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Maintaining Your Welding PPE Without Breaking the Bank

a welder using welding PPE to work

Welding is a skilled trade that requires significant investment when it comes to safety gear. Personal Protective Equipment is important when it comes to protection, but let’s face it: buying new gear is expensive. So, how do you maintain your welding PPE without breaking the bank? 

Safety on a Budget: Maintaining Your Welding PPE Without Breaking the Bank

Prevention is Key in Maintaining Welding PPE

The best way to save money on welding PPE is to take extra care of it. Here’s how: 

  • Establish a Cleaning Routine: Establish for yourself a cleaning routine that works for you and your schedule.
  • Proper Storage: Make sure you take extra precautions when it comes to storing your welding PPE. The way you store your leather welding clothing or FR welding clothing is a big factor in extending the life of your welding gear. Having a well-protected, well-ventilated, and dry location is always ideal. 
  • Inspect Regularly: Before each use, take a closer look at your welding PPE and look for signs of wear and tear. By doing this, you can fix minor damages. 

a welder using welding PPE to work

Smart Repairs

If you’ve got minor damages, it doesn’t mean you need to replace your entire gear. You can consider these easy fixes:

  • Replace worn out parts: If you inspect regularly, you are able to replace worn out parts before they become a bigger problem. This could mean replacing a button or two
  • Sew it up: As simple as this sounds, patching up small holes or sewing a few things in your welding clothing can help extend the life of your welding PPE. 
  • DIY Cleaning Solutions: There are a lot of DIY cleaning solutions that would work for the type of welding clothing you have. Just make sure you get advice from legitimate and reliable sources. 

Know When to Replace Your Welding PPE

When you’ve done all you can to maintain your welding PPE, there comes a time when you definitely need to replace them. Read the full blog on 5 Signs to Know When it’s Time to Get New FR Clothing. 

 

Just remember there are 2 reasons why you should get rid of old FR clothing. One, your garment can no longer be repaired, or two, it’s too soiled with flammable contaminants that it’s impossible to remove by cleaning solutions or through the laundry. 

 

These are just a few welding clothing tips you need to know to make sure you maintain and extend the life of your welding PPE. But if you need new gear, visit our webshop and shop now!

Does Lightweight Welding Gear Compromise Protection?

a welder wearing lightweight welding clothing

Professional welders spend long hours on the job. So, whatever makes them comfortable and efficient counts. Traditional welding gear can sometimes be bulky and can cause unnecessary fatigue. That’s why lightweight welding gear can be a big advantage offering the relief a welder needs without compromising protection. 

Weld with Ease: The Advantages of Lightweight Welding Gear

Weld with Flexibility:

The most important advantage of lightweight welding gear is you get the flexibility you need. Lighter jackets, helmets, and pants give you a wider range when it comes to motion which is important in reaching tight spaces or even working on overhead welds. This means you get less strain and fatigue, which gives you more accuracy and productivity. 

Comfort from Lightweight Welding Gear

The lighter it is, the more comfort you get. Since lightweight welding gear is less bulky, that means you get better airflow. This is especially important during the summer or when working in confined spaces. It keeps you cool and prevents overheating. Added comfort improves focus and the overall well-being of the welder throughout the workday. 

Lightweight welding gear, FR welding shirt
Waylandwer Welding FR Cotton Welding Shirt, Breathable design

Easy to Transport

Lightweight means easy to transport. For welders who are always on the go, you need your gear wherever you go. Whether you carry it to and from any job site or just work around the workshop, portability means a lot. It means you get to save time and effort, allowing you to focus more on your welding tasks.

Keeping up with Innovation

Ligthwelding welding clothing is an advancement in material science, and as a welder, you need to be updated to take advantage of what technology provides you. These Flame Retardant treated fabrics, however light they are, do not sacrifice safety standards, and they offer durability and heat resistance. When in doubt, do more research as to how to choose the best lightweight welding gear. 

Remember, Lightweight Welding Gear doesn’t Mean Compromise

The usual thinking is light means it isn’t durable. But when you choose quality lightweight welding gear that meets industry standards, then you know for sure that your safety isn’t compromised.

With lightweight welding gear, you get a combination of comfort, mobility, and protection. By taking advantage of these advancements in design and materials, welders could improve their working conditions without compromising safety. So, whenever you need it, embrace the freedom of comfort and flexibility of lightweight welding clothing whenever you can. 

Caring for Welding Clothing: Ensuring Longevity and Safety

welding clothing

Welding clothing plays a crucial role in protecting welders from the numerous hazards associated with their work, including sparks, heat, and molten metal splatters. Proper care and maintenance of welding clothing are essential to ensure its longevity and effectiveness in providing the necessary protection. 

By following a few simple steps, welders can extend the lifespan of their welding garments while maximizing safety during welding operations.

Caring for Welding Clothing

Cleaning:

Regular cleaning is vital for maintaining the integrity of welding clothing. After each use, remove any loose debris, such as metal fragments or dust, from the garment. For leather clothing, wipe it down with a soft cloth or brush to remove any dirt or grime. Fabric-based welding clothing can typically be machine-washed, but always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific care guidelines. Use mild detergents and avoid bleach or harsh chemicals that can damage the fabric’s flame-resistant properties.

Drying:

Proper drying techniques are essential to prevent damage to welding clothing. Air-drying is generally recommended, as high heat from dryers can cause shrinkage or affect the fabric’s fire-resistant properties. Hang the clothing in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Ensure that the garment is fully dry before storing it to prevent the growth of mold or mildew.

Storage:

Proper storage is crucial for preserving welding clothing when it is not in use. Store garments in a clean and dry area, away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures. Avoid folding or compressing the clothing excessively, as this can lead to creasing or damage to the fabric. If possible, hang the clothing on sturdy hangers to maintain its shape and integrity.

welding clothing

Inspecting welding clothing:

Regularly inspect welding clothing for any signs of wear or damage. Check for frayed seams, holes, or areas of excessive wear. If any defects are found, repair or replace the garment as necessary. It is essential to address any damage promptly to ensure the clothing’s effectiveness in protecting against welding hazards.

Replacement:

Welding clothing has a limited lifespan due to its exposure to intense heat, sparks, and other hazardous elements. It is important to recognize when welding clothing has reached the end of its useful life. 

Faded or discolored fabric, compromised fire-resistant properties, or significant damage are indications that it is time to replace the garment. Prioritize safety over cost and invest in high-quality replacements to maintain a safe working environment.

Caring for welding clothing is essential for ensuring its longevity and safety. Regular cleaning, proper drying, appropriate storage, and routine inspection are key practices to maintain the integrity of welding garments. By following these care guidelines, welders can optimize the effectiveness of their protective clothing, enhance their own safety, and promote a productive and secure welding environment.

Helpful Welding Tips When Using Cotton Welding Clothing

cotton welding clothing

Welding is a hazardous process that requires proper safety precautions to protect the welder from potential dangers. One crucial aspect of welding safety is the use of appropriate clothing. When it comes to welding clothing, many welders opt for cotton garments due to their comfort, breathability, and affordability. However, it’s essential to follow specific tips to ensure the cotton welding clothing provides adequate protection. In this article, we will discuss some helpful welding tips when using cotton-welding clothing.

Helpful Welding Tips When Using Cotton Welding Clothing

1. Choose Fire-Resistant Cotton welding clothing:

While cotton is a popular fabric for welding clothing, it is not inherently flame-resistant. Standard cotton can ignite and continue to burn, posing a severe risk. So, it is crucial to choose fire-resistant (FR) cotton garments specifically designed for welding. FR cotton is treated with chemicals that make it resistant to flames, reducing the risk of injury.

 

2. Check for Compliance:

When purchasing cotton welding clothing, always look for compliance with relevant safety standards, such as the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 2112 standard for flame-resistant garments. This ensures that the clothing meets the necessary safety requirements and provides adequate protection.

 

2. Wear Proper Layers:

Layering is an effective way to enhance protection when using cotton welding clothing. Start with a base layer made of flame-resistant fabric, such as FR cotton. This layer should fit snugly to the body. On top of the base layer, add an FR cotton shirt and pants. If necessary, consider adding additional protective layers, such as welding jackets or aprons, made from fire-resistant materials.

cotton welding clothing

4. Check for Damage:

Before each use, inspect your cotton welding clothing for any signs of damage, such as frayed edges, holes, or weakened areas. Damaged clothing may compromise its ability to protect you from sparks, heat, and flames. If you notice any issues, replace the damaged garments immediately.

 

5. Avoid Synthetic Materials:

While cotton is a suitable fabric for welding clothing, avoid combining it with synthetic materials like polyester or nylon. Synthetic fabrics are highly flammable and can melt when exposed to extreme heat, causing severe burns. Stick to 100% cotton garments or blends that contain only natural fibers.

 

6. Maintain Cleanliness:

Regularly clean your cotton welding clothing to remove any accumulated dirt, debris, or flammable substances. Contaminated clothing can increase the risk of fire and reduce the effectiveness of flame-resistant properties. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for washing and drying your garments properly.

 

7. Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

Remember that cotton welding clothing is just one component of your overall personal protective equipment. Always wear additional safety gear, such as a welding helmet, safety glasses, gloves, and steel-toed boots, to ensure comprehensive protection during the welding process.

 

Using cotton welding clothing can provide comfort and breathability while offering some protection against sparks and heat. However, it’s crucial to choose fire-resistant cotton garments and follow the tips above to maximize safety. By selecting compliant clothing, wearing proper layers, inspecting for damage, avoiding synthetic materials, maintaining cleanliness, and using PPE, welders can significantly reduce the risk of injury while enjoying the benefits of cotton welding clothing. Remember, safety should always be the top priority in welding operations.

Must-Have Welding PPE: Checklist

welding ppe checklist

Welding plays an important role in the building sector. This is because every building project depends on the welding sector to frame it. No matter how big or little the construction is, you’ll need welders to come in and fuse every metal component. Construction of bridges, agricultural and farming facilities, as well as structures also need welding. Moreover, it is used in pipelines for natural gas and petroleum.

 

Also, it’s crucial to build iron structures close to bodies of water. Because conventional fasteners like nuts and bolts cannot be used to join two pieces of metal, these constructions may corrode. In this situation, welding is the best method for joining the metals together. Welders, like other professions, must prioritize their safety and put on the proper protective gear.

Checklist for Must-Have Welding PPE

 

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Standards of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), all employees or individuals directly involved in welding or cutting operations shall be provided with goggles, helmets, or head shields fitted with appropriate filter lenses, hand shields, and appropriate aprons.

 

Besides that, gloves, goggles, or any other essential protective apparel must be provided to anyone immediately helping with welding or cutting operations.

 

By providing approved respiratory protective equipment, a local exhaust system, and a general ventilation system to keep fumes, gases, and dust within permitted concentrations or threshold limit values, the DOLE also requires that people welding or cutting in confined spaces be protected from inhaling any fumes, gases, or dust.

 

Whether you want to use your newly acquired skills for DIY projects or pursue welding as a career, you need the right tools and equipment. Let’s dig deeper into your welding PPE checklist!

1. Welding Goggles

While welding or cutting, the welder’s eyes are momentarily protected by welding goggles. This safety gear is meant to shield the eyes from sparks from flying welding debris as well as heat and visible radiation.

 

The welding process always generates strong ultraviolet and infrared waves as visible light waves. Yet, UV and infrared radiation can also harm the eyes of welders when it is received indirectly.

 

Be aware that welding goggles are available with a range of lens numbers to suit your particular needs. Arc welding cannot be done with filters made for gas welding. because deeper lens colors must be used while arc welding.

2. Welding Helmets

A welding helmet, commonly referred to as a “hood,” is one of the most important pieces of personal protection equipment a welder must wear. The perfect helmet protects the eyes and skin not just from sparks but also from ultraviolet light, which can impair eyesight, and infrared rays generated by the arc.

 

Welding helmets are now offered in a selection of eye-catching hues and designs. Yet, this aesthetic aspect is combined with an utilitarian aspect that calls for a lightweight helmet that can be worn comfortably for an entire day of work. The ideal helmet weighs about 20 oz less to reduce the chance of neck soreness or fatigue after wearing it all day.

3. Welding Hats

The next item of welding safety gear is welding headgear, which protects the welder’s head and hair.

 

This piece of equipment’s main function is to increase safety while reducing the discomfort associated with a welding helmet. To lessen the chance of a flame, cotton and cotton thread are frequently used in the stitching of welding helmets.

4. Welding Gloves Welding PPE

Welding Gloves are advised to protect the hands of welders. They include greater welder grip and protection from electric shock, extreme heat, UV, and infrared radiation.

 

For a welding technique involving high temperatures, leather welding gloves are a great option. Based on how durable they are, these gloves are separated into three groups. To begin with, TIG welding gloves are made of goat, cow, or pork skin. Conversely, MIG welding gloves are made of pig, cow, or deerskin. Use leather welding gloves made from deer or cow leather as a last step.

5. Welding Apron

The best welding aprons should be made from sturdy materials like cowhide or pig skin. A plastic or polyester apron should never be used or worn when welding since it could melt into the welder’s skin. A flame-resistant apron is the best choice when the welder’s job necessitates regular exposure to high heat or open flames.

 

The two most popular types of welding aprons are the half apron, which covers the waist down, and the full apron, which covers the entire front side of the welder and resembles a chef’s apron. The main materials for aprons were heavy denim and cotton.

 

6. Welding Jacket

When making a choice, the welder must examine the advantages and disadvantages of each type of welding attire.

 

When working in an environment where extreme heat, strong sparks, and the threat of molten metal are present all the time, you must wear a fire-resistant jacket. Among the most popular materials for apparel are leather and flame-resistant cotton.

 

Cotton coats can offer the perfect balance of ease, affordability, and protection. The drawback of this type of jacket is that not all welding operations can be adequately protected by it. Due to its great fire resistance and capacity to keep welders safe, leather jackets have long been considered essential for welding.

7. Welding Boots

For welding work, a pair of shoes that can withstand sparks and heavy objects landing on a welder’s feet is essential. At first glance, welding boots resemble conventional boots, but the leather that covers the laces and the top distinguishes them.

 

A good pair of welding boots should serve two main goals. It’s important to remember that leather welding boots are heat- and water-resistant. First of all, when the welder is working, welding boots prevent the foot from aching or going numb for extended periods of time. As a result, the welder is able to weld effortlessly under the best circumstances.

8. Hearing Protection/Earplugs

By nature, welding is a noisy process. Ear muffs or earplugs are required as part of your hearing protection as a welder in order to drown out noise while you work.

 

The three most popular varieties of hearing protection are earplugs, semi-insert earplugs, and earmuffs. Noise level is one consideration while choosing hearing protection. The most important aspect, however, is that the welder must feel comfortable wearing the hearing protection and that it must keep noise out of his or her ears.

9. Welding Respirator

Metal oxide particles, which form a residue after the welding process, are incredibly minute and dense in welding gases. The amount of weld fumes depends on a number of variables, including the type of metal used and the welding procedure.

 

The greatest solution for protection is a welding respirator. The right welding respirator must be chosen by all welders, novice and expert alike.

 

There are numerous designs that can be employed right now to limit the amount of smoke in the office. They include provided air respirators, powered water purifying respirators, and half-mask respirators. By using a breathing mask, a welder can reduce their risk of developing serious health issues such metal fume fever, bronchial asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, and lung cancer.

How to Choose Welding Work Clothes

welding work clothes

Welders typically work in harsh conditions such as high temperatures, welding slag splashing, and high radiation. It is easy for them to injure themselves if they do not properly wear protective equipment. Welder clothing is protective clothing worn by welding workers in the factory to provide wear resistance, heat insulation, and fire resistance. To get maximum protection, here’s how to choose welding work clothes.

 

man in black helmet and brown jacket sitting on brown wooden box

 

How to Choose Welding Work Clothes

  • Choose cotton over polyester and other chemical fibers for welding work clothes

Clothing made of polyester or other chemical fibers will turn into liquid and stick to the skin when heated during welding. This is a surefire way to get burns and scalds. While cotton professional clothing is more heat resistant, it only becomes ashes and doesn’t alter shape even if it is burned. 

  • Make sure key stressed parts are reinforced with double-layer leather

To prevent sparks, slag, and other debris from splashing onto the head and shoulders from a height during oxygen welding and cutting, the key stressed parts should be reinforced with double-layer leather. 

  • Adjustable Velcro Upright Collars

Welding suits also have adjustable velcro upright collars that can block the high temperature splashes produced by workers while welding; the shoulders are designed with seam protection strips to increase the durability of welding suits.

  • Maximum Coverage

Welder clothing should be kept dry and not wet, pockets should have flaps, the upper body should cover the waist, trousers should cover the shoes, and there should be no damage, holes, or grease on the welder’s work clothes in the summer.

 

woman welding grey metal plate

Welding Clothing Standards

Many industrial regulating agencies require employers to assess occupational risks and provide workers with PPE in order to reduce personnel hazards. For noncompliance, some agencies, such as OSHA, may levy federally mandated fines. Their article 1915.152 goes into detail about PPE policy in the United States. 

Other standards organizations have published documents outlining the requirements for protective clothing. ISO 11611 specifies specifications for two types of welding clothing. It is based on other documents, such as ISO 9150, which addresses the resistance of materials to molten splatter. Finally, ASTM 6413 specifies manufacturing standards for PPE flame resistance.

Waylander Welding Clothing

If you’re looking for quality welding clothing for maximum protection, visit Waylander Welding today! We’ve got leather welding clothing and FR cotton welding clothing that will surely give you the protection you need while at work. Check out our welding aprons and jackets and other welding apparel right now!

Welding Cloth Materials: Advantages and Disadvantages

a welder working

Welding cloth is a type of personal protective equipment (PPE) that uses fire-resistant and thermally insulating materials to protect welders from metal splatter and high heat. The American Welding Society issued several recommendations regarding welding and cutting protective clothing in May of 2008. Welding apparel, according to Safety and Health Fact Sheet No. 33, should allow for freedom of movement while covering all areas of exposed skin. Long-sleeved shirts and pants that cover the tops of your boots are recommended. The fabric should be heavy cotton or wool with no holes, tears, or frayed edges. Let’s take a look and explore more on the different materials for welding clothing.

person in blue denim jacket

Welding cloth materials include:

The following are the best materials for welding clothing:

Cotton: Cotton welding clothing offers cost-effective protection from flames, sparks, and molten splash. FR cotton has been chemically treated to be heat resistant. Cotton fabric dresses are a lightweight, breathable alternative to leather. For up to 50 washings, the material remains flame resistant.

Leather: Premium heavy side split cow leather is used to make welding leather clothing. Chrome tanned for softness and durability, as well as resistance to heat, sparks, slag, and cuts. All seams are sewn with Kevlar thread and double lock stitched.

Denim: While not ideal for welding, denim is a thick, rugged material that will protect welders in low-volume, low-intensity operations.

Rubber: Rubber is not commonly used in welding jackets or caps, but it is used in welding chaps, boots, and boot covers.

Synthetic Materials: Synthetic materials are dangerous because they melt and cause severe burns to your skin. Sparks and slag will damage cotton clothing, but cotton will simply smolder.

 

Benefits of Welding Cloth:

  • To protect against UV radiation, hot metal, sparks, and open flames, welding cloth is made of heavyweight, tightly woven 100% wool or cotton. 

  • To protect the neck, wear long-sleeved shirts with buttoned cuffs and a collar. Light is reflected less when dark colors are used.

  • To prevent sparks from entering high top boots, they must be fully laced. 

  • It prevents sparks from bouncing in the top of the boots by wearing fire-resistant boot protectors or spats strapped around the pant legs and boot tops.

  • It protects the wrists and forearms when worn with gauntlet-style cuff leather gloves or protective sleeves of similar material. 

  • If kept dry, leather is an excellent electrical insulator.

  • When standing or sitting, wearing a leather apron protects one’s chest and lap from sparks.

  • For wearing multiple layers of clothing. It keeps you from sweating and keeps you from overdressing in cold weather.

  • To protect your head from burns and UV radiation, wear a fire-resistant skull cap or balaclava hood under your helmet.

  • A welder’s face shield is useful in protecting your face from UV radiation and flying particles.

Welding Cloth Disadvantages

  • Sweaty clothing allows heat to escape quickly.

  • If you are overdressed, leather welding jackets are not very breathable and can cause you to sweat.

  • For wearing synthetic or synthetic blend clothing. The synthetic fabric can burn quickly, melt, and cause severe skin burns.

Welding Cloth Reminders:

  • Maintain clean clothing that is free of oils, greases, and combustible contaminants.

  • Close shirt pockets with tape or keep them covered with flaps to avoid collecting sparks or hot metal.

  • Pant legs must be cuffed and cover the tops of the boots. Sparks can be collected by cuffs.

  • Mend any frayed edges, tears, or holes in your clothing.

  • Remove all ignition sources from your pockets, including matches and butane lighters.

  • Hot welding sparks may ignite leaking lighter fuel or light the matches.

  • Any spark spray should be directed away from your clothing.

  • Wear no rings or other jewelry.

Benefits of Cotton While Welding

welding jacket, welding apron

Since welding involves using heat to bond various metals together, it is important that you wear welding clothes material that is specific for the job, specifically welding PPE and other safety gear at all times. This entails dressing in attire that is advised for usage when working in a hot environment.

 

Natural fibers, of which cotton is formed entirely of, are recommended for welding since they are less combustible and easier to put out than synthetic fibers.

 

Clothing made of cotton that has been chemically treated to make it flame-resistant (FR) also provides reasonably priced defense against flames, sparks, and molten splash. 

 

Let’s take a look at the benefits of cotton while welding.

 

Benefits of Cotton for Welding

1.) Cotton fabrics are resistant to fire. Cotton burns more slowly than synthetic materials, therefore if your cotton shirt catches fire, you can put it out quickly with your glove.

 

2.) Cotton is good for welding protection- In applications with moderate sparks and spatter, a FR cotton jacket can provide a good balance of protection and comfort.

 

3.) Cotton is comfortable – Flame resistant cotton is popular because it is reasonably priced, lightweight, and breathable, allowing you to stay cool and comfortable while welding.

 

4.) Cotton is naturally hypoallergenic. Cotton is naturally hypoallergenic. Welding requires working with heat, which causes sweating. This sweat causes irritation and discomfort because it can cause rashes and skin allergies.

 

Therefore, wearing cotton clothes will keep the body free of rashes and allergies as it lets your skin breathe.

 

5.) Cotton requires little care. A lot of sparks are produced during welding, which can damage a lot of your clothing.

 

It’s a good thing cotton isn’t expensive, because replacing it won’t break the bank. However, make sure to protect your skin from burns.

 

6.) Cotton is a flexible fabric that can be used to create a variety of garments, including flame-resistant gloves, jackets, pants, and shirts for welders.

FR welding shirt

FAQs

Why shouldn’t you wear nylon and polyester-based synthetic textiles while welding?

Polyester and nylon are not flame resistant, and instead of catching fire, they dissolve and pull away from the flame.

 

And when these materials catch fire, they burn less quickly than cotton and have a tendency to melt, which hurts your skin more.

Is Cotton really safe to use when welding?

 

FR cotton garments are considered safe for welding because they are breathable and do not easily catch fire. They’re also lightweight and comfortable, which is useful when welding, which is a physically demanding job.

 

Keeping all of this in mind, we should also keep in mind that, while cotton clothing is considered safe, it still is not as safe as leather, which is more sturdy and durable.

 

Welding in a T-Shirt: What You Should Know

welding in a t-shirt

Some folks spend a lot of money getting a booth tan after work. You can get a tan while working as a welder. A great deal, indeed! At least until you have third-degree sunburns or skin cancer. Using bare skin while welding will help you prevent those unattractive tan lines (ouch).

 

In actuality, sunburns from welding are nothing to joke about. The majority of us are aware of the risks that UV radiation and our eyes pose. Additionally, since eye-related injuries are among the most frequent accidents, it is unquestionably a crucial topic. But frequently, we just discuss how those rays influence our eyes, omitting to mention how they also affect the rest of our body.

 

So, can you really weld in a T-shirt? Let’s talk about it. 

person standing beside gray bench grinder

Welding in a T-Shirt, What you Should Know

When welding, we almost never consider how powerful the UV rays are. This is so because most safety gear is built to withstand more ultraviolet light than the average welder could possibly expose it to. However, each light wave has a strength, or more precisely, a range of wavelengths. Essentially the shorter the wavelength, the more that type of light will mess you up.

 

The majority of the time when welding, heat causes the light waves to shorten. It gets quite hot when you start welding when you strike an arc. Wavelengths become shorter as temperatures rise. Technically, you could burn hot enough to emit x-rays in addition to UV rays (but you’d need a very strong welder for this).

 

Obviously, by that time, you would have already burned to death before the x-rays could do any harm. So why is this important? It truly doesn’t for welding protection equipment. As we’ve already mentioned, the majority of equipment is UV-protective enough. What if we’re not referring to safety equipment? Would you consider anything like, say, a t-shirt?

 

Can you really weld in just a T-Shirt? No. Here’s Why.

Sunburns

If you don’t have the proper safety equipment, there are several dangers during welding that are worse than sunburns. But there are a lot of different viewpoints on UV protection. Some welders will claim that wearing a t-shirt to work every day for the past three decades hasn’t caused them any problems. Some welders will also tell you about a person who used a t-shirt to weld just once and passed away two months later.

 

Factors that can produce a Sunburn

 

Instensity of the beam

Let’s examine what actually produces a sunburn to resolve this debate. The intensity of the beams comes first, as we have covered. This basically refers to how hot you are welding and how near your arc you are. 

 

Duration of Exposure

The duration of your exposure to the UV light source is another factor. Except when exposed to an atomic blast, most sunburns don’t develop right away. Sunburn develops over time as a result of your body’s ongoing exposure to UV rays reacting with an increasing number of its atoms.

 

UV rays must pass through your t-shirt for a long enough period of time to inflict enough damage for you to recognize it as a sunburn. Therefore, you might avoid being burnt if you just weld for a short time or use procedures that create less powerful UV radiation.

 

This explains in part why some welders can “get away” with wearing only a t-shirt while others suffer from excruciating sunburns (or even worse). 

man welding two rectangular gray metal frames

Thickness of T-Shirt and Color

Other elements include the thickness of the t-shirt and even its color. One of those paper-thin t-shirts you get for free at concerts is not the same as a hefty synthetic-fiber t-shirt. Finally, some individuals simply have skin that burns more quickly.

 

A t-shirt provides some protection, but it doesn’t offer much coverage. Your neckline and the exposed portions of your arms will still suffer sunburns.

 

Even worse than death can be skin cancer. Protective apparel is far less expensive than medical expenses.

 

Protective apparel, as we mentioned at the beginning, blocks more than just UV rays. Additionally, it protects against sparks and hot slag, which a t-shirt can’t withstand.

 

How to Extend the Life of FR Clothing

two welders working

It’s one thing to buy new FR clothing but it’s also one thing to know how to extend the life of FR Clothing. Let’s face it, as much as we want to buy new welding clothing for work, we also need to be smart and know how to make sure we maximize its use. Here are some ways to extend the life of FR clothing. 

 

5 ways to Extend the Life of FR Clothing

 

Whether you weld for business or just for a hobby, the responsibility of taking care of your welding clothing falls on you. FR Clothing is designed to withstand heat and damage that is caused by fire. With the proper care, it can last you around 1 year and a half. But with proper care, you will be able to extend that to a few more months. 

 

Inspect Regularly

Make sure you inspect your FR clothing on a regular basis for wear and tear. This isn’t just to extend the life of your FR clothing, this is also for your safety every day at work. 

 

Timely Repairs

Do some timely repairs. If there are visible problems, make sure you fix them right away. If not, you risk having more problems in the future. If it’s as simple as missing a button, do the repairs immediately. If there are bigger tears, you can have an expert repair them for you.

 

a welder wearing FR clothing at work

Wash them Properly

The key to extending the life of your FR clothing is to know how to wash them properly. Make sure you do not use soap and fabric softeners, you don’t use chlorine bleach or liquid non-chlorine bleach, you don’t use starches, peroxides, or vinegar, and you don’t use hard water.

 

Wash FR clothing separately in a Cotton or Normal cycle at any water temperature (maximum of 140ºF or 60ºC) and tumble dry on low. Use a liquid detergent and make sure you turn the FR clothing inside out before you wash to reduce streaking from abrasion. Also, make sure that all soils or stains are removed from the garments before the wash process. 

 

Store them Properly

Apart from knowing how to wash FR clothing properly, you need to know how to store them as well. It’s always best to have a storage space that is clean with sturdy pegs or closets for gloves, coveralls, shirts, and other welding clothing. You also need a proper shelf for footwear. 

 

Make sure the storage space is away from direct sunlight and is in a dry spot where moisture does not gather. 

 

welding FR clothing

Educate Yourself

Make sure you educate yourself on what FR clothing is and what makes it a different fabric. That way, you would know what to do and what not to do with it. Also know and do research in buying the best FR clothing.