We all understand the importance of wearing an auto-darkening welding helmet to protect our eyes from the harmful rays produced during welding. But with so many low-quality options available, it’s crucial to ensure that your helmet is not only effective but also safe for your health.
To avoid wasting your money and risking your well-being, it’s essential to know how to test an auto-darkening welding helmet before and after purchasing it.
Testing Methods for Your Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
Generate an arc
Start by creating an arc, but be aware that there is a risk of experiencing welder’s flash. Only proceed if you are confident that your helmet is in good working condition. The lens should be dark enough to protect your eyes from the sparks. Make sure that the brightness of the arc is appropriate, and your welds are clear. Pay attention to any changes in the shading of the screen when starting or stopping welding.
Use an infrared light source
To test your helmet’s ability to block both ultraviolet and infrared rays, try using common IR light sources such as a remote control or a laser pointer. Create IR light from one of these devices and observe it through the goggles. The helmet should remain in the dark state during this test. If it doesn’t, you may need to adjust the sensitivity level.
Turn off the grind mode
If your helmet has a grind mode feature that allows you to deactivate the sensors, try turning it off to examine the lenses.
Utilize a torch striker
A torch striker is often used by welders to generate an oxy-acetylene flame. Use the striker to create sparks and observe how the sensors in your helmet react. A good auto-darkening welding helmet should transition to its dark state as soon as it detects the intense light.
Apply a heat source
Check if your welding helmet has a cooling function to withstand heat. Place the helmet near a heat source, such as a fire, and observe how well it tolerates the temperature.
Stare at an extreme light source
Wear your helmet and look directly at strong light sources like the sun or a high-voltage bulb. This will help you determine if your auto-darkening welding helmet can effectively handle luminous welding sparks.
Check the batteries
If possible, open the hood of your helmet and locate the batteries. Take them out and test their metal contacts with steel or aluminum to ensure they are functioning properly. You can also use a battery tester to check if the batteries are in good condition.
The Lifespan of Auto-Darkening Helmets
The longevity of your auto-darkening helmet depends on various factors, including how well you maintain it. If you neglect proper care, such as allowing it to get dirty or damaged, its lifespan will be significantly reduced.
Typically, a well-maintained auto-darkening helmet can last between seven to ten years. The primary components responsible for its lifespan are the sensors, lens, and battery. Some helmets allow for the replacement of these parts, while others do not, requiring you to purchase a new helmet when they fail.
The lens of your auto-darkening welding helmet is the most vulnerable part. Handle it with care to avoid dropping it or causing any damage that would require a replacement. With proper care, the lens should last for a minimum of seven to ten years. Keep in mind that not all helmets allow for lens replacement, so choose wisely if you plan to wear your helmet frequently.
The type of battery your auto-darkening helmet uses will determine its lifespan. Helmets often use lithium-ion batteries that can be recharged manually using solar cells or by connecting to an electrical outlet. Solar-powered helmets are the most practical and long-lasting.
Non-replaceable batteries in auto-darkening helmets can last approximately seven years. Consider purchasing a helmet with a replaceable battery to ensure its longevity. Solar-powered helmets are often sufficient for most users and charge quickly.
Other Factors That Affect Lifespan
The durability of your auto-darkening helmet can also be affected by extended periods without power and exposure to low temperatures. Storing your helmet in below-freezing environments can impact the LCD reaction time and the auto-darkening lens. To preserve its lifespan, avoid leaving your helmet in garages, sheds, or truck beds during the winter. Also, keep in mind that batteries may self-discharge if not used for an extended period.
Regular Checks for Your Helmet
To ensure that your helmet continues to provide adequate eye protection, perform regular monthly checks. Here’s what you need to keep an eye on:
Examine the batteries’ condition
Your helmet requires power to function correctly. If you haven’t used it for a while, consider recharging the batteries. For solar-powered models, place the helmet under direct light for approximately twenty minutes. If your helmet has a charging cable, connect it to a power source. Remember that batteries have a limited lifespan, so replace them when necessary.
Check for broken parts
Inspect the photosensors of your helmet to ensure they are clean and undamaged. Broken sensors cannot detect light and switch the screen to the dark mode. If the auto-darkening filter fails to function correctly, it’s time to purchase a new one.
In conclusion, whether you have just purchased a new helmet or already own a high-quality one, it’s essential to know how to test your auto-darkening welding helmet. Among the various testing methods, using a torch striker is highly recommended as it is commonly employed by reputable welding helmet vendors to showcase the quality of their products.
If you have any further questions or need assistance, feel free to contact us at Tools Working.