What is tack welding

Are the 3M Speedglas automatic welding filters as safe as a passive filter?

Yes, the Speedglas automatic welding filters offer continuous protection during welding (according to dark level 13) against ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) radiation, regardless of whether the filter is in the light or dark state or whether the automatic darkening of the self-darkening welding mask is switched on or not . They're potentially safer than passive filters because you can keep the visor down during the entire welding process because the filter automatically changes from light to dark and back. This has the advantage that welding is quicker by hand. In addition, the hands are not always on the helmet.

Are the 3M Speedglas automatic welding filters prone to breakage?

No more than conventional filters. All Speedglas welding filters have (interchangeable) protective screens inside and out, which are easy to replace if they have deep cracks or scratches or if they can no longer be cleaned with a soft cloth. The protective filter is embedded in the mask and is well protected there. A self-darkening Speedglas welding mask is just as robust as a passive welding mask.

What if the battery fails?

Even then, the following applies: With the Speedglas automatic welding filters, you are always protected from dangerous UV / IR radiation. The Speedglas automatic welding filters offer continuous protection during welding (according to dark level 13) against ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) radiation, regardless of whether the filter is in the light or dark state or whether the automatic darkening is switched on or not.

Can you see anything of the flash of light?

No. The filter switches too quickly for the eye to see a flash (0.1 ms at room temperature). In the transition from no arc to arc, no flash is perceptible.

How can the 3M Speedglas automatic welding mask make the welder work more productively?

The Speedglas automatic welding filters automatically switch from light to dark and back. You have both hands free and the electrode can be precisely positioned. That alone is of great use to you. An automatic welding mask also helps against neck discomfort from "nodding off" the welding mask. Because you can place the electrode much more precisely, you get a better result and you don't have to grind and touch up as much. The good and constant view through the filter of the self-darkening welding mask also makes difficult welding work easier.

How quickly does the 3M Speedglas automatic welding mask pay for itself?

If you calculate profitability in the currency "protection when welding", after just one day. But “protection” is sometimes difficult to quantify - efficiency and welding quality can be measured all the more precisely. The studies show that with Speedglas automatic welding filters, work efficiency can be increased considerably. Not only can you work faster because you always have visibility, you also have fewer and more precise movements and the electrode is more precisely positioned. This means that “blunders” can be avoided to a large extent. With fewer welding blemishes, you have less grinding work and higher quality overall.

For example:
The productivity gain is of course dependent on the application. With tack welding, the productivity gain will be considerably greater than with welding long seams. That said, this example is based on a cautiously applied increase in productivity through self-darkening welding masks of 15%. With an hourly wage of € 20, the welding mask pays for itself in around two months. Over a year, productivity gains can amount to up to € 6,000 in savings. Note: The euro amounts are approximate and can fluctuate.

How do I know which welding filter model is right for me?

Nowhere does the saying “quality has its price” apply better than with welding equipment and safety products. Devices for protection during welding and personal protective equipment (PPE) should always be selected according to the respective needs, not the price. The optimal selection of the welding filter depends first and foremost on the welding process. But also of user-related demands on the complete welding helmet system, such as the size of the field of vision, peripheral vision, perceived weight and balance, additional protection requirements, etc.

Before choosing a model, ask yourself these questions:

  • How will I use my welding mask?
  • Do I work with different welding processes?
  • Do I work with very low (<20 A) or very high (> 300 A) currents?

You invest long-term: a variable welding filter offers more flexibility for changing or new conditions in the workplace. Always speak to your safety engineer, safety officer or other safety expert if you have any doubts about appropriate protection against eye injuries in the workplace.

Respiratory protection and welding fumes

Which respiratory protection system do I need when welding stainless steel?

Regardless of whether you work with an electrode, MIG / MAG, TIG or plasma welding machine, the welding fumes from stainless steel are always contaminated with particles. The fumes produced during electrode and MAG welding usually contain chromium and nickel particles, with chromium being the more dangerous substance. Adflo with particle filter offers excellent protection when welding stainless steel using the MAG or electrode welding process. While TIG welding produces less smoke, it does release large amounts of ozone. Plasma cutting and plasma welding take place at very high temperatures, which often emits dangerous nitrogen oxides. You can read more about this in one of the following sections on welding fumes containing ozone and nitrogen oxide.

Do I really need respiratory protection when working with conventional steel?

Although the welding fumes that are produced when working with conventional steels are not among the most dangerous, they are not good for your health. Among other substances, the vapors contain iron oxide particles that can cause various types of siderosis. Dense welding fumes are released during metal arc and MIG / MAG welding, which requires both respiratory protective equipment and good ventilation of the workplace. The Adflo system with particle filter is recommended for welding conventional steel.

What kind of respiratory protection is recommended for welding work on surface-treated material?

When welding surface-treated material, a whole range of dangerous pollutants can be released. How dangerous they are depends on the type of surface treatment. Galvanized steels give off zinc oxide particles. They can cause zinc fever, also known as foundry fever. Special care is required when welding painted parts, because many paints emit particularly toxic pollutants. For welding galvanized steels and materials with a leaded primer, we recommend using Adflo with a particle filter. The system can be supplemented with an odor filter that minimizes odor pollution. In the case of materials that are painted with two-component paint or coated with polyurethane, you should definitely obtain information from an occupational health and safety expert. There is a risk of coming into contact with isocyanates which are extremely dangerous to inhale and which are difficult to detect. In such cases, we recommend a compressed air breathing apparatus such as the Versaflo V-500E.

Which respiratory protection system do I need in tight work environments?

Anyone who carries out welding work in closed rooms or poorly ventilated areas (e.g. in tanks, pipes or containers) must wear a compressed air breathing apparatus, regardless of the welding process. With the Versaflo V-500E system and a compressed air breathing air supply, you can be sure that there is enough oxygen and adequate protection against dangerous gases and solid particles. The Adflo and Versaflo V-500E must not be used in atmospheres that present an imminent threat to health or life. Whenever in doubt, ask an occupational health and safety expert!

Do shielding gases and electrode alloys affect my workplace environment?

In MIG and TIG welding, the noble gases argon and helium are used as shielding gases. Neither argon nor helium are considered dangerous; however, they displace the oxygen from the ambient air, which is particularly dangerous in non-ventilated rooms. In such cases a compressed air breathing apparatus is required. When welding with MAG, carbon dioxide or a mixture of carbon dioxide and noble gas is used as a protective gas. Since the shielding gas is converted into carbon monoxide when it comes into contact with the air, large amounts of this poisonous gas can occur around the welding arc. Carbon monoxide cannot be filtered out of the air. If the ventilation is poor, it is important to monitor the oxygen levels in the air and wear a compressed air breathing apparatus such as the Versaflo V-500E. Alloy electrodes are often used in MAG welding. These alloys usually contain manganese or silicate. This means that large amounts of manganese oxide and silicates are released into the surrounding air during the welding process. Adflo with a particle filter usually offers adequate protection against alloy particles.

When is ozone formed?

When welding aluminum, not only solid particles of aluminum oxide are produced, but also ozone. It is formed because the UV radiation from the arc breaks down molecularly bound oxygen in the air. Ozone is also produced when welding stainless steel using the TIG process. After a while, the ozone is converted back into oxygen. This process is accelerated when the ozone comes into contact with solid surfaces, which act as a catalyst. Ozone cannot be filtered from the air, but it is converted back to oxygen. At low ozone concentrations, the Adflo respiratory protection system with particle filter reduces the amount of ozone in the welder's breath. The particle filter with its large surface in connection with the breathing air hose of the welding mask acts as a catalyst for the reconversion of the ozone into normal oxygen. At higher concentrations, the use of a gas filter with the large surface area of ​​its activated carbon granulate in the Adflo system ensures a further reduction in the ozone content.

What are nitrous gases?

Nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen oxide are examples of nitrous gases that are formed during welding work with high amperage and high temperatures. Nitrogen gases arise from the reaction of nitrogen and oxygen in the air and are present in higher concentrations, such as those found in e.g. B. can occur in closed, poorly ventilated rooms, extremely dangerous when inhaled. In such cases, we recommend using the Versaflo V-500E.

Important questions about choosing a welding helmet

How much of the time is pure welding time?

If a lot of non-welding activities are carried out, a welding helmet consisting of a protective visor and a flip-up welding filter (G5-01, 9100FX, 9100MP) may be a good choice - especially if breathing protection against metal vapor is required as you do not need to take off the breathing protection. If welding is the main activity, a welding helmet with external control can be used to switch the welding filter to e.g. B. Grinding and multiple settings for welding (masks with 9100XXi filter kit) will be convenient for you.

What other PPE are required?

When working in areas where the head has to be protected against falling parts, a welding mask with flexible head protection (QR - Quick Release) would be suitable. Earplugs are available for most situations, but if earmuffs are required, the construction of the welding helmet must support the wearing of the hearing protectors.

How much welding fumes or metal fumes does your process produce?

Since all welding processes produce smoke or metal vapor, we generally recommend breathing protection equipment. 3M offers suitable disposable and reusable breathing masks for Speedglas welding masks. However, if a blower or compressed air system is indicated, then you need a welding helmet with an air duct. Here you can choose from different models - depending on which additional requirements have to be met. For detailed information, see the "Respiratory protection for welders" section (link).

How important is the size of the filter field of view to you?

It is very important for many welders to be able to see a larger part of the workpiece without having to move the welder's helmet or head. The models G5-01TW, G5-01VC, 9100XX and 9100XXi are particularly suitable here.

Do you tack weld a lot?

Then our comfort mode for tack welding could be of interest to you. The comfort mode setting counteracts eye fatigue by continuously adapting to different light levels during tack welding. An intermediate light level (dark level 5) is used in tack welding mode. If no further arc is ignited within two seconds, the welding filter switches back to the normal light level (dark level 3). The comfort mode for tack welding is available with the filters G5-01TW, 9100XX, 9100X and 9100V.