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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!

Knowing When to Replace Your Welding Jacket

a man wearing a stylish welding clothing

A Welding Jacket is a vital piece of protective equipment for welders, shielding them from sparks, molten metal, and intense heat generated during welding processes. However, like any protective gear, welding jackets have a finite lifespan and must be replaced when they no longer provide adequate protection. Knowing when to change or replace welding jackets is crucial to maintaining the safety and well-being of welders. Here are some welding welding jacket tips to know.

a man wearing a leather welding jacket
A man weather a leather welding jacket

When to Replace Your Welding Jacket

Visible Damage

One of the primary indicators that a welding jacket needs replacement is visible damage. Constant exposure to sparks, spatter, and abrasive surfaces can cause wear and tear on the fabric of the jacket over time. Look for signs such as tears, holes, or fraying seams, as these compromise the integrity of the jacket and reduce its ability to protect against hazards. Even small damages should not be ignored, as they can quickly worsen and expose the wearer to potential injuries.

FR Properties 

Another factor to consider is the condition of the flame-resistant properties of the jacket. Welding jackets are typically made from flame-resistant materials such as leather or flame-retardant fabrics, which are designed to withstand high temperatures without catching fire. However, prolonged exposure to heat, UV radiation, or harsh chemicals can degrade these properties over time, rendering the jacket less effective in protecting against flames and thermal hazards. If there is any doubt about the continued flame-resistant properties of the jacket, it is best to replace it to ensure the safety of the welder.

a man wearing a hybrid welding jacket
Waylander Welding Jacket with Leather Sleevs

Changes in Fit or Comfort

Changes in fit or comfort can also indicate the need for replacement. Welding jackets that have become too tight, too loose, or uncomfortable to wear may hinder the welder’s mobility and compromise their ability to work safely. Additionally, jackets that no longer provide adequate ventilation can cause discomfort and heat stress, posing a risk to the welder’s health and well-being. If a welding jacket is no longer comfortable or does not fit properly, it should be replaced with one that offers a better fit and greater comfort.

Overall Condition of the Welding Jacket

Finally, consider the overall condition of the jacket and its suitability for the specific welding applications and environments. Welding jackets that have been extensively worn or have reached the end of their recommended lifespan may no longer provide sufficient protection for the hazards present in the workplace. Regular inspections and assessments of welding jackets, along with adherence to manufacturer guidelines, are essential for ensuring the safety of welders and preventing accidents and injuries.

Knowing when to change or replace welding jackets is essential for maintaining the safety and well-being of welders. By paying attention to signs of damage, monitoring flame-resistant properties, assessing fit and comfort, and considering the overall condition of the jacket, employers can ensure that welders are adequately protected from the hazards of the welding environment.

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!

Cotton Shirts For Welding: What You Need to Know

a welder wearing cotton welding clothing

There are different types of fabric used when we talk about welding clothing. There are some made out of leather, wool, and denim while some are made out of cotton. Here we get to know more about cotton shirts for welding and if they really are good to use while at work. 

 

Why Cotton shirts for Welding are a Must-Have

To get maximum protection while at work, you need premium welding clothing that is made out of the best materials. It’s the only way you can minimize injuries. Apart from leather, cotton is also a recommended type of fabric for welding protection. Here’s why. 

 

Cotton is made entirely of natural fibers

First off, you should know that cotton is made entirely of natural fibers. This is what makes it a highly recommended type of fabric for welding clothing. Some would ask, “Is 98% cotton good for welding?” The answer is yes. If you find 100%, then that would be better. 

Cotton shirts for welding are less flammable making them easier to extinguish than synthetic fibers. If you wear a cotton shirt that catches fire, you are able to pat it out with your glove. 

 

welder working
Photo via unsplash.com

 

For Cotton to become Suitable for Welding, they need to be Flame Retardant

Now that we know cotton shirts are highly recommended, you should know that for them to be suitable for welding, they need to be flame-retardant. This means, that untreated cotton fabric won’t exactly do the job. 

 

Yes, cotton in itself is already resistant to flames. But when treated with specialist chemicals, it boosts its heat resistance and protective qualities making it a very suitable type of welding clothing to get maximum protection. Once these become treated, these cotton welding shirts now become FR cotton welding shirts. 

 

FR welding shirt

Cotton Gives More Flexibility

While leather is a go-to for most welders when it comes to protection, FR cotton shirts for welding become the best option for those who need flexibility while at work. They are also more breathable and are better to use in hot weather conditions. 

 

When it comes to choosing whether or not you to use leather or cotton welding clothing, it really depends on the type of welding you do on a daily basis. If you weld in hot conditions, you can go for an FR cotton welding shirt. If you weld during the winter, it’s best to use an FR leather welding shirt. No matter what you choose, the important thing is you choose welding clothing that is made of high-quality materials. That way you know you get maximum protection for your safety!

 

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. 

5 Signs to Know When It’s Time To Get New FR Clothing

FR clothing

It’s important to know when your FR clothing or arc-rated and flame-resistant (AR / FR) gear need to be replaced. Don’t wait until you see obvious damage before you do because this leaves you prone to more accidents while at work and is a risk for your safety. But how can you tell when your welding FR clothing has to be replaced? Here are 5 signs to know for sure.

5 Signs to Know when it’s time to get new FR Clothing

There are usually two (2) reasons why you should get rid of old FR clothing. It’s either the garment can no longer be repaired or it is too soiled with flammable contaminants that are impossible to remove by laundering. 

 

Remember that If an AR/FR clothing is five years old and does not have any unrepaired damage or show any of the wear signs listed below, it is just as protective as a comparable brand-new product. With that said, here are the 5 signs to know when it’s time to get new FR clothing. 

 

1 Multiple holes

If your FR clothing has too many holes to count, it’s high time for you to buy a new one. Small holes can lead to bigger holes and these can be entry points for sparks which is not what you want. Sure, you can sew them up and it can give you a few more weeks of usability but wearing a garment that has a lot of patches isn’t really safe and is uncomfortable to use. Plus, it isn’t appealing to see while at work. 

 

2 Too stained 

While you could call this a minor thing, aesthetics and cleanliness play a very big role in representing the company you work for and you as a welder as well. Everyone has their own definition of clean or dirty in the welding business. So this really is up to the wearer when it needs to be replaced. Just remember and make sure that the stains on the FR clothing aren’t flammable contaminants. If there are, change it right now!

 

FR clothing

3 Frayed Cuffs or collars 

Frayed Cuffs can collect sparks and that is very dangerous. Damaged cuffs and collars are difficult to repair so if you see this, save up for a new garment immediately. Never risk wearing FR clothing with frayed cuffs. 

 

4 Obvious “high-wear” points

High-wear points are areas that take the bulk of wear and tear. These are usually seen in the knee and elbow areas. If you see there’s discoloration or fading, it means it’s a “thread bare” and can no longer hold a thread or patch. 

 

5 It has a tear or rip that can no longer be repaired. 

An obvious tear or rip that is irreparable is the biggest sign for you to know you need your FR clothing changed. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t stained or not. A rip can expose you to sparks and other hazards while at work and these types of damage cannot be accepted and do not meet the safety standards required.

 

All these are signs telling you that you need to replace the FR clothing you have. If you wait another day, it just may be the reason why you get into accidents. Never think twice when it comes to safety. 

Flame Resistant Fabric & Fibers: What You Need to Know

a welder using a flame resistant fabric

If you’re familiar with flame-resistant (FR) welding apparel then you’ve definitely heard of treated fabrics and fibers or intrinsic textiles and fibers. When discussing fabrics and fibers that are flame resistant, there are several significant variances. Safety failures could occur if those variations are not understood. Understanding what they are and how these work in particular settings is important. Here, we define these terms and discuss some of the applications in which they are used and how they should be cleaned and processed.

What Is Treated Fabric in Flame Resistant Fabric?

Treated fabric is a fiber blend that, when combined with other pieces of fabric, forms a garment. This fabric can be thought of as the stage of production between fiber and garment. Treated fabrics have had a flame retardant chemical applied to them to make them flame resistant. The fibers used in these fabrics are not typically regarded as protective. Because of the chemical treatment, they become flame resistant.

 

The fibers used in these fabrics are typically 100% cotton or a blend of cotton and nylon. In terms of durability, the fabric made of cotton fibers has little abrasion resistance. Fabrics containing nylon fiber perform significantly better in terms of abrasion resistance. Utility, oil and gas, chemical, and petrochemical applications benefit from treated fabrics.

 

Water with a hardness of 1.5 grains (25ppm) or less should be used to clean treated fabrics. Hard water contains mineral salts that can leave deposits on the fabric, so less hardness is preferable. These deposits may compromise the garment’s flame resistance. If the garment is exposed to an ignition source, the deposits could even serve as fuel.

 

What are Treated Fibers in Flame Resistant Fibers?

Treated fibers have a flame retardant chemical applied during the fiber formation process. As a result, the fibers become flame resistant. For the life of the garment, fabrics made from treated fibers are flame resistant. Normal wear and laundering will not remove the flame retardant chemical. Only if the garment becomes torn or soiled to the point where the soil cannot be washed out will it no longer be flame resistant.

 

One type of fiber is treated with 100% rayon. These fibers are treated during the fiber formation process and are flame resistant indefinitely.

 

A fiber blend of cotton and Modacrylic fibers is another option. Fabrics made from these fiber blends have a soft and comfortable cotton-like hand. Modacrylic fiber contains both soft and strong components. It is also chemical and solvent resistant. As a result, these fiber types are ideal for use in flame-resistant environments.

 

These fiber types have a broader range of applications. Industrial protective clothing, utility work uniforms, and firefighter uniforms are all good matches. It is recommended that treated fibers be washed in the same manner as treated fabrics. If exposed to an ignition source, hard water may leave deposits that could ignite.

 

The only major distinction between the two types of care is that Modacrylic/cotton blends should be treated in soft water with non-chlorine bleach because chlorine bleach weakens the fabric.

flame resistant fabric

What exactly are innate fabrics and fibers?

Chemical treatment is not required for naturally occurring fabrics and fibers. The FR properties are an important aspect of fiber chemistry. Once again, these fibers are FR fibers, but this time from the manufacturing process. Normal wear and laundering will not cause inherent fabrics or fibers to lose their flame resistance properties. Throughout its life, the garment will retain its flame-resistant properties.

 

The most common inherent fibers are modacrylic fibers. They are most commonly used in blends with other naturally flame-resistant fibers. Modacrylic fibers are frequently blended with varying percentages of lyocell, para-aramid, and polyamide-imide fibers. These combinations result in a long-lasting fabric that meets the NFPA 70E CAT2 and NFPA 2112 standards. NOMEX is used in clothing as a stand-alone fiber or as a blend with KEVLAR.

 

Petrochemical, electrical, and utility industries all use inherent fabrics and fibers. Firefighter station wear and turnout gear are another popular application. Most natural fabrics and fibers should not be used in welding operations or around molten substances. Caring for natural fabrics and fibers is the same as caring for treated fabrics and fibers. Because hard water contains mineral salts that can leave insoluble deposits on the fabric, soft water is recommended. These deposits may compromise the garment’s flame resistance. Chlorine bleach is also not advised because it weakens the fabric.

 

With FR clothing, proper garment care is essential. The right maintenance makes sure that FR properties are not jeopardized. Your safety at work will be improved by educating yourself on what Flame Resistant fabrics and fibers are. 

Best Welding Jacket for Summer

welder working under the sun

Spring is here and that means summer is just around the corner! It’s back to welding in hot temperatures. That means it’s time for you to suit up! Get yourself a breathable welding jacket or a lightweight welding jacket that will give you the comfort you need while also getting maximum protection. But with all the options out there for welding jackets, how do you choose the best one? Here are some factors you need to consider in buying the best welding jacket for summer.

 

Your Guide to Buying the Best Welding Jacket for Summer 

Material

The first thing you need to consider is the type of material. During the summer, you need something lightweight and breathable. The best material for a summer welding jacket is cotton. For this season, the less leather the better. 

 

While leather is the best material for welding jackets, using cotton welding jackets in the summer will increase airflow which then provides more breathable comfort. Plus, leather welding jackets can get heavy. Cotton welding jackets are lighter which gives you more room for movement.

 

welding under the sun

Color

This can sometimes be overlooked. As you know, a brighter color deflects sunlight while a darker color absorbs heat. So in choosing a summer welding jacket, go for the lighter shades. 

 

Comfort

When it comes to buying the best welding jacket for the summer, always go for one size bigger than your actual or usual size. If you go with your usual size, it may feel too tight which you wouldn’t want at all. With the extra heat during this season, you’d want all the breathing room and comfort you can get. 

 

welder at work

Type of Welding

Whatever type of welding you do, you always need welding PPE. Safety is always a must. If you do TIG weld, you don’t get too exposed to spatter. In this case, some would just use a welding shirt. But for the other types of welding processes, you are definitely exposed to more spatter which could burn through any fiber. 

 

Consider alternatives like a hybrid welding jacket – a cotton welding jacket with leather welding sleeves. There are options like this that you could get so you don’t worry about getting unwanted burns. 

 

These are some factors to consider in buying the best welding jacket for the summer. If you want to invest in something, invest in premium welding clothing. Invest in comfort and maximum protection!

What Not to Do When Wearing FR Clothing

welder working

It’s not enough that you wear Flame Retardant (FR) clothing. It pays to know the right way to wear them and know what not to do when wearing them. Remember, wearing FR clothing correctly can give maximum protection, but if worn improperly or out of the industry standards, they become less effective. Here we give you the common mistakes welders do in wearing FR clothing. 

What not to do in wearing FR Clothing

Do not wear FR clothing without a Non-FR outer layer

While you have your FR clothing on, you need to make sure that you are wearing an FR outer layer. It can be tempting to wear a non-FR jacket most especially during the cold weather. But chances are, that outer layer can still ignite and burn putting you at risk. 

Do not wear a Non-FR synthetic underlayer

One other thing you need to remember is that when you wear FR clothing, make sure you are wearing an FR underlayer as well. T-shirts that are made out of polyester or synthetic materials can help with moisture management but these are not flame resistant and can even melt to the skin. 

 

two welders working
Photo via unsplash.com

Do not roll up your sleeves

While this can be a challenge most especially if you are beating the heat, rolling up your sleeves exposes your arms to welding spatter. The best thing to do is to look for FR clothing that is lightweight so you get maximum comfort and maximum protection. 

 

Do not unbutton your FR clothing

It’s important to know that unbuttoning your FR clothing can expose your skin to heat and welding spatter. If you’re wearing non FR clothing underneath, for example, heat can easily ignite and burn which leaves you unprotected. 

 

welder working
Photo via unsplash.com

Do not leave your shirt untucked

In wearing welding clothing, you should always check if your shirt is tucked in properly. If not, heat and flame can go under and lead to greater injury. Make sure that when you buy FR clothing, get one that is purposefully made with long shirttails. 

 

These are just some of the things a welder needs to remember when wearing FR clothing to get that maximum protection that it is made to provide. 

How to Wash FR Clothing

welder working wearing FR clothing

As welders, Flame-Retardant FR clothing is a standard PPE. Every layer of welding protection is a must since fire and heat is a thing we deal with on a daily basis. By this time, you may already have invested in FR welding jackets, FR welding shirts, or FR welding pants. With daily use, they may now have seen a bit of wear and tear. The question is, have you been washing them the right way? Remember, for FR clothing to work properly, they need to be well maintained. Here’s how to properly wash FR clothing. 

 

Before we move on, you should know the difference between flame retardant welding clothing and flame resistant welding clothing. Flame retardant clothing only has a coat of fire-resistant material while fire-resistant clothing is literally made of resistant material. Whichever type you have, you could use this process for proper upkeep. 

 

welder working wearing FR clothing

How to Wash FR Clothing

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. 

 

Here are the things that you need to take note of in washing FR clothing:

  • Do not use soap (tallow soap with animal fats) and fabric softeners. These can leave a flammable coating which can be dangerous.
  • Do not use chlorine bleach or liquid non-chlorine bleach. This can reduce the level of flame resistance.
  • Do not use starches, peroxides, or vinegar 
  • Do not use hard water. This can deposit small packets of magnesium and calcium which are flammable.

 

FR clothing usually lasts for 5 years. Some rare FR gear would even last 20 years. Most lose their effectiveness after 25-50 wash cycles. FR clothing have specific laundering instruction and requirements and it’s important you check the label and follow manufacturer recommendations. This will guarantee a longer lifespan. Remember, FR clothing cannot wear out its FR properties easily unless the fabric is mishandled in some way. 

 

welder working wearing FR Clothing