Welding mask test
The welding profession is constantly confronted with the signs of modernisation. The construction of high-pressure pipelines, ships, submarines and racing cars, these are just a few examples in which the profession of the welder is integrated. There is a great shortage of well-trained welders. Most workers do not want to work in too much heat, dirt and danger. The employer is therefore obliged to question how I can retain the best welder in my company. The welder, on the other hand, asks himself: Is there sufficient protection for my health. Health protection during welding includes, for example, the welding mask.
What is a welding mask?
During welding, metal parts are heated until they become liquid and fuse together. In order to avoid inconvenience for the welder, a welding mask with respiratory function as well as gas and particle filters are ideal. The mask also supplies the wearer with fresh air. Wearing only conventional safety goggles with face and breathing protection does not provide sufficient protection.
Smallest metal splinters can fly against the unprotected forehead and get into the eye with the sweat. A welding mask does not protect against flying sparks, but also against radiation. With the mask the welder’s work is made easier because he has both hands free. With a protective shield, however, he only has one hand free for welding. A welding mask also adapts individually to the shape of the head. All controls are located externally, which facilitates operation.
How does a welding mask work?
A welding mask can improve the overstrain of the eyes for each individual work process by the right adjustment. There are welding masks that have seven levels of protection. Protection level 5 is intended for autogenous welding (welding/cutting), protection level 8 for microplasma welding and TIG welding in the low ampere range, and protection levels 9-13. Depending on requirements, the protection level can be preset with a bright level (level 3) for grinding work.
Optional side windows provide an enlarged view, which makes it easier to see the surrounding hazards. Most welding masks are made of a robust but light material. There are the so-called Speedglas welding masks which are not moisture-absorbing, so the performance is maintained even in high humidity. By using the new liquid crystal construction, the Speedglas automatic welding filter is much lighter than other models. Nevertheless, there is a constant perfect quality and switching reaction.
Anyone who welds a lot will be very impressed by the many adjustment possibilities of a welding mask. Protection level 3 is intended for grinding work, protection level 5 for oxyacetylene welding, protection level 8 for microplasma welding and TIG welding. In the low ampere range there are variable protection levels 9 to 13 for arc welding. These features are all found in one helmet. Especially the Speedglas 9100 convinces by a completely new developed geometry, which puts the helmet, no matter in which position, perpendicular to the cervical spine.
The headband prevents the helmet from exerting pressure on sensitive arteries, acupressure points and nerves. The automatic welding protection filter /ADF) protects the eyes and the entire face. In addition to a light level, ADFs have several protection levels that darken the viewing window to different degrees. This ensures the correct view during the welding process. The Speedglas SL welding protection filter has five adjustable protection levels (8-12) and one light level.
The operational levels
With an automatic welding filter, for example, a greater increase in productivity can be achieved in tack welding, especially of long seams. It guarantees the welder a good level of comfort through a variable protection level and sensitivity selection option, especially for demanding welding work. There are models that are also equipped with a delay function that allows individual selection from light to dark.
For overhead welding, there is a combination of a safety helmet, automatic welding filter and welding visor. If you use conventional work safety helmets for the welder, the point is distributed unfavourably as soon as the welding visor is opened. The wearing comfort is thereby impaired and the neck muscles are strained. There are entry-level models intended for occasional use and models for the welder who does this as a profession.
For whom is a welding mask suitable?
For the hobby welder, farmer, do-it-yourselfer, apprentice, maintenance and construction worker. A welding mask is perfect for welding and soldering work. A lightweight among welding masks is the 3M Speedglas. Ideally suited for fast welding jobs. A motion sensor automatically switches on the welding filter as soon as you pick up the mask. It is suitable for most arc welding processes, such as manual, MIG/MAG, TIG and plasma welding.
Most masks are of the same design and have a shield part that is curved and adapts to the face of the welder. The protection levels must be preset, including the light level for grinding. For spot welding work, a mode is built in to counteract eye fatigue, which occurs with a constant change from light to dark.
The welding mask with anti-glare technology is suitable for almost all arc welding processes. Electrode welding is divided into three processes: 1. metal arc welding, where consumable electrodes are used during welding. 2. metal arc welding without gas protection: This technology is similar to metal arc welding, here work is carried out without externally added shielding gas, 3. metal arc welding manual, here only manual work is used. During the process an electrode is used for welding by hand. Another term is E-manual welding.
This is characterised by the fact that the arc burns between the electrode and the molten bath. TIG welding, which means tungsten inert gas welding, is part of gas shielded arc welding. The MIG/MAG welding method stands for MIG metal inert gas and MAG for metal active gas. Finally, there is plasma cutting, which is actually not a welding process, but a special welding technique used for cutting materials. All these processes require a welding mask that protects the eyes and face.
The performance features
Technical data: complies with EN 166 bT, equipped with an anti-glare filter, complies with EN 379, classification 1/2/2/2, with a switch lever from light to dark, 0.1 ms (+23 ° C). UV/IR protection, protection level 2 (permanent), field of view 44×93 mm, light level, protection level 3, dark protection level, protection level 10 (fixed), battery life 1500 hours. Many masks have a fresh air supply from behind. All filters have light level 3 and are therefore suitable for grinding.
Effective use, as both hands are free and thus allow even welding. Extra large field of vision comes with an automatic welding helmet with filter cassette. It has five protection levels. There are welding masks with side windows and without. A simple membrane keyboard allows easy operation.
Airbrush (English) for airbrushes is a variant of a spray gun that is only slightly larger than a ballpoint pen. With an airbrush gun, any liquid paint can be sprayed onto any surface. While in painting the medium is the paint, the airbrush technique works dry in dry. The paint is only applied as a fine paint dust, which is already dry when it reaches the object.
Welding masks are also available in various airbrush graphic designs. These are especially suitable for young people. Individual and very expressive. Examples: Ice Hot, Skull, Blaze, Aces High, Skull Jewels, Raging, Xterminator. For example, a skull can be placed on a welding mask. The disc is pasted with the provisionally attached perforated foil.
The modern welder appreciates the convenience of eye and face protection with a welding mask. Respiratory protection with blower support makes working conditions easier. Filtered breathing air is continuously supplied via the breathing protection system. This makes it easier to breathe in a polluted environment, which provides more energy for the welding work. These improved working conditions are also appreciated during leisure time for welding work.
Dangerous light radiation is produced especially during welding and cutting work. The associated eye injuries manifest themselves in retinal burns and damage to the cornea. Since welding fumes can generally cause headaches and sore throats, accompanied by a general feeling of tiredness, it is all the more important to wear a welding mask during such work. With it, harmful substances are reduced a little.
What is tested with a welding mask?
During welding work, the face and eyes must be protected against flashes. A protective shield with dark special glass is necessary for this. It is easier to work with a welding mask that darkens automatically. There are such masks which are on the one hand not very expensive and on the other hand have a lot of customer reviews. The advantage of an automatic welding mask is that it remains in front of the face during the working process and both hands are free. With this you can weld faster and safer.
These masks combine clear, bright vision glass with an LCD screen that provides darkening. A light-sensitive cell ensures that the field of vision is darkened in a very short time after the arc has flared up. With the Berlan BASM200, for example, this happens in 0.033 milliseconds. Depending on the welding process being carried out, the darkening value is variable in steps from DIN 9 (8) to DIN 13 (14), and can be adjusted from the outside with a rotary knob.
In addition, the time during which normal brightness can be restored after completion of the welding process is infinitely adjustable. The mask has a 9.8 x 4.3 centimeter field of vision and is made of polyamide. It covers the entire front head including the neck. The weight is 450 grams. The BASM200 was praised by professionals. It received many positive reviews.
Care and cleaning
The face seal should always be in good condition. A filter indicator can be helpful in determining when the filter needs to be saturated and replaced. If the battery life decreases, it means that the particulate filter is closed and must be replaced. The particulate filter itself cannot be cleaned. Filtered pollutants should not be removed with compressed air. The filter’s functional capability may suffer as a result, and the guarantee liability for the respiratory protection system is also void. The respiratory protection function of the system is also no longer guaranteed.
What does a welding mask cost?
The Berlan automatic welding mask is already available for 45.50 usd. The Speedglas 100, welding mask costs 149,00 usd.
5 major manufacturers
- Bei Bei Safety Co.Bollè SafetySpeedglasBerlanDelta Plus
What accessories are available?
Everyone who welds should not only protect his face, but also his body. For this purpose there is a welding apron. There should also be a welding magnet, stick electrodes, a slag hammer, welding gloves, possibly a propane gas hose and a set of wearing parts. Cored wire and a Steinel pressure roller and welding rod.
What to look out for when buying?
There are models that are equipped with batteries and there are welding helmets that are solar powered. Those who carry out long welding jobs are better off with a helmet that is solar powered. It is immediately and always ready for use. However, the viewing window of these welding helmets is very small. There are also helmets that are battery and solar powered. An automatic welding helmet or mask protects the eyes and face from harmful sparks and splashes, it darkens automatically.
Whoever buys a welding mask with suction must comply with the standards: EN 165, EN166, EN 167, EN 168, EN 169, EN 175 and EN 379. Furthermore, the mask should be tested and certified. You should also pay attention to the adjustment possibilities. They should be versatile. Fast darkening times and a focus on the integrated filter cassette should also be considered. In general, one should inform oneself about all models in advance to find the features that apply to the buyer.
The special features
Since metal smoke or welding fumes can cause serious damage to health, for example to the kidneys and respiratory organs, a welding mask and a respirator should be standard when welding.
5 reasons for a welding mask
Functionality, quality and the adjustment possibilities of a welding mask are decisive for safe welding. The skin, the eyes, the face, the neck and also the respiratory organs should be protected from the radiation and the resulting harmful substances.