A responsible welder’s top priority must always be security, not only their own but of those about them as well. Always remember that welding technologies and its related equipment pose a broad variety of dangers, some visible and some invisible. Like all businesses, welding professionals will need to educate themselves about proper and safe work procedures.
A prosperous welder utilises the ideal welding equipment and personal protective gear to ensure safe and suitable welding. While every safety gear contributes to the welder’s well-being, the first among equals is your welding helmet.
Welding helmets are the welder’s first line of defence for his face, eyes and neck. While welding, the welder is exposed to a variety of dangers like extreme heat, UV and infrared light, sparks and flash burns. These dangers may lead to permanent and debilitating injuries to the welder. For instance, long-term exposure to UV rays can damage the cornea and the retinas and result in photokeratitis, also called arc eye, and even permanent blindness.
It is extremely important that welders, whether they’re a hobbyist or a professional, wear welding helmets while on the job. There are many kinds of welding helmets available on the market, and an individual looking for one is bound to encounter countless brands and versions. Shopping for the correct welding helmet could be confusing, especially for somebody who is not acquainted with its own particulars.
Here is basic information which can help prospective buyers pick the best welding helmet for them.
Welding Helmets: A Crash Course
There are two standard forms of welding helmets: Passive welding helmets and auto-darkening welding helmets. Both kinds will help protect the welder from harmful UV ray exposure. The main difference between both is that the manner by which the lenses operate.
Passive welding helmets would be your standard, conventional welding helmets. These are the helmets that the earliest welders utilized, and are still incredibly popular now. The welder must lift the passive helmet up when positioning the torch, gun or electrode. Once positioning is intact and the welder is ready to start, the helmet is rapidly snapped into position.
Passive helmets are the most basic welding helmets. The helmet lends uses dark-tinted glass which wards off UV and infrared beams. Basic doesn’t automatically mean bare bones, and they are affordable and sturdy because they are typically made of moulded plastics.
Novice welders may find it difficult to position the gun or electrode while the welding helmet is set up. The recurrent flipping of the helmet whilst welding may also lead to neck fatigue and even stress injuries.
Short welds like monitor welding are also more difficult to perform due to the manual nature of the welding helmet. At length, the welder may strike the arc until the helmet was flipped into position, leading to accidental exposure.
Auto-darkening welding helmets would be the cooler, techier cousins of passive welding helmets. When the detectors on the helmet detect an arc launch, the helmet lens almost immediately darkens a greater color, based on the type of welding performed or the warmth detected by the detectors. The helmet then reverts to a lighter shade after a time period has elapsed without arc start detected.
Because auto-darkening helmets are automatic, the need to repetitively lift the visor is eliminated. Welders can see through the viewing lens and also execute alterations without taking off the helmet.
Auto-darkening helmets are also more comfortable, and welders can focus on their job without any fatigue, discomfort or injury risk. Short welding can be carried out easily without any encumbrances.
The advantages provided by auto-darkening helmets are mirrored in its high price tag. The technology that makes auto-darkening lenses possible along with the unique materials used make producing these helmets significantly more costly.
The helmets also need to be handled carefully, since they are outfitted with complex electronics. The sensors and lenses also must be replaced. Aside from the high first price, the welder also must regularly purchase new batteries if the older ones run out.