
amounts of metal (1 ounce, plus). But for many reasons we make the
perfect bench torch, with large enough flames and plenty of heat for
platinum. If you would like our complete and pricing,
please feel free to E-mail me directly with your exact mailing
address (no PO Boxes please, we send via UPS). I would be happy to
send our info. to you and your own would remain
confidential.

Best Regards,
Gary
Gary W. Miller
Sr. Technical Advisor, Spirig
T: 800 499 9933 or 203 378 5216
www.spirig.org


#4

That stinks. Natural gas was so convenient.

I believe propane is not legal and most of the jewelers use
acetylene/oxy

Hydrogen/oxy is a bit expensive.

Kenneth Singh
karat46
46 Jewelry Supply.


#5

Dear Mr. Singh:

I believe propane is not legal and most of the jewelers use
acetylene/oxy Hydrogen/oxy is a bit expensive. 

Agreed. Hydrogen/oxygen is more expensive. Although, with a multicell
gas generator you also have a number of important and superior
advantages over other gases. Well worth the costs. Especially if
costs are determined over a 15 to 20 year time period, which is the
average operational life of our unit (Spirflame[tm]). Some of the
specific advantages are:

  1. You are in complete compliance with the law. This includes
    installations in buildings which do not have natural gas available,
    or buildings which have, but no longer permit the use of natural gas
    for torch systems. Also multi-use buildings, apartments, even
    historic buildings in both NYC and other locations around the world
    can all have (and do) our very safe, well proven systems.

  2. Firms are now gas supply independent, no longer dependent upon
    gas suppliers or deliveries and the associated increasing costs. They
    are literally “green” in this area. And it is also easy for them to
    change locations.

  3. Hydrogen/oxygen is very axial in heating. It produces heat only
    in front of the flame, none on the sides of the flame. Torches become
    more of a scalpel instead of an ax. This is clearly shown in our
    customers work.

  4. Flame temperatures are always within one degree of temperature.
    And flame volume is easily adjusted by adjusting the electrical input
    making results very precise and repeatable.

  5. The torch always has a perfect mix of two parts hydrogen to one
    part oxygen. It is very easy to maintain a perfect mix of gases or by
    using different Booster Fluids tailor the flame to the individual
    users needs. Even within the same shop using the same generator.

  6. Shops stay much cleaner, and the work done can be achieved with
    greater accuracy. The gas generated is totally consumed, there are no
    fillers or unexpected additives. There is never a “bad mix” which
    individual regulated gas can produce. No residual gas unburned, or
    not burned cleanly. And multicell technology allows much larger
    volumes of gas and better delivery and adjustment of this gas so it
    is better suited to meet a bench jewelers needs.

So our thought is, customers in NYC may consider a Spirflame[tm]
hydrogen/oxygen generator because it is much safer, or their only
legal alternative in some locations. However, most customers
purchase and use multicell generated hydrogen/oxygen gas, even when
much less expensive piped or bottled gases are available because it
makes their work easier to accomplish, provides better more accurate
results, and is cleaner and easier to use. Their difficult torch
tasks become much easier. To such an extent the majority of our sales
in NYC are from customer referrals, not customers which have to make
a change. Although this year we have had a number of retrofits in the
47th street area too. Happy, well cared for customers, tend to tell
their friends. Our technology simply gives them a significant
advantage at the bench.

Best Regards,
Gary

Gary W. Miller
Sr. Technical Advisor
www.spirig.org


#6

Gary,

Hydrogen/oxy would be my first choice if I was going to use the
set-up myself.

For some one considering Propane I would let them know Acetelyne/oxy
is better & a more popular choice in the professional Jewelry trade
in NYC…

I would also let them know that if you can afford you can go for a
hydrogen/oxy setup.

Regards Kenneth


#7

Dear Mr. Singh:

Hydrogen/oxy would be my first choice if I was going to use the
set-up myself. For some one considering Propane I would let them
know Acetelyne/oxy is better & a more popular choice in the
professional Jewelry trade in NYC.. I would also let them know that
if you can afford you can go for a hydrogen/oxy setup. 

I need to mention natural gas boosters are available (G-TEC) if
natural gas is available and the building owner approves. In time,
bottled gas deliveries will be restricted in certain areas of NYC
without special permits. And oxygen/acetelene is not legal in most
buildings in NYC either without very expensive, specially fitted hard
piped safety systems and minimum auto shutoff solenoids. I could not,
would not, recommend anything which is illegal or dangerous not just
to the worker, but the surrounding occupants…

Of course I have seen a number of bottled or piped gas "incidents"
we have retrofitted after those events have taken place. So I am
sensitive to those issues. The cost for those specially fitted
systems, design approved by the=

NYC fire department in oxygen/acetelene or even tank supplied
hydrogen/oxygen far exceeds the costs of our Spirflames[tm]. Even if
you could also obtain the buildings owner or landlord approval for
oxy/ace. And this system is not easily transferable (re-piped) if
moving. Customers moving their shop from one location to another, in
the city is not unheard of. The plus side of this is, properly
generated gas even over bottled hydrogen/oxygen gas, is much better
for jewelry torch work. If legal, bottled hydrogen/oxygen would be
my second choice, but in practice it is a poor second in direct
comparison. There are also inexpensive water torches, but they are
limited in gas volumes even for one torch, and there are other
issues. It is slowly becoming a hydrogen world. It is also becoming a
cleaner, greener, more independent and safer world. And although I am
steeped in traditional practices and traditions, some changes are
beneficial. Those changes which are improvements, not negatives,
especially in safety, I usually make, even at a higher cost.

Best Regards,
Gary
Gary W. Miller, Sr. Technical Advisor
www.spirig.org