Welding works are classified as particularly hazardous to health. Vision falls into the zone of increased risk of getting an industrial injury. Welding helmets are used to protect him.
They serve as a barrier to optical radiation, molten metal particles and thermal effects.
How does a welding mask work?
During welding, there are several types of hazards to human health:
- Hot metal particles.
- Thermal radiation.
- optical radiation.
- Harmful gases.
Therefore, the welder’s mask is made of a material that protects against the effects of hot metal and the thermal factor.
The light filter protects from optical radiation (ultraviolet and infrared rays). The design provides for the use of a respirator with protection against welding gases.
Additional features include:
- automatic adjustment of glass dimming, sensitivity;
- turning off the filter;
- opening delays;
- comfort of fixing the headband;
- the ability to wear corrective glasses;
- ventilation system;
- protection against mechanical damage.
The material used as a filter screen in masks, visors, goggles depends on the manufacturer and model.
The simplest ones weaken the effect of optical radiation, while newer technologies involve automatic dimming, which is triggered at the moment welding begins.
Tinted glasses in shields and glasses are still found. They are produced by adding metals and are unable to completely protect against UV and IR radiation. In such personal protective equipment (PPE), welding can be done for a short time.
Another minus of glasses is the moment when welding starts. Such a light filter is dark from the very beginning and the seam is not visible through it. Therefore, in order to “aim”, the welder raises his goggles, shield and begins work. At this moment, “bunnies” are caught, which lead to retinal edema or cataracts. Given this minus, the Chameleon filter has been developed.
“Chameleons” are presented as a complex of devices:
- Protective film and glass. Protection against mechanical impact of molten metal particles.
- liquid crystals. They are located between the polarizing films.
- polarizing films.
- Infrared and ultraviolet filter. Only visible rays pass through, protecting against harmful effects even when turned off.
- Sensors (2-4 pcs.). Record the appearance of an electric arc.
- Power supply (voltage source for polarizing films). Lithium or solar batteries, or a combination.
- Electronic block with control system.
The principle of operation of the welding helmet “Chamelion”: sensors detect the appearance of an electric arc, transmit a signal to the electronic unit, which creates a voltage on the polarizing films, and they act on the crystals. Lined up in a certain sequence, liquid crystals create the dimming required for work.
Such masks are able to protect even in the off state from optical radiation, thanks to filters.
If the “Chameleon” mask is of high quality, then the light filter is minimally obscured before starting work, which makes it possible to see the welding site and the tool itself. And at the moment of the appearance of the electric arc, automatic dimming occurs.
Types of welding helmets
Glasses are considered one of the simple PPE of the welder’s organs of vision.
Three models are distinguished by design.
open. Adjacent goggles with side protection, which can be both part of the design and a separate element. The light filter is made of mineral glass, polycarbonate. Used for auxiliary work.
Closed. Close-fitting goggles held in position with a headband. They encircle the supraorbital in such a way that light and radiation penetrate only through the filter and coverslip.
According to technical requirements, closed glasses have ventilation and an anti-fog function.
There are models with a folding light filter, which allows you to evaluate the quality of the seam.
Chameleons. They can be attributed to an improved model of closed glasses. In this case, LCD screens are used. They can be automated or manual.
According to general requirements, glasses must perform the following functions and have the following characteristics:
- Protection against mechanical impact (industrial dust, hot metal particles, sparks from electrodes).
- Strong fixation on the head with a headband, so its width must be at least 100 mm.
- Light filters corresponding to the type of welding. It is impossible to apply the PPE of a gas welder to an electric welder. These works differ in the intensity of exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
- Wide view.
- Fit snugly to the face, without undue pressure.
- Optimal optical class. Poor quality glasses threaten the loss of visual acuity.
- Ventilation to prevent fogging of filters.
- The material from which the product is made should not cause itching, irritation, or allergies.
- A light weight. Filter thickness up to 3 mm.
- Availability for glass replacement, batteries.
Welder glasses are used for low-intensity and auxiliary work.
These models do not cover the face from the effects of thermal and mechanical effects. For additional protection, use creams with UV protection.
Shields and masks
Shields (they are also masks) have a greater degree of protection than goggles and completely cover the face of the welder.
There are several types of design features.
With a handle. When working with a welding machine, it is required to hold the shield against the face. Lenses are made of mineral glass, polycarbonate.
With helmet attachment. It is performed more often in the form of an adjacent screen. For such shields, a certain type of helmets is suitable. As a rule, manufacturers produce a whole line in the complex.
In industries with a high risk of mechanical injury, a helmet is a mandatory PPE. In such cases, either welding goggles or shields are used, but not every model is attached to a helmet. For this, special models of shields are provided.
with headband. Adjustment of models should be carried out both in terms of the girth of the head and in the parietal part. The adjustment step should be up to 10 mm. Tape width from 18 mm.
Universal. They have a head mount and a handle in their design.
The requirements for welding shields are the same as for glasses, with a few exceptions related to design features:
- Strong fixation. In the case of a headband, adjustment in two directions (horizontal, vertical).
- Neck protection.
- The distance between the forehead and the helmet is at least 30 mm.
- In conditions of increased gas contamination, provide a forced ventilation system.
- A light weight. Up to 600 grams.
Light filters for shields:
- Tinted glass. Manufactured with the addition of copper and nickel. The maximum degree of dimming is in the range of 10 DIN, 11 DIN, 12 DIN. Which corresponds to GOST C5 – C7 (used with a current strength of 60 to 350 A). Minimum degree of dimming 9 DIN (current up to 30 A).
- polymeric materials. They have different degrees of darkening, are used in combination with protective glass as a darkening filter.
- Chameleon (auto dimming). Filtering mechanism based on liquid crystal polarization, considered professional. The minimum degree of dimming is from 5 DIN to 7 DIN. Maximum over 13 DIN.
The characteristics of the filters are displayed in the marking, which is indicated by numbers through a fraction.
For example: 1/1/1/1 where
- The first digit is the optical class. Responsible for the clarity of the image. Depends on the protective glass, film, assembly.
- The second is light scattering. Shows how cloudy the picture will be. Depends on the quality of optical crystals.
- The third is uniformity. Shading uniformity.
- The fourth is angular dependence. Indicates the degree of obscuration from the angle of view.
The higher the numbers in the marking, the worse this or that quality of the filter.
There are three types of automatic shading system for Chameleon masks:
- Dimming occurs automatically to the desired level of protection when a welding arc occurs.
- With manual adjustment. Models are independently dimmed from the minimum to the maximum value when a welding arc occurs, but the welder has the ability to adjust the degree of dimming.
- With automatic settings. An improved model that also adjusts the gradation code depending on the illumination created by the welding arc.
Another important characteristic is the switching time. Light filters begin to work more slowly at sub-zero temperatures.
Manufacturers do not recommend the use of devices at temperatures of -10 ° C and below.
At low temperatures, the switching time can be > 100 µs, but during intensive work it has a negative effect on vision.
There are three switching ranges:
- ≤ 50 µs – for intensive work;
- 51 – 75 µs – medium intensity;
- 76 – 100 µs – domestic use.
The slower the switching speed, the lower the chance of a negative impact of welding on vision.
In “Chameleon” masks, depending on the model, there are 2 types of adjustment: internal and external. Definitely, the external one is convenient and allows you to change the parameters without removing the mask during operation.
Functions of welding masks:
On / off system. It saves battery or battery power. And when you turn it off, the “grinding” mode appears. The viewing glass becomes transparent. Not all masks have this feature.
Dimming adjustment. Manual mode corrects automatic settings.
Sensitivity adjustment. The threshold depends on the place of work.
Indoors, the sensitivity is set high, in an open sunny area it is lowered, since there is a response to sun glare.
Delay time adjustment. At the end of welding, the seam and adjacent edges continue to emit an invisible infrared spectrum. Therefore, with a sharp switch to the reverse mode, the welder’s vision is exposed to harmful factors.
Ventilation system. The function is required in all masks. Prevents fogging and creates comfort for the worker. In products for work in closed, gassed rooms, a separate forced ventilation with air supply control is provided. The masks also have a filtration system.
Some models are equipped with additional lighting.
For all types of PPE, viewing window parameters are important.
Each constructive type has a list of advantages.
Advantages of welding goggles:
- Light weight, minimal dimensions.
- Used for welding in confined spaces.
- A wide range of. Models are selected for a particular type of welding and its intensity.
- The appearance of models with chameleon light filters significantly expands the scope.
- PPE with a lifting mechanism allows you to control the quality of the weld.
- Use in conjunction with head and respiratory protection.
Shields are universal, manual:
- Complete protection of the welder’s face from optical radiation, mechanical and thermal effects.
- Easy filter replacement.
- Availability for home use.
- The simplicity of the design makes it possible to control the quality of work.
Shields for helmets:
- Assume the use in areas where there is a high probability of mechanical injury.
- There are products with a lifting mechanism.
- No need to hold by hand.
Advantages of welding helmets with a headband:
- Possibility of tight fixation due to adjustable straps.
- Complete protection against optical radiation, thermal and mechanical effects.
- No hand support required.
- Lifting and locking mechanism of the shield.
- Easy access to change filters and protective glasses – the ability to use masks for various types of welding.
Advantages of chameleon welding masks:
- Full face protection.
- Complete protection of the organs of vision at the time of the appearance of the welding arc.
- Adjustment of sensitivity, dimming, delay time will allow you to set the optimal settings for a specific type, intensity, welding location, as well as for a specific worker.
- Forced ventilation involves working in an aggressive environment.
- Automatic darkening adjustment makes it possible to control the work process and the quality of the seam without removing / lifting PPE.
- Adjustment of the headband fixes the mask as comfortably as possible for the individual structural features of the welder’s head.
- Models provide protection for the neck from optical radiation, mechanical and thermal effects.
Some models have an off / on function that completely removes the blackout, which allows the equipment to be used both for cutting metal and for grinding work.
Disadvantages of welding goggles:
- There is no complete protection of the face from thermal exposure, ultraviolet radiation, molten metal particles.
- In models with tinted glasses, there is a high probability of corneal burns. Since the light filter is darkened, before the start of the welding process, the visibility of the welding area is minimal and the worker takes aim with the filter up.
Disadvantages of manual and universal welding helmets:
- As with glasses, there is a high chance of corneal burns when aiming.
- The welding process itself becomes more complicated, since you have to hold the shield with one hand.
Disadvantages of helmet shields:
- The probability of getting a corneal burn at the time of the appearance of the welding arc.
- Limited adjustment to the size of the welder’s face, the likelihood of a loose fit.
Disadvantages of chameleon welding masks:
- Temperature operating range from -10 to +50°C. It is not recommended to use at sub-zero temperatures. The switching time will increase, the dimming quality will decrease.
- Do not store in the sun and in rooms without heating, there is a high probability of failure of the device.
- Models with built-in batteries cannot be replaced.
- Expensive repairs.
- High price. This applies to professional models with a forced ventilation system.
- Incorrect ventilation will later lead to failure of the filter control unit (contacts are oxidized).
How to choose a welding helmet?
Before choosing, you should decide on the following data:
- intensity of use. It will help to decide in which line to choose a model: household or professional.
- Where the mask will be used. In an open area or in a darkened room.
- Type of welding. PPE of the organs of vision for gas welding is not suitable for electric welding.
- The current used in electric welding. Affects the dimming factor of the filter.
- The probability of intense mechanical impact from the outside. Whether an impact-resistant mask body is required.
For rare use, a regular mask or goggles will do.
When choosing, pay attention to the following indicators:
- optical class;
- scattering of light;
- angular dependence;
- viewing area;
- protection against mechanical impact;
- landing comfort;
- when correcting vision, the ability to wear optical glasses under PPE;
- certification (will protect against forgery).
Signature is important:
- E – electric welding,
- G – gas welding,
- B – auxiliary work,
- C – marking for “chameleon” light filters.
If intensive work is planned, then it is better to look at the Chameleon masks.
When choosing eye and respiratory protection, you should pay attention to a number of options.
Power sources. As a rule, there are two of them – lithium and solar batteries. When the battery is low, they give a light or sound signal. And in the event of a complete discharge of one of the sources, the second continues to feed the light filter and it will not turn off during operation. It is important to pay attention to the availability of replacement batteries.
Function enable/disable. This option increases the service life of both the power supply and the filter itself and ventilation. In the off state, you can work in grinding mode.
The location of the adjustment block. It is desirable that it be on the front of the mask. This allows you to adjust the settings without interrupting your work.
Filtration system. Provides comfort during work and freedom of breathing. If welding is carried out in rooms with a polluted atmosphere, a mask with a forced ventilation system is selected.
Number of sensorsaffect the speed of response.
Adjustment of sensitivity, opening time, darkening, viewing angle, grinding mode provide additional comfort during work and expand the scope of the mask.
Before the final choice, you should try on the mask, check the adjustment of the headband, and evaluate the area of the viewing window. This will help determine the comfort of the PPE.
Be sure to request a certificate, specify the warranty period and where the equipment will be repaired. Specify the information about the availability of additional components and the timing of their delivery.
Pay attention to the marking of the light filter and the housing itself.
The best is the equipment that will provide comfortable working conditions.
If we take the main characteristics, then the marking of the filter should be 1/1/1/2 (optical class, uniformity, light scattering).
The choice of design depends on personal preference. The main thing is to choose a product that will provide a snug fit and will not allow optical radiation to penetrate into the gaps. Be sure to pay attention to ventilation.
How to use?
- Before starting work, it is recommended to check the serviceability of the light filter using a lighter. If blackout occurs, then the equipment is working. No – check the power supply.
- It is impossible to use “Chameleon” without protective internal and external glass.
- If the filter and protective glass are scratched or cracked, the equipment must not be used.
- After use, wipe the device with a soft cloth. Abrasives are not allowed.
- The Chameleon mask should be stored in a dark, heated, dry place.
- Replace power supplies in a timely manner.
Failure to follow these storage guidelines may result in malfunction of the liquid crystal filter.
The warranty period of the equipment depends on the manufacturer and ranges from 12 to 24 months.
Repair and replacement of equipment is carried out in the presence of a passport for a mask, a coupon and a receipt, so be sure to keep the documents.
The warranty conditions apply to manufacturing defects, which are confirmed by the service department.
Otherwise, the repair is paid.
The warranty does not cover:
- for damage as a result of improper operation;
- when trying to self-repair;
- for damage caused by improper storage.
You can replace filters, protective glasses and lithium batteries yourself.
If we consider products with ordinary tinted glasses, then most of the malfunctions occur from mechanical stress. In such cases, the filter or protective glass is replaced (depending on the model).
In the case of the Chameleon masks, everything is more complicated. The following problems are identified:
- the light filter is very dark,
- there is no blackout;
- The degree of darkness cannot be adjusted.
To begin with, it is recommended to charge the mask by exposing it to the sun or changing the lithium batteries.
If the problem is not solved, contact the service center for a warranty case.
In the event of the expiration of the warranty period, it is recommended to check the contacts. In inexpensive masks, they are often soldered or oxidized.
You should purchase spare parts from the manufacturer, as other modifications may not be suitable.
Welding mask manufacturers
Aurora is a group of companies specializing in the production of various equipment, including welding equipment and accessories. Located in the budget segment. Has ubiquitous service centers. Guarantee 1 year from the date of sale through a retail network. Repairs will extend the warranty period.
Elitech. Trademark that produces budget products. They use the capacity of partner factories for production. It has more than 200 service centers in Russia and abroad. Warranty period 1 year.
foxweld. European firm. Specializes in the production of welding equipment. A budget option. Extensive network of service centers. Warranty period from 6 months.
FUBAG. A European company specializing in the production of professional equipment, including welding equipment. Warranty 2 years.
Interskol. Russian manufacturer of tools for public use. The range of welding helmets is small. Warranty 1 year.
Patriot. American brand. Places plants around the world, including in Russia and China. Warranty period 1 year.
Prorab. A Russian company places orders at factories in China. Amateur equipment, budget option. Warranty 1 year.
Quattro Elementi. European firm. Manufacture of welding and pumping equipment. Warranty period 1 year.
Svarog. Russian representative of Shenzhen Jasic Technology CO., LTD. Direction – welding equipment. The line is wide enough. Middle price segment. Warranty period 1 year.
Udarnik. Russian manufacturer. Direction welding equipment. Budget option for lovers. Warranty period 1 year.
Wolsomez. Russian production specializing in the production of personal protective equipment for industrial enterprises. Light filters are produced according to the patented Swiss technology. Middle price segment. Warranty period 1 year.
3M. Specialization products for professionals and amateurs, PPE. Line for protection for welding: from budget options to premium class. Warranty 1 year.
souz. Russian company with factories in China. Specific household tool. Warranty 1 year.
Spec. Russian firm. The emphasis is on household tools. Warranty 1 year.
Wester. This brand has British roots. Direction welding equipment, including professional. Warranty up to 3 years.
The safety of welding work depends on the quality of the filter, and the main complaints are about them: a short service life and difficulty with repairs. You should not chase a low price if you need eye protection for intensive use.
Advertising from sponsors: //