What is the welding helmet?

A welding helmet is a type of head-gear which is used when performing certain types of welding jobs to protect the eyes, face & neck from strong flash burn, ultraviolet light, sparks, infrared light, & from heat.

Welding helmets are commonly used with arc welding processes for example shielded metal arc welding & gas tungsten arc welding & gas metal arc welding. They are necessary to protect the arc eye, a painful condition where the cornea is completely inflamed. These helmets can also prevent retina burns, which can lead to a complete loss of vision. So, both conditions are caused by unsafe exposure to the highly concentrated ultraviolet & infrared rays emitted by the welding arc. These emissions from the welding arc can also damage the skin if not covered, causing a sunburn-like condition. During welding, radiations, gasses & splashes can also be a hazard to the skin & the eyes.

Passive Helmets

Many professional pipe welders, still wear conventional welding helmets with a traditional glass lens & fixed shade, which remains darkened the whole time. These helmets do provide safety protection to eyes & skin but they also have a few disadvantages. Like, welding helmets featuring a fixed shade can be more hard to use because a welder has to lift the helmet each time when he or she wants to examine the joint & then flip the helmet down again when it’s time to strike the arc again. This repetitive process can be annoying & can cause neck strain after a full day’s work & reduces the operators’ productivity. Especially in tight or restricted spaces, it can be a lot more difficult to move the lens up or down.

Auto-Darkening Protection

These are advanced helmets, which have the ability to automatically adjust the shade from an inactive state (light) to an active state (dark) when an arc is initiated. These helmets are much safer which protects you from dangerous light emissions all the time. It can darken to the pre-selected shade in milliseconds. This helmet consists of quick-changing LCD (liquid crystal display) technology in the auto-darkening cartridges.

Auto-darkening helmets allow welders to see everything clearly while the helmet is in the down position, allowing for quick material set-up & positioning with the hood in place to begin welding. These helmets are useful & increase welder productivity as they eliminate unnecessary stop-&-start. With auto-darkening helmets, you don’t need to flip up & down the lens each time after finishing the job.

If you work outdoors mostly, the old-style helmets are much better. The only disadvantage of these helmets have is, it keeps you busy with flipping up & down the lens during work. With an auto-darkening helmet, you will not have to worry about stopping your job to flip your lens up or down.

Although this is also true, that most welders work inside. They work in a variety of different lighting situations. This makes the auto-darkening helmet the much better choice in the long run. These have the capability to turn the lens dark as soon as you strike an arc or step into the light of the sun.

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