SOON after water was turned on in a great pipe line in Colorado, trouble began with the joints. There were several hundred of them, all told, twenty-seven being in tunnels through the rock. In some cases, the sand nearby was caught up by the water jets, hydraulic sand blasts were created, and threatened with their cutting power the very integrity of the pipe and rivets. The line was shut, and the thoughts of the management wandered from a successfully repaired pipe line to the scrap pile. No ordinary and effective means of stopping the leaks was known; but eventually the company arranged to have the leaks dealt with by the oxy-acetylene “welding” process.

A mere handful of men took charge. The work was done in the field in a Colorado winter, the oxygen and the acetylene being made on the spot. When the “welding” was completed, there was a long strip four thousand feet in length and joined to it, like so many barrel hoops, a couple of hundred girth straps. The whole was now one single piece of steel without crack or crevice.

  1. Toronto says: March 28, 20137:47 am

    I know how they made acetylene in the field, but what did they use for the oxygen?

  2. Hirudinea says: March 28, 20139:30 am

    Probably one of the chemical oxygen generators mentioned here……

  3. JMyint says: March 28, 20139:37 am

    Sodium Chlorate for the Oxygen, Carbide for the Acetylene.

  4. Toronto says: March 28, 201310:28 am

    Doh! I should have remembered the “Potassium candles” we had in our rebreathers in the navy.

    Thanks, folk.

  5. Rick Auricchio says: March 28, 20134:21 pm

    Interesting about the sandblasting effect of the leak.

    On Sunday, March 24 in Atascadero, CA, a 7-inch water main began leaking, blasting water and sand onto a 2-inch natural gas line. The sandblasting effect cut into the gas line, flooding it.

    About 750 residential and commercial customers were without natural gas service and most are not yet operational. The water filled gas lines, gas meters, and even some gas pipes within households. The utility company is busy vacuuming water from all of these lines and evaluating appliances for damage.

Submit comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.