1. #1
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    Question Exothermic Torches

    Who carries exothermic torches on their apparatus?

    Have you ever used it on guardrails?

    What other Extrication experiences have you had with it?

    Has it been worth the cost for the tool?

    Does any one else carry a plasma cutting torch? Or Oxy-acetylene's?

    I know there are very portable torches out there

    (like this one: http://www.brocoinc.com/military/pctac.html )

    Do you have to have 220volt for your power source like some of the torches?

    Please comment... refer... CO$T$ incurred?

    Also please visit the thread "guardrail passenger?" and see the comments there regarding cutting guardrails.
    "Making Sense with Common Sense"
    Motor Vehicle Rescue Consultants
    ( MVRC@comcast.net) Jordan Sr.

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    We have been carring a Slice Pak for over 10 years, don't remember the cost, but compared to the problems with Oxy Acet torches and the related dangers of the Acetylene, I highly reccomend the Slice Pak.

    We've used it several times on gaurd rails and it works great. Just make sure you have a line on standby. Wev'e also used on it in commercial/ industrial ops and it has always worked flawlessly.

    The plasma cutters are expensive and I don't think an efficient tool for the fire service.
    These views/ opinions are my own and not those of my employer/ department.

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    Thumbs up Ever heard of an oxy-gasoline torch?

    I've used both exothermic and oxy-acet. torches previously. Both have advantages and disadvantages. A new tool that seems to fill the bill is the Petrogen oxy-gasoline torch. It uses regular gasoline as the fuel + oxygen. MUCH safer than oxy-acet. and MUCH cheaper than exothermic. Cuts very well, and fuel is always available. Search for Petrogen on the net, and check it for yourself.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Ever heard of an oxy-gasoline torch?

    Interesting!



    http://www.petrogen.com/welcome.html

    So after reading all the propaganda, what are the drawbacks to this unit?

    I have to be honest here. My knowledge of cutting torches (not flashlight torches, just in case our friends from "Down Under" think we're using lightsabers or something...) is quite limited. We currently do not carry one, though we do have several people in our department who have extensive experience with metal working (and if they were around, I'd ask them the following question...

    For the total package deal: equipment, fuel, ease of use, training... everything... which would you recommend and why? Is it necessary to have more than one type, or is there one that can do it all?
    Last edited by Resq14; 10-06-2002 at 01:27 PM.

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    Thumbs up Petrogen!

    Frankly considering all aspects, I'd recommend the Petrogren. Safety is improved, about the same training as others, less cost to use, more reliable.

    Torches are used very little I know, however when needed they're valuable.

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    Tell me more about the "dangers"of an Oxy-Acet. torch as opposed to an Oxy -propane or Oxy-Gasoline torch.I'm kinda old fashioned and I like my Oxy-acet.Set with the Smith burner head.Cut 1/8 to 1' with only one tip change.This petro torch is merely a modern version of the ancient plumbers blowtorch or gas lantern,same principle.So why do you feel it superior to Acetylene? I'm betting for true burning it isn't,because if it were Fab shops and shipbuilders would be using it and to date,at least in my area they still use Acetylene.I have a idea there is a reason and I don't think it's cost.T.C.

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    Arrow

    101,
    I suggest that you look into information about the Petrogen. I think you will understand the differences at that point. Otherwise, contact the mfg. if you're interested.

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    Not what I'm looking for Billy.I can read pretty near as well as the next guy.I'm looking for YOUR explaination as to why YOU feel this tool is superior.And NO, you are not to duck this issue.'fess up now,PLEASE!For what it's worth,I have no interest personally in the Petrogen,I have a perfectly good cutting set that I'm intimately familiar with.Hard to teach an old burner new tricks.But I would welcome your thinking on the issue. T.C.

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    We carry an Oxy-Acetylene torch and an Exothermic torch. I have tested the Petrogen torch. It was okay, but didn’t have that much advantage over the cutting torch we already have (except that it runs on gasoline) and was expensive, so we opted not to get it. It didn’t compare to the exothermic.

    The Exothermic torch is amazing! Our Acetylene torch is now just a back-up.

    Here are the pro’s and cons of the systems as I see them.

    Exothermic Pro’s:
    >Cuts anything on this planet, fast! (10,000 degrees! Cuts 3/8” plate steel at 1”/second. Even cuts concrete!)
    >Torch goes out when you drop it.
    >Works anywhere—even under water.
    >No preheating.
    >Cut occurs at the end of the rod, so you can reach through or around objects and cut.
    >Easy to use. 10 minutes training and you’re good to go.
    >Just needs O2 and rods to work.
    >Very small. Doesn’t take up much space.

    Cons:
    >Sparks.
    >Run out of rods and you’re done.


    Oxy-Acetylene Pro’s:
    >Can get more gas locally from many sources.
    >Lasts a long time.

    Cons:
    >Very slow (5,600 degrees)
    >Won’t cut most materials (must be ferrous).
    >Torch stays lit when dropped.
    >Needs different tips and barrels, which clog.
    >Can’t use underwater (unless special diver’s torch and special training).
    >Must get torch head to object to be cut.
    >Sparks.
    >Need a fair amount of training to operate.

    We use the Magma torch from www.magnumusa.com. Their MAG4000 Tote System is $675 delivered and comes with everything you need except O2 (it even comes with 50 rods, which will do a LOT of cutting). Kit comes with a 12vdc igniter. If you get it, make sure to purchase some “Field Igniters”.

    Hope this helps.

    Tim
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    www.rescue42.com

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    Rescue 42,

    Thanks for the GOOD info. I will email you for a few more specific questions.

    JW
    "Making Sense with Common Sense"
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    ( MVRC@comcast.net) Jordan Sr.

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    I don't think a plasma arc would do well in rescue service. It requires a fair bit of electricity, a lot of compressed air, is bulky, needs a conductive "target" material, and is very limited to depth of cut (about 1/2 an inch thick if I recall).

    On the pro side, it will cut most metals a gas-axe won't (stainless).

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    Default To the Top!

    Bump

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    Default Re: To the Top!

    Originally posted by Resq14
    Bump
    Thanks a million ResQ141
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

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    Default Protective equipment?

    What types of special protective equipment are needed (if any) for using an exothermic torch? Are tinted googles required/recommended when using it?

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    Slice Pak as the others have pointed out will cut just about anything, but they are sloppy. We cut a pick up truck engine block in half in the practice area one day, from manifold to manifold with ease. Pro of the exotherms is that not much to use them, the oxy-ecet. torches take practice. however for a more accurate cut the oxy or the plasma cutter is best. you can autograph with the plasma cutter if you so desired lol. Used the plasma cutter at a collapse rescue school, cut a rail road rail then an I-beam, fast precision cutting with it. Slice pak was faster on the rail road rail but more slop.
    con of the rod-oxygen "slice-pak styles" the rod burns up so fast.
    Hope it helps yah.

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