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MAPP gas

Genuine MAPP gas can be used in combination with oxygen for heating, soldering, brazing and even welding because of its high flame temperature of 2925 °C (5300 °F) in oxygen. Although acetylene has a higher flame temperature (3160 °C, 5720 °F), MAPP has the advantage that it requires neither dilution nor special container fillers during transport, allowing a greater volume of fuel gas to be transported at the same given weight, and it is much safer in use.
A MAPP/oxygen flame is not entirely appropriate for welding steel, due to the high concentration of hydrogen in the flame – higher than acetylene, but lower than any of the other petroleum fuel gases. The hydrogen infuses into the molten steel and renders the welds brittle. For small-scale welding with MAPP this is not a serious problem, as the hydrogen escapes readily, and MAPP/oxygen can in practice be used for welding small steel parts.

MAPP/oxygen was advantageously used in underwater cutting, which requires high gas pressures (under such pressures acetylene can decompose explosively, making it dangerous to use). However, underwater oxy/fuel gas cutting of any kind has been largely replaced by exothermic cutting because it cuts more quickly and safely.

MAPP gas is also used in combustion with air for brazing and soldering, where it has a slight advantage over competing propane fuel because of its higher combustion temperature of 2,020 °C (3,670 °F) in air.

The biggest disadvantage of MAPP gas is cost; it is typically one-and-a-half times as expensive as propane at the refinery, and up to four times as expensive to the consumer. It is no longer used much in any large-scale industry – for larger scale users acetylene/oxygen is more economic than MAPP/oxygen when high flame temperatures are needed, and propane/air is more economic when big overall heating is needed.

However, for the small-scale user a MAPP/oxygen flame is still highly desirable, having higher flame temperatures and energy densities than any flame other than acetylene/oxygen, but without the dangers and inconveniences of acetylene/oxygen. Jewellers, glassbead makers, and many others find it very useful. Plumbers, refrigeration and HVAC engineers and other tradesmen also value the high heat capacity of the MAPP/air flame; MAPP was until recently widely used, supplied in small to medium size containers.
Blowtorches are used to brown and sear food cooked by low-temperature sous-vide techniques.


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