BCGA issue safety alert for acetylene regulator hazards

The British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) has issued a revision to Safety Alert 01 – The hazards of using incompatible regulatory with acetylene.

Acetylene is sensitive to a range of materials including copper, silver, zinc, and mercury. In damp conditions, copper reacts with acetylene to form copper acetylide, an impact explosive.

Standards set by the BCGA dictate that any contact between acetylene and copper, brass (contains copper), and any other potential reactionary material, is limited.

Another reason for using an appropriate regulator is that acetylene can decompose in certain conditions, or by exposure to intense heat. An acetylene regulator is stronger than most other regulators and is designed to be able to withstand an acetylene decomposition.

In addition to general safety requirements, The Acetylene Safety Regulations 2014 deem it a legal requirement to fit components, including regulators, which are specifically designed and constructed for use with compressed acetylene.

When selecting and fitting regulators, the regulator should be certified to a recognized standard for the gas service, such as BS EN ISO 2503 or BS EN ISO 7291. LPG regulators should meet BC EN 16129.

Guidance on date marking is available in BCGA TIS 18.