Welding is a dangerous occupation. Just ask any professional welder, who’s been burnt, cut, and bent while working on a piece of equipment or product.
In fact, it’s estimated that about 66 percent of all welder injuries are to their heads, or face, so wearing a welding helmet is extremely important.
This article talks about the different types of welding helmets that are ideal for your particular welding application. There are many types of welding helmets on the market, and each type can be used for different welding applications.
Table of Contents
6 Types of Welding Helmets
1. Passive Welding Helmet
Passive welding helmets are designed to be worn in areas of the shop where work isn’t really needed, but could be beneficial to the welder, such as when he or she is trying to complete a small item at the bench top or at the workbench.
They’re not used as primary protection, and usually aren’t attached to an air source, such as a fan or air hose, when working alone. They’re more of a supplemental tool, designed to protect the welder from potentially hazardous situations.
2. Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
This type of welding helmet is named auto-darkening because it includes a visor that automatically darkens the visor when the welding helmet’s beam is turned on.
They can be used with a variety of welding machines and are most commonly used for arc welding applications. You can also use this type of helmet for gas welding, the laser welding process, or the TIG process.
3. Solar-Powered Lens Welding Helmet
Solar-powered welding helmets work using a wind sensor and a solar panel mounted on the helmet. This helmet system keeps the output between 0 and 1,000 Watts of power, depending on the type of job you’re doing.
The output is enough to cut, weld, or powder coat with a safety helmet on, but you can even operate this welding helmet with goggles.
4. Battery-Powered Welding Helmet
A battery-powered welding helmet is made of heavy-duty steel, and is made of many parts like the eye-shield and visor, and comes with a plastic bumper to protect your face when wearing it.
The helmet is powered by a rechargeable battery, and when you’re working, you simply put the helmet on and connect to a power source via a power cord. The helmet will detect when the battery is running low, and will automatically shut down until the battery is fully recharged.
5. Fixed-Shade Lens Welding Helmet
A fixed-shade helmet is designed for heavy-duty welders that are welding longer welding strokes and will be exposed to different temperature ranges. The helmet only contains one level of shading, normally level 10.
The helmet has a wide range of usage but it is better to use when working with only one type of metal as the brightness will not change much.
6. Variable-Shade Lens Welding Helmet
A variable-shade welding helmet is an American-made welding helmet with an aperture that you can move around the face, allowing you to see whatever you need.
Instead of looking through a glass window at the welding chamber or on the surface of the welding equipment, the yellow piece of glass shows you an angle from the surface of the metal, which you can adjust to make the welding mask look exactly how you need it.
How To Select the Right Welding Helmet for You?
Selecting the proper welding helmet is crucial. In addition to the weight and insulation, welding helmets need to fit your head properly to avoid the helmet from dropping down onto your face, making it more likely for a foreign object to get stuck under your chin. Before choosing a welding helmet, make sure to measure your head.
Most welding helmets include standards for operating, manufacturing, and user. The head is made of steel, and the welding helmet protects you and your face while welding.
Some helmets have a nose guard and a face shield. Others provide ear protection with vibration and shock absorbing capabilities, and some provide more protection.
Some helmets also include additional internal head protection for either elbow, chest, neck, or lower back injuries.
First and foremost, safety comes first:
- A welder’s welding helmet should always be worn when welding a metal at high temperatures.
- Never add ammonia to your welder’s mask.
- Remember to keep your goggles clear to ensure good visibility and to avoid inhaling the gas, which can damage your lungs.
- Always work in the proper ventilation zone of your building, to avoid inhaling fumes. And once your helmet is done working for the day, take it off and clean it thoroughly.
Style of Helmet
A welding helmet is constructed for certain welding tasks, either to protect the operator’s head or to protect the weld. For example, a neck or a helmet that’s made specifically for tube bending is different from a helmet that’s made to protect your head in a shear field or gantry welder.
As the name suggests, welders often need a longer helmet to get into tight spaces. This often makes them use longer welding helmets. On the other hand, a full face helmet is the most popular type of helmet for welders.
These helmets typically don’t have a nose guard and also don’t come equipped with cheek pieces. However, some of them also have cheek pieces, which some manufacturers claim is needed for welding purposes.
Auto-Darkening Helmet Features
1. Welding Light State
The welding light state determines the way an auto-darkening helmet acts. If it’s high the helmet will protect the eyes from flash and visible light.
The high reflection auto-darkening helmet absorbs only a small amount of light. The low reflection auto-darkening helmet will protect from most of the light.
Welding light state is mainly determined by the welding helmet’s colour, tint, and lens.
You should pick the brightest shade possible to cover maximum exposure to Welding light.
2. Welding Shades
Welding shades are the shields that protect your eyes while working with a welding torch. They can be used separately or with the helmet.
Welding glasses can also be used as welding shades in addition to an auto-darkening helmet.
3. Vision and Vision Relief
There are two types of vision when wearing an auto-darkening helmet, the visibility and the vision relief. When the visor is lowered, it blocks the sunlight and leaves you with no vision for about a quarter of the visor.
Since we may not be able to see at that point, this is the best time to rely on the helmet’s sensors to compensate.
The Vision relief type will show the surrounding with colors or a light in the helmet, so you will be able to see what you are doing.
4. Number of Sensors
This is the foremost question in the minds of everyone when buying an auto darkening helmet. For a start, you need to know what are the various sensors there are in an auto darkening helmet, and why it is important that you purchase an auto darkening helmet with a high number of sensors.
Most helmets come with at least two sensors, but we recommend a four-sensor helmet for superior light blocking.
Sensitivity refers to the ability of a sensor to recognize and differentiate between different lighting conditions. There are a variety of sensor technologies on the market that work together with a retro-reflector or prism to regulate the sensor spectrum.
A predetermined threshold is chosen to match the speed and movement of the operator, such as reflective strips and umbrellas. The opacity of the sensor’s tint plays a role in the speed of light and visibility of the object, resulting in the color of the light and the visibility of the scene.
6. Viewing Area
Viewing area is a parameter to measure the angle of view of the wearer. You can get a wider viewing angle by mounting a few sensors on the side.
The view can be as wide as 150 degrees, depending on the distance between your eyes and the sensor.
We hope you enjoyed our article about the different types of welding helmets. There are different types of welding helmets available for us; These helmets are available in different specifications.
By now you should be able to choose just the right type of welding helmet for your needs. Just be sure to do a proper head measurement and you will be good to go. Happy Welding!