# Why is ethyne and not ethene used for welding?

Ethyne (Acetylene) is used with $\ce{O2}$ for welding. My question is that why is ethene not used? What properties of ethyne make it suitable for welding?

An acetylene molecule is composed of two carbon atoms and two hydrogen atoms. The two carbon atoms are held together by what is known as a triple carbon bond. This bond is useful in that it stores substantial energy that can be released as heat during combustion.The triple bond which makes the oxy-acetylene flame the hottest of all gas flames is also responsible for two rather exceptional properties of acetylene gas.

The first is: If free gaseous acetylene is subjected to severe shock, or a source of ignition, some of the triple bonds may break, releasing enough energy to cause all the other molecules in the enclosed volume to decompose into carbon and hydrogen with explosive force. The force of such an explosion is not so great as that released by the explosion of most mixtures of acetylene and oxygen, or acetylene and air, but it is substantial, and can be withstood only by extra-heavy-wall steel tubing.

The other property of acetylene is that the flammability range of mixtures of air and acetylene is broader than that of any other fuel gas/air mixture. Acetylene/air mixtures can be ignited when they contain anywhere from 2.5 percent acetylene to 80 percent acetylene. Mixtures of methane (the principal component of natural gas) and air are flammable when they contain as little as 5 percent methane and not more than 15 percent methane.

To be suitable for welding operations, a fuel gas, when burned with oxygen, must have the following:

• High flame temperature.
• High rate of flame propagation.