Welding helmets are worn to protect the face and the head during welding activities. Welding operations such as shielding metal arc welding, arc welding, gas metal arc welding and gas tungsten arc requires a person to put on a welding hood. Welding helmets protect the user from ultraviolet light, flash burns, infrared light, heat and welding sparks. Furthermore, the helmets also protect the user from health risks such as arc eyes, retina burns and inflamed cornea. Welding helmets are very important because unprotected exposures to the highly concentrated emissions from welding arc releases infrared and ultraviolet emissions that is also dangerous to the skin.
Features of a good welding helmet
- Since welding helmets are very essential for the safety of the welder, it is important to know different components and types of welding masks available. These helmets have the shell, which has an eye piece to resist electricity, heat and any visible impact on the eye. The shell is always opaque, so that only filtered light pass through it.
- The helmet also has an outer cover plate that protects the welder from impact, scratches and UV radiation. In most cases, this cover is made of polycarbonate plastic material to protect the welder from UV rays.
- The helmet also has a fine lens made of glass and contains filters that control the light that reaches the eyes. Importantly, each filter lens should regulate the amount of light passing through it.
- Apart from fine lens, the welder mask should also have retainer lens also made of plastic to prevent pieces from the filter lens from breaking and getting into the welder’s eyes.
- The welding helmet is constructed with an insulated material to protect the welder against heat. The gasket should be between the cover lenses and the filter lens to protect the welder from sudden heat changes which may cause it to break.
A good welding helmet incorporates all the features mentioned above. In addition, the helmets should be lighter to provide comfort as well as having an ergonomic design.
Types of welding helmets
Several types of welding hoods exist due to the preference of the welder. However, all aims at keeping the welder safe not only by protecting the eyes but also the entire head from sparks and ultraviolet radiation. There are many styles of auto darkening helmets. There are those that will darken automatically as soon as the welder strikes the arc, and then goes back to light state immediately after the welding stops. Some helmets have manual features that mean that the welder has to change the darkness manually. There are passive helmets. These are the old traditional helmets that are darkened manually. Helmets come in a variety of styles and colors. Custom welding helmets become very popular nowadays. As mentioned before, the welder also needs to consider the weight of the welding helmet to buy. Durability factor is also crucial because a solid and strong welding hood is certainly what every welder needs. It is highly recommended that the welder buys helmets of reputed brands to ensure longevity, reliability and comfort.