How to Keep yourself Safe While Welding

By: IC

Welding is a rewarding practice which requires proper training and safety procedures to be followed in order to keep everyone safe. This process may also be referred to as "Oxy-welding and cutting" and as the name implies the machines employed in this process use oxygen and fuels in order to produce intense heat which is capable of cutting extremely hard metals. The main fuel used to power these machines is called "Acetylene".

When the main fuel (acetylene) is burned and mixed with oxygen it can produce extreme temperatures, they usually range between 3200 and 3500 Celsius which is the equivalent of 5800-6300 Fahrenheit; with such extreme temperatures it goes without saying that proper safety precautions must be taken in order to keep yourself and those surrounding you safe. Since the fuels used to weld are extremely flammable, they should be kept in rooms with controlled temperature and in some cases pressure.

Other fuels used to weld and cut metals are: gasoline, hydrogen, methylacetylene-propadiene or MAPP gas, propane and propylene. Depending on the type of job a different type of fuel must be used, for instance underwater welding has to be done using hydrogen as the main fuel since acetylene becomes very unstable at 33 feet.

Before welding you must always check the equipment for leaks or malfunctions, you should also wear protective goggles or special masks which will cover your eyes and prevent the intense radiation from causing them harm, special gloves and even still toe boots should be used while welding.

You must also learn to identify the functions of the welding machine as well as the types of torches used for different tasks, some of the torch types are:

Welding Torch: its function is to melt and weld metals, it has two pipes and no oxygen-blast trigger.

The Rose-bud Torch: this name was given to it because the end of the flame looks like a rose-bud, it is used to heat metals and reshape them instead of melting the substance or cutting it.

Injector Torch: these torches have a small head which injects oxygen and relies on the Venturi effect to drag fuel gas along with it.

Cutting Torch: has three pipes one of which carries oxygen which can be adjusted through the oxygen-blast trigger, the main purpose of this torch is to cut metals.

Different torch types must be used according to the task, however the safety procedures remain the same, so remember to wear protective equipment, use respirators to avoid inhaling hazardous fumes produced by chemical reactions of the fuel and the burning metal and run a thorough assessment about your surroundings and the risk of fire.

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