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Guide to Acetylene Tank Sizes

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Unlike other compressed cylinders, acetylene tanks contain acetone and a porous filler mass. These two peculiar features of acetylene cylinders help reduce the likelihood of decomposition. If you are familiar with acetylene, you already know that it is potentially explosive.

Acetylene stored in acetylene cylinders is mostly dissolved. Therefore, they are stored at lower pressure. The cylinders must be stored upright with valve caps on.

Smaller cylinders may not have protective caps, so one must be extra careful when putting them away.

Acetylene tanks are maroon-colored, and they come with a copper-alloy valve for regulating gas flow.

The summary above typifies the shared features of acetylene tanks. However, you will find that they are not all the same; acetylene cylinders come in different sizes.

In this article, we compiled a guide to acetylene tank sizes.

What Sizes Do Acetylene Tanks Come In?

Acetylene tanks come in up to 10 sizes. Going from the shortest to the tallest, they include the following:

  • MC
  • B
  • WQ
  • 3
  • WC
  • WS/WSL
  • 4
  • WK
  • WTL
  • 5

From the list above, the shortest is the MC acetylene tank. MC acetylene tanks are around 13.2 inches tall. Their diameter spans about 3.9 inches, and on average, they weigh 7 pounds.

The maximum capacity an MC acetylene tank should contain is pegged at 10 cubic feet.

The Size 5 acetylene tank is the tallest from the list we gave above. Size 5 acetylene cylinders are as tall as 51 inches. They measure 12 inches in diameter, and their average weight is 189 pounds.

Size 5 acetylene tanks can take as much as 350 cubic feet of gas.

As we said already, the Size 5 acetylene tank is the tallest from the list we gave. However, it is neither the widest nor the option with the highest capacity.

Of all the tank sizes we stated, the WK acetylene tank is the widest. It measures 12.4 inches in diameter – 0.4 inches wider than the Size 5 acetylene tank.

The WK acetylene tank is also the heaviest. While the Size 5 acetylene cylinder weighs 189 pounds, the WK tank weighs 220 pounds on average.

Interestingly, neither the WK cylinder nor the Size 5 cylinder has the highest capacity. The WTL cylinder has the highest maximum gas capacity amongst all the acetylene tank sizes we mentioned above.

It is estimated to contain as much as 390 cubic feet of gas – more than Size 5 (350 cubic feet) and WK (304 cubic feet).

Red and green tanks waiting to be used outside the factory.

How Big Is a Size 3 Acetylene Tank?

A Size 3 acetylene tank is one of the smaller-sized acetylene tanks. It is 30 inches tall, has a diameter of 7 inches, and weighs an average of 41 pounds. The Size 3 acetylene tank has a maximum gas capacity of 75 cubic feet.

Of the 10 acetylene tank sizes, only 3 tanks are smaller than the Size 3 tank: MC, B, and WQ. The rest have larger dimensions.

How Much Does an Acetylene Tank Cost?

The price of an acetylene tank varies depending on factors like size and manufacturer. While you might be able to get an MC acetylene tank for around $50, the larger-sized tanks like the Size 5 tank, the WTL, and the WK can cost as much as $300.

How Big Is an Acetylene B Tank?

Acetylene B tanks are the second-smallest acetylene tank size. They are about 19.5 inches tall, with a diameter of 6.1 inches and an average weight of 22 pounds.

An Acetylene B tank can take as much as 40 cubic feet of gas. Plus, the only tank size smaller than a B tank is the Acetylene MC tank.

Acetylene-Tank-2

Are Acetylene Tank Sizes the Same for Airgas, Praxair?

The tank sizes for Airgas and Praxair are not precisely the same. However, most of their size specifications are pretty close.

For one, the Size 4 Acetylene tank from Airgas is 39.1 inches tall. On the other hand, the Size 4 from Praxair is 39 inches tall. Then, while the average weight of the Praxair Size 4 is 78 pounds, that of Airgas is 71.9 pounds.

Still, on Size 4s, the Size 4 acetylene tanks from Airgas and Praxair have the same diameter – 8 inches.

All in all, the acetylene tank sizes from Airgas and Praxair are not precisely the same. But the differences are slight.

In fact, there may even be slight variations in the sizes of acetylene tanks from the same company.

In other words, the dimensions of two Size 4 tanks from Airgas may differ slightly, especially if they are made in different locations. The same possibility applies to tanks from Praxair.

The US vs. Canada?

Acetylene tank sizes in the US are named differently from those in Canada. However, some of their dimensions are approximately the same or pretty close.

For one, a Size 2 acetylene tank in Canada is like a US Acetylene MC tank. While the MC tank is around 13.2 inches tall, the Size 2 tank is 13.4 inches tall. The diameter of the MC tank is roughly 3.9 inches, while that of the Size 2 tank is about 3.8 inches.

Also, the 8TULP tank in Canada is homologous to a US Acetylene B tank. But while the 8TULP tank is 19.8 inches tall, the Acetylene B tank is 19.5 inches tall. The diameter of an Acetylene B tank is around 6.1 inches, while that of the 8TULP tank is 6 inches.

Conclusion

In the US, acetylene tanks are available in up to 10 different sizes. Each of these sizes has its own height, weight, maximum gas capacity, and diameter.

While the dimensions of each acetylene tank size conform to specific ranges, you may find slight variations between manufacturers and US and Canadian tanks.

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