Welding helmet test
Welding is impossible without visual protection for the eyes and insufficient visual protection can have painful consequences for the welder. A welding helmet, which is actually an automatic welding protection filter, is the most comprehensive and comfortable protection for a welder. Welding helmets vary according to the degree of darkening, in order to provide the best possible visual protection for the welding process in question. The modern safety helmets are comfortable to wear and can be put on before the arc is ignited to provide the best possible protection. They are particularly suitable for those craftsmen who frequently handle the welding equipment.
A welding helmet is called an automatic welding protection filter, which in English is called automatic darkening filter, which is why the helmet is often referred to as ADF. Its main function is to protect the field of vision against the light radiation generated by the arc. It is preferred by professional welders because it provides a more complex visual protection than a simple welding helmet and because it does not need to be opened to align or ignite the arc. It can be worn throughout the welding process. The ADF is divided into different light levels and protection levels in order to provide the highest level of protection for the various welding processes.
How does a welding helmet work?
A welding helmet is a compact head protection with a particularly strong sight protection in the visor. It has a liquid crystal screen that darkens the visible light spectrum as required according to the protection levels. It also contains an infrared as well as ultraviolet filter that shields the harmful, invisible radiation that is produced during every welding process. This LCD screen also incorporates a photocell which is used to detect the ignition of the arc when the helmet visor is closed. The existing electronics use a sensor signal to measure the necessary degree of darkening and adjust the LCD screen accordingly.
Possible applications for a welding helmet
A welding helmet should actually always be worn when anyone wants to make a weld. Even with simple spot welding, the welding helmet should not be missing for cost reasons. There are some cheaper privacy options, but especially when welding a small inattention can have unpleasant and painful consequences. A welding helmet serves as visual protection, but also protects the complete head from flying sparks.
For whom is a welding helmet suitable?
In principle, every craftsman who occasionally handles a welding torch should buy a high-quality welding helmet. Although this is expensive, the protective measures offered by the helmet cannot be replaced by any other protective measure. The cheap privacy offers for the hobby do-it-yourselfer simply carry the risk of looking into the welding arc sooner or later, which leads to a very painful blinding of the eyes. That is why hobby do-it-yourselfers should also buy a high-quality welding helmet to protect their field of vision and eyes from the radiation.
The handling of a welding helmet is quite simple, because it should simply be put on before the welding process. The integrated LCD screen uses a photocell to darken the visor so that a welder does not look into the arc when he ignites the welding torch. The welder can easily find the welding spot even with the visor closed and a well-fitting welding helmet is hardly noticeable during work. It can be removed after the welding process and put aside until the next welding process. However, the safety helmet must also be suitable for the welding equipment used.
There are also big differences between the individual products in welding helmets. The newer ADFs use modern technology with many new functions and various details. This provides the welder with a comfortable view of the welding material during the entire work process as well as permanent protection against IR and UV radiation.
Through integrated side windows, the craftsman can achieve a field of vision of 180°, whereby these can also be darkened if necessary. In addition, an ingenious ventilation system ensures inhalation and exhalation without the viewing windows fogging up. Ventilation slits ensure a regulated exchange of breathing air, heat and CO ² emissions. These modern helmets are powered by batteries or solar cells, which guarantees the welder full freedom of movement.
- Complete protection of the field of view Modern LCD screen darkens as required Automatic darkening Easy positioning of the welding arc Comfortable to wear during the work process Easy to put on and take off the safety helmet
- more cost-intensive than a simple welding shield
Every welding helmet bears the prescribed safety badges. In addition, the different ADFs are divided into different light levels, as well as different levels of darkening, which are regulated by the viewing window, so that the welder has optimum visibility conditions for working. It is also important that the helmet has several ventilation slots to prevent the viewing window from fogging up and to ensure sufficient fresh air and to dissipate heat to the outside. A good welding helmet should also be optimally adapted to the head of the wearer, as a slipping safety helmet can also be a danger.
What is tested?
Since there are very strict regulations for welding helmets in US, the first step is to check whether the test objects also comply with all standards and have the required certificates. Then it is checked how well the helmets protect against IR and UV radiation. In addition, the helmets also protect against other radiation, splashes as well as sparks and toxic gases that can be produced during welding.
However, most safety helmets are tested in different categories, depending on whether they are powered by solar cells or batteries. Important test criteria include the helmet’s adjustment options and the functionality of the filter cassette.
Care and cleaning
The safety helmet itself is easy to clean by wiping it with a damp cloth if necessary. However, various parts of the helmet require special attention, such as the privacy window. It is very susceptible to dirt, splashes and scratches, which can, however, affect the integrated sensors, making it impossible for the screen to adjust to the correct darkening. Care should be taken here to ensure that the screen remains intact. For hygienic reasons, it is also recommended to clean the helmet from the inside if the welder has been sweating during work. It is also helpful here to wipe the helmet carefully from the inside with a damp cloth.
How much is a welding helmet?
Welding helmets are available in very different price categories. The inexpensive models start at around 20 usd and accordingly only meet very few requirements. The medium price range of welding helmets is between 100 and 150 usd, while the top models can cost 200 usd and far more. However, the cheap helmets can hardly be recommended, as they are only geared to the minimum safety conditions. If you are serious about welding, you should at least choose a welding helmet in the middle category, as poor protection can lead to lasting consequences and the better the quality of the welding helmet, the better it is for your own health.
Manufacturers and their characteristics
The family business has been dedicated to the production of welding fume extraction systems since 1977 and produces, among other things, innovative but also affordable welding helmets of good to excellent quality. The manufacturer from Germany is also doing pioneering work in this field.
Optrel is a technology company dedicated to the protection of vision and breathing. It is headquartered in Switzerland and manufactures some of the best welding helmets in the world in the upper price range. Optrel is considered a leader in the development of this technology.
The French company GYS originally manufactured transformers, but today it is one of the leading companies for everything to do with welding technology. GYS produces both cheap and welding helmets in the middle and high price range, manufactured with the latest technologies.
Accessories for welding helmets
There are numerous accessories for welding helmets, such as visors for the viewing windows, neck protection and covers for the side windows. But headbands and sweatbands are also available for a better fit of the helmet. The extensive accessories also include the batteries for welding helmets, which are designed for battery operation. Some welders wear welding caps under their helmets.
What to look out for when buying?
The welding helmet must fit well and should be suitable for the type of welding. In addition, the best possible quality should always be chosen for your own protection, and the welding helmet must comply with all necessary US standards and certificates.
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5 reasons for a welding helmet
- Wear a safety helmet for your own safety.better protection against toxic gases, sparks and splashes.comfortable fit and ventilation slits ensure comfortable wearing.a safety helmet leaves both hands free for work.a good safety helmet provides better visibility when welding.