Welding might seem like a glittering job where one fuses metals. However, it is less fun than it looks. If the proper protective gear is not worn, the fumes can lead to eye damage and can make you handicapped for life. One can benefit from a welding helmet to prevent that from happening.
There are two types of welding helmets: the old-fashioned ones and with regular ones. The other is an auto-darkening welding helmet that adjusts according to your needs. An auto-dimming welding helmet saves your eyes, looks cool, and is a good investment for your health. Keep reading as we find out how an auto dimming welding helmet works.
What is an Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet Made Of
The auto dimming welding helmet comprises several parts that make it a cool investment. Some various functions and features go hand in hand in providing this masterpiece. All the pieces come together to give the users an optimal experience.
- UV/IR Interference Filter
The first and foremost important part of any helmet is the UV interference filter, which always works. It comprises various metallic layers and a thin glass substrate that directly eliminates radiation, even when the auto-dimming is off. The coating not only protects your eyes from radiation but also protects them from direct heat or high temperature. Moreover, the layers form a reflective purple metallic shade that looks cool while you do all the hard work.
- Polarisation Filters
The polarization filters combine with the IR/UV rays to darken the helmet and protect your eyes. A self-darkening welding helmet might have more than one polarisation filter positioned at such an angle (90 degrees) that it darkens the helmet. The fumes cause high light to spark, which might damage your eyesight. But wearing an self darkening welding hood protects your vision from harmful light.
- LC Cell Liquid Crystal Cells (LCC)
The main purpose of any LCC in a self-darkening helmet is to bend the light. If these cells are positioned at the right angle of 90, they turn the light and save your eyes from harmful substances.
How Do These Parts Work Together?
From a distance, the auto tint welding helmet might seem like a simple tool to make your life easier. However, if you look closely, you start to understand the magic happening to save your eyes. The layers start with the IR/UV interference filter that always works, even when the auto-dimming is off. It keeps your eyes from 99% of the rays that cause heat burn.
Then comes the first layer of polarisation filter that protect your eyes from direct heat and dim them from harming your eyes. The second layer of LC-Cell rotates the light so it doesn’t directly affect your cornea. After that, another layer of the polarization filter further prevents heat from entering your eyes. The third layer is another LC-Cell that bends the light and saves you from harm. Last but not least is the layer of polarisation filter that works as a cherry on top. The layers are positioned at 90 degrees to maximize their utility and make your life easier.
How Fast Do Helmet Lenses Work?
Now that we are clear about the components and their role, it becomes easier to understand how a helmet work. All the parts come together, creating a formation and providing decent results.
The polarization filter is closest to the eyes of the welders. The liquid crystals bends the light 90 degrees when the auto dimming switch is off. It makes the visor or lens of the helmet appear dark by 5-6 times. This built-in feature works even when the button is off to protect your eyes.
When the auto-dimming switch is turned on, the crystal cells untwist polarised light ways to drop down the lens to 3 levels further. The best part is that all this happens within 0.1 milliseconds of the arc being stuck. If this doesn’t occur, check your ADL, as that might be a problem. The photosensors on the front activate to darken the panel to your pre-selected dark state. An automatic welding helmet darkens the helmet when arcs are coming out and returns to a normal state after the work is done. It allows the welder to inspect their work when they stop welding.
Are auto-darkening welding helmets safe?
If there is anything auto dimming welding helmet is, it is safe. Helmets of any kind are made to save yourself from harm. And the auto-dimming helmets take things to the next level. In contrast to normal helmets, auto tint welding helmets automatically keep your eyes from arcs. And returns to a normal state when no flame is coming out.
An auto-dimming helmet allows you to look at your work while wearing the helmet; you don’t need to lift it off. It can be an issue if someone else starts welding and any electric sparks pop into your eyes.
What to look for in an auto-darkening welding helmet?
One shouldn’t compromise in making the best safety and health decisions. It would be best to look into various factors to get the best helmet for your needs. It is an investment that can make your life easier, so why not think twice before buying one? Consider these points and buy the helmet that serves all your purposes.
- Lens Reaction Time
The protection of any helmet depends on the lens and how fast it darkens. It takes only milliseconds for the helmet to make the lens dark. The industry standards for helmet speed are ANSI Z87.1 and CSA Z94.3; one should consider them before buying them.
The speed it takes to darken the helmet makes the helmet comfortable. The faster it is, the better results you will have. As there are two ways it can help you. First, the time it takes to darken the lens so you can start working. And the other is to return the lens to a normal state so you can inspect your work easily. Both times go hand in hand to provide an optimal user experience.
- Fixed vs. Variable Lenses
Now that we have understood the lens’s darkness and its impacts on your eyes. The next question arises regarding fixed and variable lenses. The fixed lenses only have a single dark shade and stick to them. In contrast, the variable lenses change the shade according to your needs. It is not stuck with a single shade and changes according to your needs.
The most popular number is shade 10, which is suitable for most work. However, if your job demands more dark lenses, you can get darker shades up to 13. The industry standard for dark lenses varies between levels 8 to 13.
- Adjustable Controls
Now that we have understood how a lens is dark and its role. It is equally important to know how having an adjustable control can further enhance the user experience.
Users can easily adjust the level of darkness they want to achieve from their helmet. Moreover, one can change how long it takes for the helmet to return to normal after the work is done. It can be beneficial if one of your works doesn’t require too much darkness and can be done with a simpler shade.
- Helmet Size
The helmet size depends on your personal preference as to what extent you are more comfortable wearing. Undoubllty, the bigger the helmet size, the larger area of protection it provides to the user. But all that comes at the cost of making the helmet bigger and less comfortable. It could be better if you are going to work for longer hours.
A small-sized helmet means you can be more focused on the area of work and is an advantage if you are more into the details of your work.
- Power Source
All the magic that happens in a welding helmet comes at a cost, and that is power sourcing. There are various ways to do so, by a battery pack or solar energy. Some helmets even have the option to adjust the power without taking them off; however, it can be a bit dangerous to do so.
Do All Auto-Darkening Welding Helmets Have Batteries?
Yes, every welding helmet needs a power source to work, and that is done through batteries. The lithium batteries provide voltage and current to power the lens to darken and lighten it as the user demands. Users can get an auto-darkening pipeliner hood with changeable batteries; this allows them to have an extra pair at hand. So the work doesn’t stop, even if one of their batteries dies.
Keeping yourself safe at every time is the most crucial part of life. One should never risk themselves to make a livelihood. An auto-darkening welding shield is the perfect example of it.
Now that you know all the components of an auto-darkening welding hood, how does it work, and where does it get power from? The decision of choosing what is best for you might be easier. We hope this article was helpful for you while making this safety decision and wish you happy welding!