Heating, melting, and cooling – yeah, we are talking about welding! A welder feels the heat even in the cold weather. As a welder plays with fire, he needs to ensure proper safety. In addition to that, we all need efficiency in every sector. For both purposes, the auto-darkening welding helmet serves as a guardian of the welder.
If you know these special helmets well, you can easily get the best out of them. And, that’s why; I’ve written this simple but gorgeous piece on how an auto darkening welding helmet works.
A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF HOW DOES AN AUTO-DARKENING WELDING HELMET WORK
Have you ever walked wearing shades in vivid daylight? Feels soothing for the eyes, right?
An Auto darkening welding helmet works just like this. It has filter lenses that automatically make a dark effect depending on the intensity of the light. Some light sensors are installed close to the lens to identify the arc.
At first, the helmet needs to be switched on. When the welder hits the arc, the light sensors initiate and the lens begins to darken. The helmet primarily initiates with shade 3, but it is related to the luminosity and can reach up to shade 13.
The auto-darkening welding helmet has LCD, similar to the other LCD based appliances like television or monitor. As a power source, an auto-darkening welding helmet may utilize both solar energy and battery. Other types of power sources are also used such as lithium powered battery, rechargeable battery, changeable battery, etc.
Most importantly, the welder does not need to draw out the helmet if the arc deactivates or to check the work-piece or any other job during welding! He can do all these while wearing the helmet.
The lenses protect the welders’ vision with the help of UV (Ultra Violet) Ray and IR (Infrared) filter.
Components and features of auto-darkening welding helmet:
Hope we have understood the basic working procedure, let’s get acquainted with the components and features of the auto-darkening welding helmet.
As we discussed earlier, the UV and IF filter protects the eyesight of the welder from radiation. They work even if the lens is deactivated. The surface is built with glass and metal. The metallic surface also guards the LCD against heat. Three polarization filters guard the welder against the brightness of the arc. For preventing IR, the metallic surface is enough, but for preventing UV rays, polarization filters, metallic and glass surfaces, all work together.
LCC (Liquid crystal cell):
2 LCC is situated in the middle of the polarization filters. They can manipulate light with the help of electricity.
Some lights and arc sensors work to increase or decrease the darkness according to the intensity of the light. The light sensors work as a filter to remove the additional light, while the arc sensors prevent the brightness of the arc. Some auto-darkening welding helmets have 1 or 2 arc sensors. If the arc sensors are less than 4, the helmet can fail to perform properly when the arc gets brighter. Make sure that the auto-darkening welding helmet has at least 4 arc sensors.
The viewing area of the helmet should be spacious enough so that the welder can watch the work-piece comfortably.
Most helmets are made of an internal control system. It protects the welder perfectly from the intense heat of the arc. Helmets also have some manual control systems such as sensitivity controls. Through the lens of the auto-darkening welding helmet does need to be adjusted manually, however, eyesight varies from man to man.
Some eyes cannot even handle comparatively less intensity, while others can handle more intense light. That’s why matching the sensitivity with the welder’s eyesight is compulsory. The welder needs to buy according to his choice and comfort.
Another function is delay control. The welder can set the time of keeping the lens dark after stopping the arc. In most cases, it can be adjusted from zero to two seconds. For small works, it can be set to 0.5 seconds too. For lengthy work, the welder can set it to 2 seconds. This adjustment is done to balance the eyesight with the intensity of the light.
Reaction time of the lens:
The reaction time of the lens determines how fast the lens darkens with the arc intensity. Good auto-darkening welding helmet darkens swiftly. It is an important feature. For example, if you are doing arc welding for a long time, then your eyesight may get exhausted if the reaction time is slow.
Standard helmets have good reaction speed such as one/twenty thousand seconds. At low temperatures, some helmets need time to alter shades. It is harmful to the welders’ eyesight.
As we discussed earlier, various types of power sources are used in the auto-darkening welding helmet. Replaceable batteries, like those use on a cordless chainsaw, serve for a long time, while non-replaceable ones serve relatively less, for example, five to eight years.
Talking about lifespan, helmets powered by solar power are the best option but they need to be kept in the sunlight for a good amount of time, at least 24 hours before welding. Some solar-powered helmets need more time to get charged after using a few years.
Weight & Comfort:
Welders need to concentrate enormously. Also, the welder may have to wear the helmet for a long time. That’s why the comfort and weight of the helmet is quite an important issue. If the helmet is heavy, it can cause a headache. If the helmet does not match with the size of your head, you cannot watch it appropriately.
AS A PARTING THOUGHT
Some helmets suit your eyesight and some are not that comfortable. You need to check the certification and above components and features if you are interested in buying one. Remember to do the sun test by wearing the helmet, looking at the sun, and notice how quickly the lens darkens, how much it darkens, etc.
I believe you have developed some quite good understanding of how an auto darkening welding helmet works after reading this article.