Welding Curtains, Welding Screens and Welding Blankets
The most vulnerable parts of our body during welding are our eyes, face, arms, and hands that hold the torch and the electrodes.
These parts of our body could be potentially affected not only by UV and infrared rays but also to spatters and melting electrodes that can fly towards the welder’s direction especially when welding in a vertical position.
The welding environment can have some risks not only to the welder but also to other welders or workers inside the welding facility.
This is why we need the welding curtains, welding screen, and welding blanket to ensure that every welding environment can have safety measures installed that would protect all the people working in the building from the hazards like noise, fumes, UV radiation, and sparks.
So here is a discussion about the importance of these protective accessories and how these accessories will be able to protect us from harm coming from the welders.
Benefits of Welding Curtains
The role of the welding curtains is to contain fumes, temperatures, and noise from inside and outside the welding environment.
They are usually made of tensile strength laminate vinyl combined with carbon fiber or fiberglass materials that are machine made to make them resistant to breakage and heat.
Usually having a weld view for viewing transparency, welding curtains can efficiently block out hazardous UV rays.
The welding curtains offer a lot of advantages that include:
Controlling temperature. Welding is an application that can produce a lot of heat inside the facility. If there are a lot of welders doing their jobs at the same time, the temperature inside a confined area could get to a dangerously hot level.
Welding curtains can separate welders from other workers and can block the heat coming from the welders’ area because it has tensile strong materials that can withstand and block off extreme temperatures anywhere from -20 (-29 degrees Celsius) to 180 degrees Fahrenheit (82 degrees Celsius).
Reducing noise levels. Welding facilities can be very noisy as these are enclosed that makes the sound reverberate throughout the whole building. Noise, when not controlled, can harm the hearing of all workers. But because welding curtains are thick and heavy, they can efficiently block the sound and keep it down to its safe level.
Containing off fumes. All types of welding methods produce fumes. Considering that the welders are wearing respirators, the fumes which can be toxic can spread inside the building and can affect other people.
Welding curtains can also block fumes but they should work in conjunction with proper ventilation to disperse the toxic fumes out of the facility.
Welding curtains come in different sizes, design, and styles to cater to different working environment and preference of the building owners. But here are the most common styles of welding curtains.
Various Styles of Welding Curtains
Industrial Welding Curtains. These curtains are the largest types and can form a complete wall that can partition rooms. Depending on the assembly, they can also form 4-sided welding booths.
Canvas Welding Curtains. These are made for welders who work separately from each other or from other workers so they are designed to be heat, flame, sparks and weld slag resistant.
Welding Booth Curtains. Commonly used in schools and training facilities, they can be rather small like side to side welding booths but wide enough to let you move around your welding project.
Welding Curtain Rolls. These curtains are usually tinted and opaque that can be rolled up and down. They are generally put to welding cell fencing or hang on cell partitions.
Welding curtains are usually used by large welding facilities like the industrial type metal assembly buildings. On rather small assembly facilities they are the best options when partitioning the working area and isolate the welders from other workers.
On some small shops, however, especially areas that are not too confined, some welders prefer to use the welding screens which are smaller than the welding curtains. These are installed inside the facilities to cover up individual welders or group of welders and protect other workers from the fumes and other hazards.
Benefits of Welding Screens
Welding screens can protect other workers from fumes and gases and can reduce the amount of UV light that other workers may get exposed to. When they are installed, it can offer better working privacy with your work while preventing dangerous flash burns to other people’s eyes even they do not directly look at the flashes your torch produces.
Since welders can build their frames to hold up the welding screen, this also allows them to customize the design and size of their screens. The important thing is that they must have enough blockages to confine themselves and avoid hurting people’s eyes and skin that may come from their work.
Welding screens are generally made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic that is combined with flame-retardant chemicals and other compounds that can absorb UV rays. They are also color dyed to make them more colorful and opaque while some are available in transparent forms.
When choosing for a welding screen, look for a product that must fit with your working conditions and style. Should it be mobile or the fixed type? It should also have reinforced hems to prevent them from tearing and preferably have eyelets so you can move it aside. Ideally, it should pass a safety standard to ensure that it will serve its purpose.
Types of Welding Screens
The most common types of welding screens are the portable types which are light, easy to handle and indispensable. It can offer the best protection against high levels of UV rays, flying debris and sparks and is highly movable. You can order them with frames or frames with casters.
There are only three basic styles of welding screens. The single screens, the foldable dual screens, and the triple foldable welding screens. Each style can provide the right protection at your design preference. If you want to have a complete set up of four corners to isolate yourself from other people, you can combine any of the two foldable welding screens to form square covers.
Transparent colored welding screens are now some of the popular types of welding screens because it allows people to see what’s going on inside the welder’s area while it can block off UV rays due to the compound mixed on the vinyl.
Now we go on what welding blankets are all about and how they can add protection for the welders inside welders’ facilities.
Benefits of the Welding Blankets
Welding blankets are also called fire blankets. They are designed to provide protection both for the welder and the equipment from spatters, heat and flame which ordinarily occur when welding on metal assemblies.
Welding blankets can consist of layers of materials like fiberglass, vermiculite, silica, aluminum fiberglass, and carbon and heat-treated to make them heat resistant. You can use it as a shield underneath or when cutting, grinding any metal to confine sparks and spatters. they can be efficient covers both for horizontal and vertical positions when welding.
An efficient welding blanket should withstand temperatures from 300 (149 degrees Celsius) to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit (1,372 degrees Celsius). It should not also contain asbestos but stitched with Kevlar threads or fiberglass sewing threads to make it more resistant against flame and heat.
Different Types of Welding Blankets
Welding blankets only come in one style and that is in blanket form. However, they are available in three different types suited for different applications.
Light Duty Applications. These can offer effective shields from sparks when draped over a fence, equipment or any flat surfaces. It has a continuous work temperature of 550 degrees Centigrade and a melting point of 800 degrees Centigrade.
Medium Duty Applications. Can also provide efficient cover from sparks, light spatters, and heavy molten metal when laid on flooring surfaces, draped over equipment or on a horizontal plane if you want to hold sparks and spatters. Continuous work temperature is 500 degrees Centigrade with a melting point of 800 degrees Centigrade.
Heavy-Duty Applications. Designed to provide utmost protection from sparks, metal spatters and slag that can generate during fabrication, cutting, grinding and welding activity. It is resistant to high temperatures and abrasions.
These are the perfect blanket for automotive and paint jobs and will not scrape body paint of cars. It is also excellent for horizontal plane position to catch sparks and spatters including metal slag. Continuous work is 500 degrees Centigrade with a melting temperature of 900 degrees Centigrade.
Welding blankets can offer a lot of varieties for its uses. You can use it as a welding curtain or a welding screen. However, it is commonly available in an opaque form and may not totally block off fumes.
If your welding facility is complete with welding curtains, welding screens, and welding blankets, you are ensured that people around you are completely protected from the risks that come from your work like the hazards we have mentioned here.
These are just inexpensive accessories but the benefits they provide are vast. The welfare of other workers including you should be the number one priority in any working environment and these accessories are easy to install, easy to use and let you do your work without worry that other people are getting harmed by the fumes and flashes you create from your work.
You, as a welder, must also be protected by these accessories. On the other hand, you should also be primarily equipped with your own safety gears like welding helmet, welding gloves, welding aprons, and welding sleeves. So take your safety measures first because you are more exposed to the hazards compared to your co-workers.