The neutral flame (Fig. 4-1) is produced when the ratio of oxygen to acetylene, in the mixture leaving the torch, is almost exactly one-to-one. It’s termed ”neutral” because it will usually have no chemical effect on the metal being welded. It will not oxidize the weld metal; it will not cause an increase in the carbon content of the weld metal.
The excess acetylene flame (Fig. 4-2), as its name implies, is created when the proportion of acetylene in the mixture is higher than that required to produce the neutral flame. Used on steel, it will cause an increase in the carbon content of the weld metal.
The oxidizing flame (Fig. 4-3) results from burning a mixture which contains more oxygen than required for a neutral flame. It will oxidize or ”burn” some of the metal being welded.