Speed Welding Helmets
Choosing the correct welding Helmet
Putting some thought into choosing a new speed welding helmet often poses a few questions, here are some points to make your buying decision easier.
Firstly the lens shade number is often seen as the higher the number the more protection your eyes have. In reality good quality welding lenses have screen filters that filter 100 percent of harmful ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) rays. So the eyes are protected regardless of the shade number. The number ( 10 being brighter 13 being darker) denotes the amount of brightness or darkness while welding. The particular lens chosen should be suited to the work and amperage of the work being welded. It should provide the best visibility for the operator so the weld puddle can be seen clearly.
Fixed or variable shade
If you are using the same welding process on the same material, a fixed shade is sufficient. But if you, like most welders, are using a variety of materials and welding a number of different applications, your best bet is a variable shade, which will adjust to the correct darkness for your particular process. For instance, when you are GTAW welding at lower amperages, you may need to lighten up the lens to see what you are doing - a variable shade will permit this while a fixed shade will not.
Variable shades are often used when a variety of applications and materials are being welded, such as arc welding and tig welding being switched.
Solar-powered or battery-operated Speed Welding helmet
Generally it is a choice of personal preference and what is most convenient to the operator. One thing to watch for is getting "flashed" with battery-operated speed welding helmet. These will automatically turn off the battery after the helmet has been sitting idle. If the welder isn't careful, he could get arc flash thinking that his helmet is still turned on. Solar powered also offers the convenience of not having to worry about changing batteries.
Auto-darkening speed welding helmets
Auto-darkening helmets don't darken until the welding arc is struck. High-quality auto-darkening helmets provide UV and IR protection even when the helmet is not activated, so you are always protected, even during that split- second before the lens darkens. For maximum comfort, look for a high quality helmet that has a response darkening time of 4/10ths of a millisecond, as less than a millisecond is not perceivable by the human eye.
Speed welding helmets are essential for efficient productivity, in some manufacturing applications, such as fences and production work it can mean the difference of running at a profit. You or your staff need the best gear to do the best work, buy the best helmet you can afford, look after your eyes and enjoy welding.
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