SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Welding. Technician in protective clothing welds a section of an oil and gas pipeline with an oxyacetylene torch. Welding involves heating two pieces of metal so that they melt and fuse together. Oxyacetylene torches use a mixture of oxygen and acetylene to create the heat needed to melt the metal. The acetylene burns in oxygen to form carbon monoxide; this reaction provides most of the heat. The carbon monoxide then reacts with atmospheric oxygen to give the blue flame. The flame from an oxyacetylene torch is "neutral", meaning that it burns without leaving oxides in the cut region. Photographed during work on the Urengol-Ushgorod pipeline in Russia.
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