Protect yourself with a welding helmet!
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Did you know that a welding helmet not only protects your eyesight during welding work, but also provides excellent protection against glare during a solar eclipse?
An automatic welding helmet also prevents you from “stumbling into the dark”, as the tint of the screen immediately brightens when you stop looking at the sun.
But no one buys a welding helmet as an alternative to Sofi goggles. That’s why you can find out here everything you need to know about welding helmets and which one suits you best.
While welding goggles or welding shields are sufficient for smaller jobs, a welding helmet is by far the better option for extensive welding and grinding work.
The following welding helmets are presented here in more detail:
The welding helmet – the perfect protective equipment for welding and grinding
In contrast to welding goggles, a welding helmet not only provides perfect eye protection against flashes, it also protects the face and head from flying sparks or cinder particles. In addition, both hands are free for working, which is not the case with a welding helmet, as you have to hold it with one hand.
What material is a welding helmet made of?
The main attributes of a welding helmet are:
- heat resistant, flame retardant, shock and impact resistant, low weight
The preferred helmet materials are therefore polyamide (PA), also called polyamide nylon, and polycarbonate (PC). The plastics convince through high strength and impact resistance. Their melting point is between 220 and 230 °C.
Less expensive welding helmets are made of polypropylene (PP). However, the melting point temperature of only 160 °C as well as the low cold resistance and consequently high brittleness speak against an unrestricted purchase recommendation.
Furthermore, welding helmets made of carbon (carbon fibre) are offered. Carbon also has a low weight, is heat- and fire-resistant and hard-wearing. However, it breaks apart easily in the event of punctual impact and shock.
Do you prefer the pane made of plastic or glass?
Mounted in front of the passive filter or the anti-glare cassette, the front screen keeps out dust and welding particles.
But what are the differences between plastic alloy and real glass?
Passive welding helmet versus automatic welding helmet:
Applicable for active and passive welding helmets, depending on manufacturer and model:
- different dimensions of the field of vision,ventilation function through vents or valves,individually adjustable for the head size,integrated padding and ergonomically shaped temples in the head area
What technology is in an automatic welding helmet?
The heart of an automatic welding helmet is the Auto Darkening Filter (ADF).
The ADF, called an anti-glare cassette or welding helmet cassette, consists of these components:
- LCD – Display a cristalli liquidi e lamine di polarizzazione Il display a cristalli liquidi consente l’oscuramento e lo schiarimento automatico della cassetta antiriflesso sulla base di impulsi elettrici.fotocellula con due o quattro sensori ottici ad alte prestazioni I sensori della fotocellula rilevano l’intensità della luce in lunghezze d’onda attraverso l’arco di accensione e inviano un segnale all’elettronica.Elettronica Determina il grado di oscuramento necessario, controlla il display LCD e lo commuta su “dark”.doppio filtro ultravioletto e infrarosso Il filtro UV/IR riflette i raggi ultravioletti a onde corte così come i raggi infrarossi a onde lunghe e garantisce una percezione realistica dei colori durante la saldatura.schermo protettivo interno Lo schermo in plastica protegge il retro dell’ADF dalla sporcizia e può essere sostituito come parte usurabile.schermo anteriore Lo schermo anteriore (
These values are important for an ADF:
With an (automatic) welding helmet or the Auto Darkening Filter, the following values are mainly important:
- The switch-over reaction time of the automatic welding helmetThe classification of the visual quality
1. the switch-over reaction time of the automatic welding helmet
The switch-over reaction time (darkening time) is the period of time the anti-glare cassette requires to switch to the required protection level.
To protect the eyes optimally, it must be extremely short.
Since there are no standard specifications for the darkening time, most product descriptions of automatic welding helmets contain a wide variety of information.
The most frequently given times and their rating can be found here:
2. the classification of visual quality
It consists of four evaluations in the school grading system. According to this, the indication: 1/1/1/1 is the highest classification of an automatic welding helmet to be achieved.
The notes stand for:
- Optical qualityLight rays are not clouded – unrestricted view of the workpiece.light scatterUnrefracted light rays – no light scatter, unrestricted view.light transmission fluctuation (homogeneity)Uniform light transmission over the entire protective pane – constant view without flickering and silhouette formation.angle dependence of light transmissionLarger angle of the viewing window – field of view up to the edge of the protective pane
What adjustment options does an automatic welding helmet have?
Depending on the model, the following functions can be controlled directly on the helmet via rotary switch or membrane keyboard.
- Protection level settingThis determines the degree of darkening for protection against arc radiation and is the primary setting.the more levels can be selected, the more welding techniques are possible.see table “The protection levels – application according to welding type … “Sensitivity regulation “Due to extreme solar radiation, flickering light and in workshops with several welding workstations, the photocell sensors may not react or react too quickly to the arc pulse.The sensitivity control adjusts the sensitivity of the sensors to the ambient light and is particularly advantageous for welding work with low current, for example TIG welding. Delay function (delay function)When the welding work is finished and the arc is extinguished, the welding point glows for a short time. The delay function allows a time delay before the ADF switches from dark to light.Grind mode (grinding mode)The grinding mode sets the ADF to light. This ensures that the LCD does not darken due to flying sparks during grinding and flexing, or polishing of the weld seam.
Which is the right welding helmet for TIG welding?
TIG stands for tungsten inert gas welding. The inert gas welding process can generally be used for any weldable material and produces hardly any spatter or welding fumes. However, nitrogen oxides, ozone and metal oxides (contrary to contrary opinions) do.
TIG welding requires extensive welding knowledge, some practice and high concentration to be rewarded with a perfect weld.
But TIG not only makes high demands on you as a welder, but also on your safety helmet, which must be an automatic welding helmet in any case.
Optimally suited, for example, is the:
Automatic welding helmet H751120 of the series 100V from 3M Speedglas
This welding helmet has all the basic functions and that at an amazingly good price-performance ratio. It is recommended for professionals as well as for beginners. The helmet is powered by two lithium 3V button cells, which are supposed to provide up to 1,500 hours of power.
The proven Speedglass anti-glare technology with high-performance protection darkens evenly and guarantees a high-contrast view in realistic colours.
The anti-glare cassette has 2 sensors and variably adjustable dark levels from 8 to 12.
Thus the welding helmet is suitable for almost all arc welding processes:
- TIG,MIG / MAG,electrode welding,CO2,plasma welding and plasma cutting
The UV/IR filter is set to level 12 for permanent protection in light and dark conditions and during the automatic darkening function.
Switching from light to dark takes only 0.1 ms, which means outstanding performance. The brightening time is 100 – 250 ms. The 2-stage delay function also allows the setting of a fill-in delay.
The 100V from Speedglas has a sensitivity regulation and grind mode.
- Level 1 – for extreme brightness etc.,Level 2 – for most welding processes.Level 3 – for low-ampere welding (TIG), plasma cutting, grinding and flexing.
All settings are conveniently made via a control panel with LED display and membrane buttons inside the helmet, where the power button is also located If the helmet is not switched off manually after use, it will be switched off automatically after one hour.
Thanks to an adjustable headband with ratchet system, the automatic welding helmet can be individually adapted to head sizes from 54 to 64 cm. In addition, the distance from the shield to the head is variable to allow the wearing of respiratory protection or visual goggles.
- Operating temperature: -5 to +55º C,Weight: 440 g,Size L/W/H: 30,0 x 27,2 x 24,6 cm,Field of vision: 44 x 93 mm,Helmet material: Polycarbonate (PC) and Polyamide (PA),Impact resistance corresponds to EN 175 B,Classification according to EN 379: 1 / 2 / 2.
Available accessories and spare parts:
- Retrofit lenses for dark levels 13 and 14,magnifying lenses – a lens holder is integrated in the welding filter,external attachment lenses (100) in packs of 10,maintenance-free 3M breathing masks.
In addition to the version in “black”, the automatic welding helmet of the 100V series from Speedglas is available in trendy graphic design models at a small extra charge.
Airbrush decor provides colour and fun in the welder’s everyday life
A motorcycle helmet with airbrush is considered a cult object for convinced bikers and even for bicycle or ski helmets, buyers now prefer such models.
Why would this not work with a welding helmet?
At least some manufacturers thought so and sat down at the planning table.
The results are brightly coloured welding helmets with graffiti-like motifs that rightly put their conservative “colleagues” in black, night blue or grey in the shade.
Have you always wanted to draw attention to yourself with special styling? with a trendy airbrush design on your welding helmet, you’re well on your way.
From rose and stars, wild N-pink or purple, pin-up girls, lightning and flaming inferno, to eagles, wild beasts and dragons, to science fiction or skulls, no matter which motif you choose – the helmet becomes the eye-catcher of your “sweat outfit”.
Want some examples?
If you think about it properly, you can hardly do without such a welding helmet. After all, the helmet temporarily replaces your head – at least on the outside 😉
Can I wear my glasses under a welding helmet?
If you have a welding helmet that offers space inside and a sufficiently large field of vision, you can wear the goggles without restriction. Just make sure that the helmet does not press on the temples of the glasses and still sits securely on your head.
Or you can choose one:
Inner protective pane with integrated eyesight
Most welding helmet manufacturers have polycarbonate dioptre lenses in their range of accessories, including holding device. Visual acuity is usually selectable from 1.0 to 2.5.
What accessories are available for welding helmets?
- Magnifying glassWith a magnifying glass with 1.5x magnification you can increase the distance to the workpiece, yet still weld precisely and clearly identify thin weld seams.the magnifying glass is clamped between the attachment disc and the welding protection glass.Head, neck, shoulder and chest protectors made of leatherIndividually or in combination, they provide reliable coverage and protect against radiation, heat and burns.the chest protector is especially recommended for “overhead welding work”.sweatband and welding capThey absorb sweat, which guarantees more hygiene in the helmet and stress-free work.Hearing protectionSimple ear plugs,pre-formed ear plugs with cord,ergonomic ear protection,ear protection with neck band or helmet attachment.Depending on the type of sweat, the noise level is between 75 and 90 dB (A), which can lead to tinnitus and hearing loss in the long term.For comparison: 75 dB corresponds to a directly passing car and 90 dB to a heavy truck from a distance of 5 m. Respiratory protectionBreathing protectionBreathing protection mask with flexible noseband:without exhalation valve – protection level 1,with exhalation valve – protection levels 1 to 3.half mask with exhalation valve:against gases, vapours and particles. These include:carbon monoxide (CO),nitrogen dioxide (NO2),ozone (O3),metal oxides.