The art of welding has been around for many millenniums now, but back then it was called forge welding. When I say forge welding, I am referring to the solid-state process that joins two pieces of metal by heating them at a very high temperature then hammering them together. The temperature during forge welding is usually at 50 to 90 percent of the melting temperature. When welding metal, you have to be cautious not to overheat it too much that it reaches the point where it gives off sparks from rapid oxidation. Today, welding is defined as the fabrication or sculptural process that joins materials which is usually metals or thermoplastics. Unlike before, there are now a lot of energy sources that can help in making the process easier and faster. There’s an electric arc, a laser, an electron beam, gas flame, friction, and ultrasound. You have a lot of choices now. Plus, it is possible to weld in just about anywhere now – open air, under the water, and even in outer space. Welding has evolved a lot since then. As an effect of this though, welding has also become dangerous. You have to take some extra precaution to avoid getting burns, vision damage, shock caused by electrocution, inhalation of poisonous gases or fumes, and exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
*** BURNS ***
In the kind of work that you do, whether you do this as a hobby, for personal reasons, or for work, there may come a time that you might accidentally burn yourself. When this happens you should do:
- Assess what the degree of burn is. It’s easy, don’t worry. First degree is the lowest and it is characterized by red skin and local pain. Second degree has blisters and it swells. The skin may peel – let it peel on it’s own. Do not forcefully peel it as this exposes the wound to bacteria. And the third degree is when you can see white or black skin and there’s no pain because the nerve on your skin are already damaged. Head to the hospital immediately if you acquire a third degree burn.But if it’s only first or second degree, you could run it in cold water or let it submerge there for a while. Take a look at this picture below.
Of course, there’s a way that you can prevent this from happening in the first place. You could wear gloves, and clothing that doesn’t easily burn. Also since you are dealing with fire and electric current, there might be explosions or fires. Make sure to always have a fire extinguisher at the ready or a water source near you.
*** OTHERS ***
For the other health risks, such as vision impairment, inhalation of fumes, and even exposure to ultraviolet radiation, you could hit three birds with one stone with a great welding helmet. Here’s a good example of one:
This one is 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100. It comes with an extra-large size and an auto darkening filter. It is a bit pricey though at 452.95 at Amazon, but you’ll be able to save on your shipping fee because the shipping is free. This helmet weights 2.09 pounds and has a UNSPSC code of 46181711. This product features an auto darkening filter (ADF) that allows you to transition from light to dark shade in about .1 milliseconds after a welding arc is detected by it’s sensors. The optical quality of this helmet allows the viewer or user to have a precise view of his or her work area. The side windows comes with a dark shade 5 filters that increases the peripheral field of view. This helmet can be used if you are welding Stick (Arc Welding), MIG (Metal Inert Gas), and TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas).
Some more good things to notice about this helmet is that:
- There’s a padded front headband that is designed specifically to distribute pressure. The human head is filled with nerves and arteries. Sometimes, if you apply pressure to the wrong points a person may feel fatigued or sleepy, which of course leads to sloppy work. You can easily adjust the fit of the helmet around your head for more comfort.
- Welding helmets protect the eyes. They prevent sparks or spatter from reaching your face or your eyes. Not only that, your eyes are also protected from too much brightness and rapid changes in brightness to prevent stress and harm to your eyes.
- It is recommended for people who work in automotive, construction, food and beverage manufacturing, manufacturing alone, metal production and fabrication, military maintenance, repair and operation (MRO), mining, oil and gas, and transportation.
- There will be no need to flip the welding helmet up and down. The effect of this is that it boosts the productivity of a person by lessening the stop and start time needed for passive lens welding helmets. This could also reduce the feeling of neck strain from too much nodding.
If you want more helmets to choose from, you may do so at websites such as Amazon, eBay, or Bestbuy. If you are from another country, you could try an online shop that’s rooted in your country so you won’t have to pay too much for the shipping fee. A word of advice though, please make sure that the site you are going to buy from is legit, and not a scam. Always be careful about this since the welding helmet isn’t really what I’d consider cheap so if you get duped, you’d be losing a lot of money. It is also advisable that you do a bit of reading about the product you are going to buy before you go on and buy it. Through this, you will lessen the possibly of regretting your purchase. Asking your friends or people you work with what they can suggest also greatly helps, plus you can try out the helmet for yourself.
If you are going to buy at Amazon, you will see that there are reviews on the bottom part of the page. You can read these as reference.