Mig welding right shade

You can find various types of welding helmets in the market these days like auto darkening welding hoods or passive lens welding helmets. Also, these hoods come with different viewing area, and with auto-darkening ones, come with a great number of extra features like changing the shade, some even provide grinding shade. Hence choosing the right one for you is not an easy task. It is important that you choose the correct helmet as not does it only guarantee your comfort but also increases the efficiency of your work. Once you have a helmet, you also need to consider what shade lens you need for a given task, and that’s what we are going to discuss today.

So without further ado, let’s get right into it

 

The Dangers of Ultraviolet and Infrared Light

When welders are working on projects that involve arc welding and cutting or even work such as brazing they are usually exposed to radiation known as optical radiation. This is because these work applications include highly concentrated radiations such as intense visible light, infra-red rays, and ultraviolet radiation – all of which are extremely dangerous for humans.

These types of rays can damage the eyes and the skin of the workers tremendously. Most of the times the welders don’t even realize how much damage is being done to their health since all radiations can’t be seen. If you are exposed to such strong UV radiation for long periods of time, it can cause serious skin damage, even cancer, and can also cause chronic damage to the lens of the human eye. This is the reason it is essential that welders wear eye protection while working.

Passive vs. Auto-Darkening Lens

The shade number of the lens of a welding helmet determines the ability of the lens to filter light. For example, the best auto-darkening helmets are the ones that are compatible with the market safety standards (most of these in our shops are, otherwise they would not be for sale) as these ensure that the user is protected fully from damaging radiations. There are different shades for low amp applications and high amp application, ranging from #8 shade to #13 shade respectively.

On the other hand, the helmet with a passive lens usually has a #10 or #11 fixed shade value and features lens that has dark-tinted glass and is IR and UV coated.

Though the helmets with the passive lens are a good choice, they do have a few downsides as well. Such as:

  • They can cause neck fatigue as the workers are required to flip the helmet up and down continuously.
  • Positing the electrode while the helmet snaps into place is not an easy task and it can be even more difficult for newbies.
  • It can make projects that involve short welds or tack welds extremely difficult as the worker is required to lift and lower the helmet very often.

These problems, however, are not common with auto-darkening helmets. Also, when this type of helmet is not in use it has a lens shade of either #3 or #4, through which you can see easily. Furthermore, the most convenient thing about this helmet is that the lens darkens automatically within milli-seconds once an arc start is registered by the sensors.

How to Choose the Right Lens Shade?

Different shade lenses are required for MIG welding of different types of metals and thicknesses.

For Mild steel MIG welding:

  • For welding with amperage between 80 to 100, you should use lens shade 10.
  • For welding with amperage between 100 to 175, you should use lens shade 11.
  • For welding with amperage between 175 to 300, you should use lens shade 12.
  • For welding with amperage between 300 to 500, you should use lens shade 13.

For Flux core welding:

  • For welding with amperage between 125 to 175, you should use lens shade 10.
  • For welding with amperage between 175 to 225, you should use lens shade 11.
  • For welding with amperage between 225 to 275, you should use lens shade 12.
  • For welding with amperage between 275 to 350, you should use lens shade 13.

For aluminum MIG welding:

  • For welding with amperage between 80 to 100, you should use lens shade 10.
  • For welding with amperage between 100 to 175, you should use lens shade 11.
  • For welding with amperage between 175 to 250, you should use lens shade 12.
  • For welding with amperage between 250 to 350, you should use lens shade 13.

What is the Darkest welding Lens shade?

Shade #14 is the highest and darkest shaded lens, but it is not easy to find this shade of lens in the market as it is not usually sold. This is because most of the light is filtered out by this shade and hence it is extremely difficult to see through the lenses, hence people don’t usually use it. This shade is made for people whose eyes are extremely sensitive.

Other factors that should be kept in mind while choosing the right helmet and lens

It is better than the user chooses a helmet that is light in weight, as that these can save the worker from neck strain and fatigue. It is especially essential for the welders who work for long periods of time.

The latest auto-darkening helmets are overall the best choice for welders because of the automatic lenses and they are specifically more beneficial for industrial welders. Some of them come even with aluminum shielding to reflect the heat to the opposite direction.

Conclusion:

Picking the right shade for MIG welding is extremely important because if you pick a shade too light for welding with high amperage, even if you weld for one hour, later the same night you can feel like there is sand in your eye. Probably they are red and watery as well. If that happens you should rest your eyes for at least two days.

By now we know how important it is to choose the right shade of lens for MIG welding for the sake of your health. The protection of your eyes is something that should not be neglected especially if you are working on projects that involve welding, as processes like these can cause extreme damage to your eyes if the necessary precautions are not taken.

Hope this article was helpful in terms what’s the right filter shade for MIG welding. If you have any questions, thoughts comment below!