Welding Gear - Definitive GuideWhether we’re going on a wedding or on a business trip, you’re all thinking what to wear. For many social gatherings, it means how good you want to look. But, if you're involved in risky jobs, the first consideration should and must be safety. For example, factory workers may be needed to wear safety boots and goggles. In construction, workers may be called to wear a hard hat. Therefore, welders should take extra attention to protecting themselves from potential hazards like air contamination, compressed gases, electric shock, arc radiation, cleaning processes, and fire or explosion. Welding injuries, from minor welding skin burns to 3rd-degree severe burns, can be painful and in extreme cases, cause many deformations and lead to career-ending disabilities. Wearing the PPE (proper personal protective equipment) is best way welders can protect themselves against these dangerous and save their livelihood. In order to avoid all these risky situations and to achieve the best welding results without stress, we make a list of 13 welding safety gear essentials for any starter welding kit, job, or project.
- fixed shade
- and auto-darkening.
When you’re picking a fixed shade helmet, be sure choose the proper shade for the weldment you’re going to perform. It’s because they’ll only offer the same level of protection despite the light level emitted from the arc. There are various grades of fixed shade helmet which are best matched to different amperage. Most helmets are ranging from #9 to #13 grade. If you’re only working one type of welding on material with the same parameters, then fixed shade is a great choice, but if you're going to vary welding parameters, then an auto-darkening helmet is imperative. Technology has such impact on these helmets, they used to have optical sensors which detected light from the weld and changed accordingly, but now they have 2-4 magnetic sensors which detect a magnetic field generated by the arc. It signifies that auto-darkening helmets can modify the shade of the lens much faster and more reliably.
Auto-darkening lenses are electronic and provide the welder to see the work area clearly before the welding operation starts. When the application starts, the lens automatically darkens itself, guarding the welder’s eyesight. These lenses are available in single shades, even though they also come in adjustable shades, which is excellent for welders who practice various types of welding.
Specific welding methods produce a brighter arc than others, so these need a higher shade number. Other kinds of welding require a lower shade number so that it’s not too dark to see the weld pool. As a general guideline, GMAW/MIG and GTAW/TIG should be minimum 8-10, SMAW/Stick welding should be 8-12 depending on the amperage, and carbon arc welding should be minimum 14. Safety glasses should thoroughly cover your eyes at the side with either wraparound lenses or side shields and should be complied ANSI Z87 standards. You may also wear them instead of a welding helmet if you need to get into tight areas. Still, it doesn’t mean that you’ll protect the rest of your face. Tinted safety glasses or goggles can be worn instead of welding helmets only for light gas welding and cutting applications, but they should be utilized with face shields for impact protection. All arc welding and hotter forms of gas need a welding helmet or hood to protect versus facial burns and impact.
You can also check the respirator’s NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health) rating to ensure it meets the requirements.
Standard-duty MIG welding gloves are typically made of leather and provide more dexterity and less insulation than heavy-duty gloves. Heavier MIG gloves are lined, and light to medium duty solutions are unlined. Search for Lincoln or Miller welding gloves if MIG welding is your primary task.
It’s crucial to pick a welding apron that provides the right combination of protection, strength, and comfort. Don’t forget that high heat from welding can make colors bleed from certain aprons onto clothes. Bear this in mind when choosing and buying a new apron.
Wool is also a safe clothing material for welding work. Some shirts are specially engineered to be flame resistant, making them a much more reliable solution for welding tasks.