The welding helmet is a protective headgear that is used in most types of welding and metal cutting processes to protect the user from UV rays, heat, sparks, and burns. It protects the face, eyes, and other exposed parts of the neck. These helmets are commonly used with arc welding processes. They are a must to prevent the ‘arc eye,’ a condition that occurs in the human eye when the cornea of the eye is inflamed. Welding helmets can also prevent retina burns that can cause severe damage to the eye and even loss of eyesight.
Standard welding helmets have a window through which the welder can properly see. This visor is covered by filter also called ‘lens shade.’ It can be made out of tinted glass or plastic but some modern welding helmets are way more superior to them. They are equipped with auto-darkening glass that changes the shade according to the light intensity.
With auto-darkening helmets, the welder does not have to tilt or move his head to see the workpiece. Additionally, these helmets provide more protection than the traditional ones. While working outdoors, the traditional helmets are fine. But most of the welding work is done inside the facilities and the intensity of light can vary. In such conditions, auto-darkening helmets are a must.
Welding helmets also provide safety to the welders as they protect them from emissions, metal splatter and sparks. Welding helmets increase the productivity of the users as they do not let them distract from the sparks and varying arc intensity. They let them concentrate on their work without even worrying about their own protection.
Welding is a process that generates a considerable amount of heat and traditional welding helmets add to it. But wearing auto-darkening helmets offer the user great comfort and some relief from the heat. Modern helmets are padded on the inside and they are more comfortable for the wearer and they also have small ventilating pores that maintain the air circulation so that the wearer feels less heat.
One should properly check the welding helmet before buying. And also, check that the helmet fulfils all the safety regulations and follows the safety guidelines issued by the concerned authority. Buying a cheap welding helmet is a compromise with the safety.