Air Reduction Company, Incorporated.
ALTHOUGH analytical chemistry long ago discovered the chemical composition of atmospheric air, and experimental chemistry has long been able to separate these component ingredients into their several parts, this operation was a laboratory matter only, and has only recently reached the realm of the practical. Separation of oxygen for medical use was one of the first of these processes to be conducted on a commercial scale, but the applications of the component gases to industrial use came later, and have rapidly increased, and applications of the constituents of the air to the purposes of industry have become very important.
The most notable enterprise in connection with this development is that of the Air Reduction Company, Incorporated, of 120 Broadway, New York. The company was incorporated November 26, 19x5, and since organization Walter W. Birge has been president and M. W. Randall secretary of the company. The other principal officers are A. S. Blagden, vice-president, and C. E. Adams, treasurer. The company was organized to produce, manufacture, use, buy, and sell oxygen, nitrogen, and other constituents of the air, liquid air, and all articles, apparatus, etc., used in connection therewith.
The principal products of the company are compressed oxygen and nitrogen, acetylene containers, apparatus for producing gases, and the use of the oxy-acetylene process of welding and cutting metals. This process was first applied commercially in 1903, and, because of its certainty, the ease with which the flame generated and used for welding and cutting can be controlled by the operator, and the wide range of its applicability, has greatly increased in popularity and use in iron works, shipyards, and in other plants and opera-tions where it is necessary or desirable to weld and cut metals. It excels not only in ease but in economy of use, and has demonstrated its superiority in both respects over any other method of welding or cutting methods.
The process is based on the fact that the union of oxygen with acetylene in certain proportions results in an intense heat which, properly directed and applied to a metal, causes it to melt. This property may be used to cause two pieces of metal to unite as one, or it may be intensified so as to deliver the heat of the torch in narrowed lines, by means of which the flame may be made so intense that the metal may be separated into two parts without the stroke of a hammer. An idea of the speed and ease with which steel plates can be cut by this process may be formed from the following figures:
Plates inch thick. . . .30 inches per minute
Plates 1 inch thick 20 inches per minute
Plates 1 inches thick.. 16 inches per minute Plates 2 inches thick. … 12 inches per minute As compared with hand methods it may be cited, for example, that cutting a side-sheet and door sheet of a boiler by the old method required eighteen hours for a boilermaker and helper, costing $12.15; the same work with the cutting torch was done by one man at a cost of 83 cents.
The company has plants located in all sections of the United States, and new plants are being erected to meet the present-day demands for the company's products, the volume of which has increased at a very rapid rate. The large increase of steel shipbuilding is one of many causes for the large increase in the use of the acetylene torch.
Subsidiary companies have been organized throughout the United States for handling the sale and distribution of the company's products in the various sections.
Besides producing and placing in appropriate containers oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, acetylene and calcium carbide, the company are manufacturers and dealers in the celebrated Airco-Vul- can Apparatus for welding and cutting metals by the oxy-acetylene process.
Throughout the metal-working industries new opportunities for the economical application of the oxy-acetylene process are daily being discovered. At the same time, experience is showing the great importance of correctly designed and substantially built apparatus for that process, which can be supplied at a reasonable cost. With the view of meeting this demand the Air Reduction Company is making and handling the Airco- Vulcan Oxy-Acetylene Apparatus. This line of apparatus combines the most correct and completely rested principles of design; high quality of construction, and moderate first cost, offering every user efficient, lasting service at low operating expense. It is not only 100 per cent efficient. But has been, by exhaustive tests and exper- men . Made capable of handling any welding :r cutting operation within the possibilities of the xy-acetylene process. The apparatus is sold un- uer a guarantee by the company that it is free rrorn all defects of material and workmanship, chat it will efficiently and satisfactorily perform :ae work for which it is designed, provided that :s used in accordance with the instructions given in the company's standard instruction book; and that if, within one year from the date of sale, the apparatus proves unsatisfactory, the company will either repair the apparatus and put it in first- class working condition or replace it with new apparatus without additional cost.
Special excellence has been attained by the company in the production of the torch, or, as it is sometimes called, the blowpipe, which is the most important part of the welder's equipment. The Airco-Vulcan torch is the result of careful study, test, and development by skilled specialists. It is made strong to resist ordinary rough usage, is inexpensive to keep in proper working condition, and is so accurately proportioned and adjusted that the gases are thoroughly mixed and blended in correct proportions and ejected at the proper velocity. Thus, both gases unite in one steady flowing mass of a correct mixture, and will produce the hottest flame without injuring the metal. This combination is attained by so constructing the head of the Airco-Yulcan torch that there is an arrangement of parts that thoroughly intermingle the atoms of each gas, avoiding any pos-sibility of stream lines of gas escaping or entering the weld. This splendid mixture is expelled in a smooth, even-flowing stream, that will not "flash-back" nor blow the melted metal from the weld. These Airco-Yulcan torches are dependable tools, built for heavy, hard work of the most exacting nature, and have a welding range that adapts them for use on sheet metal 1/32 of an inch thick or the heaviest locomotive frames, drive wheels, or crankshafts. They are made in various lengths and shapes to suit the peculiar demands of the trade, and every requirement of users is promptly met.
Another prominent feature of the company's production is the Airco-Vulcan Cutting Torch, using a hollow conical heating flame which, in practice, entirely surrounds the oxygen jet, prevents any air reaching it, and regardless of the direction in which the cut is being made, a portion of the heating flame is always in advance to warm up the metal preparatory to cutting. It is admirably adapted to intricate cutting in inaccessible places, and when fitted with extra long tips rivet heads may be cut off a steam boiler without scarring the boiler sheet. All Airco-Vulcan Cutting Torches require only two hose lines, one for acetylene and one for oxygen. This feature is of great value on long-cutting jobs, since it relieves the operator of the weight of the extra length of hose, which is often required with other makes of torches.
The company also manufactures the Airco-Vul- can Combination Welding and Cutting Torch, which enables the user to accomplish either cutting or v/elding work by the simple interchange of attachment and tips. It is particularly efficient as a cutting torch. They may be used for cutting steel channels into lengths or openings in boiler plates, and for cutting up old boilers, or wrecked steel structures into commercial scrap. Airco-Vulcan Automatic Regulators for oxygen and acetylene respectively—delivering gas at an unvarying pressure and maintaining perfect adjustment of the flame during the operation of the torch; Airco-Vulcan Positive Feed Acetylene Generators complete welding and cuttings plants with their accessories, etc. The company can also furnish fluxes and filling materials of proper chemical composition adapted to use with the metals to be welded or cut. The business has been organized for perfect service.
The directors of the company who actively take part in its affairs are F. B. Adams, F. W. Allen, W. W. Birge, Guy Cary, H. R. Hoyt, W. T. P. Hollingsworth, Robert C. Pruyn, S. G. Pryor, M. W. Randall, Percy A. Rockefeller, and L. F. Loree.