Question 13

How does the atomic hydrogen or oxy-hydrogen torch function for cutting and welding purposes? Explain.


Atomic hydrogen atoms are produced by the dissociation of dihydrogen with the help of an electric arc. This releases a huge amount of energy (435.88 kJ mol-1). This energy can be used to generate a temperature of 4000 K, which is ideal for welding and cutting metals. Hence, atomic hydrogen or oxy-hydrogen torches are used for these purposes. For this reason, atomic hydrogen is allowed to recombine on the surface to be welded to generate the desired temperature.

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