ARTCO carries four different types of torches, each best suited for a particular function:
- Ambient Air/Fuel
- These torches use the oxygen in the air around them. No additional air or oxygen is required. These torches can often put out a great deal of heat, but at lower temperatures than possible with compressed air or oxygen. These are best suited when you don't need the highest temperatures, and don't want (or can't have) the additional expense and clutter of compressed air or oxygen. Examples include the 'Exact' torches and the Hot Head torch.
- Compressed Air/Fuel
- These torches use compressed air to increase the amount of oxygen available during combustion, and thus increase the temperature. These torches are useful where compressed oxygen is either too expensive, or not available. Examples include the Japanese torches.
- Oxy/Fuel, pre-mix
- Oxy/Fuel torches are going to give you the highest possible temperatures. Where the fuel and oxygen are mixed influences the flame size, shape, and atmosphere. In a pre-mix torch, the fuel and oxygen are mixed together inside the torch, before the fuel/oxygen mixture is burned. Some applications benefit from a pre-mix flame, such as torch-working borosilicate, as well as welding, soldering, etc.. Examples include the National 3A-B torch.
- Oxy/Fuel, surface-mix
- In a surface-mix torch, the fuel and oxygen mix outside of the torch, right at the torch face, where the mixture is being burned. This is the best flame type for torch-working soft glass, where the intense flame from a pre-mix torch would burn the glass. Some examples include the torches from Carlisle, GTT, N.M. Knight, and Nortel.
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