Welding accessories are the most important part of any welding task as protection is a must. In order to buy any welding accessory, the welders must have appropriate knowledge of the various types of welding equipment required for the welding and which of the type would best suit their welding work. There are varieties of accessories depending on the welding purpose; some set of accessories for one type of welding may not suit the other welding types. There are numerous safety welding equipments and buyers often get confused. Certain factors can be considered while buying the accessories.
Area of welding
The place where the welding work is being done is a very important factor to be considered while buying welding accessories. The welding work can be done at a welding work place or some times, if the materials cannot be brought to the workshop, the welding might need to be done outdoors, which can also be a public area with lots of passersby around. It is the duty of the welder to not only keep oneself safe, but also the people around must protected from the sparks, light or the harmful gases. For this, some extra accessories like welding curtain might be required. One should consider this factor, as there may be the need to buy extra safety equipments.
Type of welding
There are many types of welding processes, and most of the accessories and supplies required are determined by the type of welding process. For example a gas welding will require the welder to buy a respiratory equipment to protect the user from the harmful gases. So, according to the type of welding, the accessories and supplies must be selected.
Size of the accessories should always be considered while buying those. The equipments must fit the welder well. If the size is too small, the welder won’t feel comfortable, which can even let to suffocation. Excessively loose appeal might also cause certain issues while welding, so the size of each accessory must be accurate. If possible, one should try on before purchasing.
The welding accessories should be durable and must last long. These are bought for lifetime protection and not used just once. As each accessory has its own value, the deal should be balanced and each of them must last for long duration.
As one has to buy many types of equipment together, the budget should be distributed for each accessory. Even if one’s budget is not much, there are many good quality welding products available at affordable prices. One should go for the best ones that can be afforded on the particular budget.
Here are some of the various welding safety equipments and accessories that are required by the welder and some guidelines on how to select each of these.
1. Eye protection
Eyes are very sensitive part of the body and the most vulnerable organs. There is a great risk of the eyes being damaged due to the spatter or debris during the welding process. In order to protect the eyes, one must have eye protection equipment. There are varieties of eye protections available at the market. One can select the most appropriate one on the basis of the welding work and the exposure. Some factors can be considered while choosing the eye safety equipment; one must know the various eye equipments and select the best type that suits the need.
- Safety glasses
These are sunglasses or eye glasses. Safety glasses can protect the eyes from debris and harmful rays from the front. If the exposure is likely to be very less and there won’t be any sparks, then one can go for the safety glasses. One should make sure that the glasses fit properly.
Goggles are meant to protect the eyes against debris and rays from both front and sides. Special chemical splash goggles can protect the eyes from harmful chemical vapors and liquids. If the exposure is likely to be less and the welding is of very low level, then goggles are good eye equipments.
- Face shield
Face shield offers protection not only to eyes but to the whole face. If the welder wants to protect the face then face shield is a very good option for low level welding. Safety face shield offers very less resistance; in order to be extra cautious, the face shield can also be used along with safety glasses or goggles beneath it.
- Welding helmet
Welding helmets are the most advanced safety equipment for face during welding. This not only protects the eyes from harmful rays, but also protects the face and neck of the welder from molten spatter, sparks, debris and harmful rays. Welding helmets are must for the high level welding or industrial duty welding, as this type of welding deals with the most dangerous elements.
One can consider the welding process while buying the helmet. A welding helmet with increasingly darker lens shade number is necessary depending on the intensity of the ray exposure due to the welding. In case the welder always uses the same welding process on the same type of material, a fixed shaded welding lens is sufficient. But if the welder has to use a variety of materials and other welding processes, it is best to go for an auto-darkening shade, which will adjust to the correct darkness for each welding process.
2. Welding gloves
Welding gloves are one of the most essential welding accessories. Welding gloves are designed to bear high temperatures. These are different for other mechanical gloves as welding gloves cannot be used for any heavy duty moving machinery with sharp edges or for any other project around machinery workshop or garage. Basically there are three types of gloves according to the welding type;
- MIG welding gloves: Very mild heat and spatter is produced during MIG welding, so for this type of welding, one can go for welding gloves that are made of goatskin. In case it is likely that more heat is going to be produced, then goatskin or deerskin gloves with some extra thin lining is ideal. As deerskin gloves moulds to the hand of the welder, this is a perfect choice for MIG welding.
- TIG welding gloves: TIG welding produces very less heat and lesser spatters and in TIG welding, extremely thin materials are used. For this reason, the gloves must be thin and comfortable that the user is even able to pick a coin with the gloves on. Goatskin gloves are very good for this type of welding. For additional protection, one can go for gloves that are lined with wool or cotton-foam.
- STICK welding gloves: Since STICK welding produces the most heat and spatter, the gloves that are required to be used for this welding must be thick and highly resistant to heat. Pigskin or elk skin gloves are highly recommended for the STICK welding work.
3. Welding outfit
In most welding applications, it is critical to have all exposed skin covered during the welding exposure to prevent burns to the skin, but a good outfit can provide maximum protection and resist many burns that can be caused due to the sparks or debris from the welding process. One should consider the material of the outfit and sleeves. Leather aprons with full sleeves provide excellent durability during any kind of welding activity, whereas flame-resistant coveralls offer best protection the welder’s body and keep the street clothes from being damaged from the sparks and flame. According to the severity of the welding, one can choose the right outfit for their purpose.
Welding jackets are necessary, especially if the weather is freezing. While choosing a welding jacket, the only one important thing that should be considered is the material of the jacket. One should pay much importance to the material of the jacket in order to make a perfect choice. The material must be inflammable and the outfit should be able to protect the welder from the sparks and frequent fire that occur during the welding work. With the appropriate material, the welder should feel safe while dealing with the welding process. Leather jacket is one of the safest welding jackets. Other factors like brand and color can also be considered.
4. Respiratory protection equipment
During welding, many fumes and gases are emitted that could be very harmful for the health. Welding gases can be extremely dangerous to breathe if there is no proper ventilation or appropriate respiratory protection. Respiratory equipment is necessary if the place of welding has very less ventilation.
One should consider some common features in a welding respirator, such as flame-retardant shell, exhalation valve, charcoal additive for odors and adjustable straps. There are many types of respiratory protections, such as disposable respirators that have been made specifically. There are even some high quality featured welding helmets that have built-in respiratory equipment in them and offer more welding flexibility.
5. Welding curtain
While selecting welding curtain, one should consider the materials and installation feature. The curtains must be easy to install and packed when not necessary. PVC screens are good welding curtains.
Buying the right type of equipment can be very confusing. Considering the above guidelines could be very helpful. If necessary, one can take help from experienced friends in selecting the appropriate accessories, or one can go through various websites with reviews provided by experienced buyers on the various welding equipment products.