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Motorsport Fabrication Fundamentals: Welding Helmet

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Welding Helmet


00:00 - We've already discussed eye protection but when it comes to the welding processes used in fabrication, it's important to understand the dangers behind the light emitted by welding.
00:09 A welding arc gives off radiation over a broad range of wavelengths including ultra violet, visible light and infrared.
00:16 To protect ourselves from all of this, we need to wear a welding helmet or welding mask as it's also known.
00:23 The most common type you'll see is the auto darkening helmet that senses the arc strike and immediately darkens your view to a preset shade.
00:30 This makes it possible to see through the mask normally when you're not welding.
00:34 The older style of weld helmet uses a passive lens that requires you to flip the helmet down during welding and up again so that you can see the work piece.
00:43 Although this helmet is a cheaper alternative, it can make the beginning of the weld very difficult to position and repetitive welds can also be problematic as you raise and lower the shield repeatedly with each tack or weld.
00:56 Given the relatively low cost for an entry level auto darkening helmet, as well as the advantages, like a larger viewing screen and the ease of use that it provides, there's really no reason to choose a passive style welding helmet these days.
01:10 With an auto darkening helmet, the sensitivity is adjustable and this might need to be turned down when using very low amps or up when overhead or working outside where sunlight could trigger the auto darkening mode prematurely.
01:23 The delay setting can also be adjusted which changes the length of time that the auto darkening mode stays on after the weld arc has finished.
01:31 We'd typically turn the delay up on high amperage welds where the weld pool may stay bright for longer or down to save time and increase visibility when tack welding.
01:41 It's also common for an auto darkening helmet to have a grinding mode which allows the weld mask to be used as a face shield.
01:47 Although this does save time, it also decreases the visibility when grinding and it makes it difficult to wear ear protection.
01:54 This is not something we make use of, purely because the grinding sparks can quickly damage the outside of the screen of the mask, making it harder to see clearly when you're welding.
02:04 One thing both styles of helmet have in common though is that they provide 100% ultra violet and infrared filtering regardless of the shade setting.
02:12 Not filtering the UV and infrared light can cause an extremely uncomfortable eye condition called arc eye which is the result of exposure to the intense UV light that the arc gives off.
02:23 In just a few seconds of exposure, arc flash or arc eye can begin to cause inflammation of the membrane in the front of the eye, causing you to experience some pretty severe pain that could be best described as feeling like your eyes are full of sand.

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