Some people don’t know the importance of testing an auto-darkening welding helmet. But in fact, it is a vital step before starting welding. Because nothing is more important than the health of a welder. If an auto-darkening welding helmet is not working, it can be very harmful to the welder’s eyes. Therefore, the welder should know how does an auto-darkening welding helmet works and one should not undermine the importance of testing an auto-darkening welding helmet.
Many people don’t know how to test an auto-darkening welding helmet. But after reading it thoroughly, anyone can test his welding helmet before using it for any kind of operation. With many other advantages of an auto-darkening welding helmet, it saves the welder from different kinds of harmful radiations which otherwise can cause eye injuries to a welder.
How to Test an Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet by Different Methods
Here we discuss different methods to test an auto-darkening welding helmet. So, people can choose the method which suits them. Although a new welding helmet comes in the market after testing by the company. But it is recommended to test a welding helmet in different ways. It will make you sure that this welding helmet is in good working condition.
Expose the Lens to the Sun
There are many steps to test an auto-darkening welding helmet but this is one of the easy steps. People have been using this practice for years because it is a reliable testing method. You just need to wear an auto-darkening welding helmet and expose the lens to the sun. Now focus on the lens and you will see that lens will darken. Another very interesting fact is that people also use welding helmets to view solar eclipse because it stops ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) rays coming from the sun.
It is a sign that auto-darkening features are working. But if the lens does not darken and you don’t see any change in the shade means the auto-darkening feature of the welding helmet is not working. Also, keep in mind that this method only works when it is sunny and bright outside. Otherwise, you must try other methods.
Use TV Remote to Test
This method is also very convenient and reliable to test an auto-darkening welding helmet. Helmets are usually designed to block ultraviolet (UV) and Infrared (IR) rays, so you can test them by using a TV remote. Therefore, ensure that the TV remote has UV or IR signal otherwise this method does not work. Put welding helmet on the head and point your TV remote towards the helmet. Now press any key so rays emit from remote. Now check the reaction of the welding helmet.
If lenses automatically switch to darken mode, it means an auto-darkening welding helmet is good to use for welding operations. Remote with pulsed or RF won’t work in this test so be careful while choosing the remote for testing.
Use Fluorescent Light to Test
It is another very practical and easy method to test an auto-darkening welding helmet. Suppose, you don’t have a lighter in the house and the sun is also not bright outside then this method is for you. Almost all houses and workshops have bright fluorescent lights. Put your welding helmet and go close the light and notice the reaction of the auto-darkening lens.
If the lens is darkened, it shows the welding helmet is in good working condition. But if you don’t notice any changes in the lens, it shows that the welding helmet is faulty. You can also turn the light off and on to see the response time of the helmet. But make sure that fluorescent light should be bright enough for this test.
Test the Helmet by Striking an Arc
Sun testing method is easy but this is not easy and some people don’t feel comfortable during this test. Because a person is exposing himself to risk while this test. Therefore, only do this test if you don’t feel uncomfortable. Strike an arc, after wearing an auto-darkening welding helmet and other safety gear. If you notice the reaction of the lens, it means the welding helmet is in working but if there is no reaction then the auto-darkening welding helmet is not working.
If the lens is becoming dark and you don’t see the workpiece, it is also a sign of fault. While testing welding helmets by this helmet, you must keep one thing in mind this method is only for auto-darkening welding helmets not for passive welding helmets. So, it is good to know the difference between auto-darkening and passive welding helmets.
Use the Spark of a Lighter
The use of spark is also an effective and easy method to test an auto-darkening welding helmet. Most people have a cigarette lighter in their homes so, they don’t need anything special for this testing method. The spark from the lighter is somehow close to an arc flash and bright enough for the lens to change its shade. When the lighter is on, the lens will darken, it is the sign that the auto-darkening feature of the helmet is working. You can also check its functionality and reaction time by repeating on and off the lighter.
Different Methods to Test the Quality of Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
After different testing methods, you have found this auto-darkening welding helmet is perfect for welding operations. Now it’s time to test the quality of the welding helmets. Here we discuss different methods to test the quality of auto-darkening welding helmets.
Auto Darkening Filter Test
Auto-darkening filter test is imperative to test the quality of the welding helmet. We have covered the auto-darkening filter test in detail. It will help you to get an idea about the welding helmet. This filter works in a way that it stops arc flash and also protects the eyes of the welder from harmful rays. Only allow a small amount of light to pass through the lens to see the welding object. With an auto-darkening welding helmet, you don’t need to flip the helmet and increase the productivity of the welder. But you should
Safety Test and Industry Standards
All tests are important but a safety test is vital before choosing any auto-darkening welding helmet. Although all auto-darkening welding helmet meets safety standards, you should ensure that the welding helmet you are going to buy must meet ANSI Z87.1-2003 standards. A standard auto-darkening welding helmet has all these features.
- Withstand temperatures ranging from 23 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Filter for infrared rays (IR)
- Completely filter ultraviolet rays (UV)
- Resistant for small impacts
- Data to show durability, strength and effectiveness
There must be a sweatband on the forehead to absorb sweat if it is trickling towards the eyes. Also, check the quality of the band, it should be soft and comfortable for the user. A special type of polycarbonate material is used for making the outer cover for helmets to resist impact, scratches and harmful rays. A special type of glass is used for filter lens that controls the light passing through it.
Clarity Test of Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
The clarity test of a welding helmet is imperative because if the clarity of the helmet is not good, a welder can never produce great results. It is a very simple test because you just need to wear a welding helmet and see through the lens. High-quality welding helmets have better clarity than basic ones. Welding helmets with 1/1/1/1 optical clarity have excellent visionary experience. Therefore, keep it in mind while choosing a welding helmet.
Sensitivity and Delay Control Test
There are arc sensors in all auto-darkening welding helmets that help lenses to adjust their shades. Before using a welding helmet, make sure to adjust sensitivity and delay controls according to your working condition. Because these two features are imperative for the safety of the welder’s eyes. Make sure that the delay feature is active because it saves welder eyes from the flash.
All welding helmets are highly sensitive so before welding ensure to adjust the sensitivity control according to the lighting condition. Normally, adjust the sensitivity to average so, it works best in minimal and high lighting conditions. Nowadays all welding helmets come with a knob to adjust the sensitivity so, a welder can easily adjust it.
Lens Response Time
A Lens reaction test is vital to check the quality of an auto-darkening welding helmet. It is the time taken by the lens to darken. Ideally, the response time of welding should be 1/2500 seconds. If the lens takes more time to darken, it can cause eye strain to the welder. You can test the reaction time of a welding helmet by different methods. But be careful while testing the response time of the welding lens.
Power Source Test
Most auto-darkening welding helmets come with two power sources, solar panels and lithium batteries. Some welding helmets also come with replaceable batteries. Although it is not easy to test the battery but make sure that these batteries come with a warranty. A welder should also know how to change a battery in welding helmet. There are some high-end welding helmets that come with battery indicators. Also, test solar power source of welding helmet by going out in sunlight.
Lenses Shade Test
Mostly a welder uses an auto-darkening welding helmet for different metals and multiple operations. Their different methods need different amounts of protection. Therefore, multiple shade range welding helmets are used because they provide protection in multiple situations. Normally welding helmet lenses have a shade range from nine to thirteen which is enough for multiple welding tasks. A quality welding helmet adjusts its shade according to the operation and protection required.
Many people want to know how to test an auto-darkening welding helmet so, here we discuss different testing methods in detail. You can test your welding helmet by any method which seems feasible to you. We don’t recommend you to test by an arc because it can cause strain to your eyes.
However, you should go with the Sun test, TV remote test, fluorescent light test or lighter test. While choosing a welding helmet you should also consider the comfort and weight of it. Our advice for all users is that must test their welding helmet before using it for any kind of welding operation.
Here is James a welding expert having more than 8 years of experience in the welding industry. In this blog, I share my professional experience and knowledge as a welding guide. I also review welding helmets and other top welding-related products on the basis of my experiences.