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Thermic Lance - User Guide

Operating Procedures

The lance is fitted into a valve operated lance holder. The oxygen regulator is set at approximately 80-100 psi depending on the conditions. The lance is ignited by heating the first inch (25mm) to oxidation temperature (red heat) and then opening the oxygen valve on the lance holder. The high-pressure flow of oxygen through the lance to the red-hot end will cause the lance end to burn fiercely. The burning end of the lance is then applied firmly to the material to produce the cut. Bore holes inclined upwards at 5-10 degrees will assist the flow of slag and aid the operation.

Full training for Thermic Lance cutting and boring is available at www.meg.co.uk

Equipment required

  1. Supply of Thermic Lances.
  2. Lance holder.
  3. Oxygen hose and connections (including flash-back arrestors).
  4. Supply of oxygen - usually 3 or more 240-300 ft (2500-3000 psi) cylinders.
  5. High pressure oxygen regulator.

N.B. Heating the lance end with an oxy-flame torch usually attains the initial ignition temperature. This additional piece of equipment could be required.

Operating Data

Lance Type
(Nominal Bore)
Oxygen Pressure
(lb./sq.in)
Oxygen Consumption
(cu.ft. /hr)
10mm (3/8")
80
860
10mm (3/8")
90
980
10mm (3/8")
100
1100
 
 
 
20mm (3/4")
80
1300
20mm (3/4")
90
1600
20mm (3/4")
100
1700

User Guide

Thermic Lancing should be carried out in the open air, although good ventilation could allow work inside. Always ensure good ventilation and/or wear an approved respirator. Remove all flammable materials for a distance of at least ten metres from the place of work. Suitable fire precautions should be taken (i.e. fire fighting equipment made available) and protecting gas cylinders from sparks. The operator and other working personnel must work upwind of the lancing operation. Other personnel working downwind of the lancing operation must be at least 10 metres away. Sufficient sand should be made available to contain the molten material from the lancing operation.

Oxygen has no smell or taste and is difficult to detect. Normal oxygen content of air is 21%; if it becomes enriched by leaking oxygen to 30% there is an acute increase in the speed at which material will burn. Fires in oxygen enriched atmospheres are VERY difficult to extinguish and can spread rapidly across combustible materials from a single source such as a spark from a cigarette. In the presence of oil or grease, it can cause rapid oxidation that produces so much heat, that ignition can occur. Therefore, oil and grease on overalls or gas equipment can cause severe burns.

1. Turn off oxygen supply when not required
2. Prevent and test for any oxygen leakage
3. Test equipment daily for oxygen leaks, any leaks should be immediately rectified.

Minimum Requirements:

  1. Welding helmet/goggles for eye protection.
  2. Flame retardant safety clothing (i.e. leather apron, caps etc.)
  3. Respiratory equipment (i.e. type 3 disposable respirators)
  4. Ear protection
  5. Safety footwear
  6. Hard hat depending on work area
  7. Leak detection solution
  8. Flash back arrestors

It is the users' duty under the Management of Health and Safety at work regulations to conduct a risk assessment, prior to commencing thermic lancing operations.

There is a statutory requirement covering this type of operation embodied in Section 30 of the Factories Act 1961. There are also general requirements under Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, to provide both a safe place of work and safe working systems. To ensure a safe system of working it may be necessary in some circumstances to use a Permit to Work procedure.

Clients should consider the products of combustion and refer to the COSHH Regulations 1999 and the current HSE Guideline Notes EH40 (Occupational Exposure Limits), EH54 (Assessment of exposure of fumes from welding and allied processes) and EH55 (the method of exposure to fumes from welding, brazing and similar processes).

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Thermic Lance in Use

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Thermic Lance in Use

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Thermic Lance in Use

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Thermic Lance

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Thermic Lance

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Thermic Lance Holder

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