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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Farmington, New Mexico
    Posts
    6,542

    Default Acetylene Shortage?

    I got a letter from Airgas today telling me that their supplier's plant in Kentucky had blown up in March and that I probably wasn't going to be able to refill my acetylene cylinder for a while. Turns out the plant is the only one in the US that manufactures calcium carbide, the raw material used to make acetylene. I don't know what it means for everyone else.
    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ennis, TX USA
    Posts
    5,125

    Default Re: Acetylene Shortage?

    I just happened to be on the phone with my supplier buying a plasma as I was reading this. He said they have no shortage.

    Depends one how much inventory your supplier has. Airgas being a large national company has probably pulled their stores inventory to keep supplying their largest customers. You might check another supplier. I think Home Depot sells it too. If you get in a pinch you can use propane.

    http://www.cousesteel.com/AndysPlace...Acetylene.html
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ennis, TX USA
    Posts
    5,125

    Default Re: Acetylene Shortage?

    I just got a letter from Airgas. It says their supplier recently declared Force Majeure due to an explosion and fire at their main production facility. What is Force Majeure?
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Bloomington, IN, USA
    Posts
    307

    Default Re: Acetylene Shortage?

    Googled:
    Force Majeure literally means "greater force". These clauses excuse a party from liability if some unforseen event beyond the control of that party prevents it from performing its obligations under the contract. Typically, force majeure clauses cover natural disasters or other "Acts of God", war, or the failure of third parties--such as suppliers and subcontractors--to perform their obligations to the contracting party. It is important to remember that force majeure clauses are intended to excuse a party only if the failure to perform could not be avoided by the exercise of due care by that party.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Warner Springs, san diego county, California, USA
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Acetylene Shortage?

    Hi all,

    There seems to be a dissemination of inaccurate information by Airgas. First of all, carbide isn't the only source of acetylene gas, a large percentage is "chemgas" or synthesized from natural gas. Secondly, like any industrial chemical, calcium carbide is traded worldwide. The plant that supplies most of south Texas (including Airgas) makes chemgas unless they can get a good price on carbide. The last shipment of carbide I'm aware they received was from South Africa.

    I recently priced gas from Airgas as I have moved to Southern California and had an account with them in Texas. I was told the same thing, shortage of acetylene. The company down the street hadn't heard about this shortage, had a better price, and didn't insist that they were owed $8.00 in fees on every cylinder, what with regulatory compliance, hazardous material, fuel surcharge etc.

    In short, Airgas is a large corporation whose main objective is to fatten up themselves and their shareholders. Getting your gas from the small guy down the street doesn't guarantee that you will be treated with fairness, however, dealing with Airgas will pretty much insure that you won't.

    Chuck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    ElDorado,Arkansas,USA
    Posts
    284

    Default Re: Acetylene Shortage?

    My supplier has not heard anything on a shortage.

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