Fume extraction welding guns remove harmful welding fumes efficiently

Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) is a popular welding method, but the process poses risks for the welder. Welders protect themselves by wearing safety gear to protect the body and eyes from burns, electrical shock, bright light and ultraviolet radiation. Protection from welding fumes is often left out of this equation. Weld fumes contain minute particles of metallic oxides, silicates and fluorides, usually less than 1.0 µm in size and can be harmful if inhaled.

It is possible to select welding processes and consumables that generate lower levels of welding fumes or lower levels of key harmful fume components such as manganese and chromium. For instance, using a gas mixture with a higher percentage of argon, or switching from ER70S-6 to ER70S-3, which contains less manganese. Some welding power sources also utilize waveforms that reduce fume generation.

Occupational Health and Safety organizations recommend that the removal of these fumes begins at the origin of the weld, achievable with a fume extraction welding torch. Fume extraction welding guns are efficient in removing harmful welding fumes directly at the source without affecting the protective gas shield. With these guns, a vacuum is integrated at the front nozzle and suctions the fumes through a hose to a filtration system to catch harmful particles.

There are many benefits to smoke extraction MIG torches. The welder’s breathing zone is protected. Torches also clean the air for other workers. Capturing smoke at the source is economical and efficient as the process takes place where the highest concentration of particles is found. As smoke extraction is built into the tool, the welder does not have to worry about moving an arm into the proper position; between 6-12 in. (152 305 mm) to of the weld. It also requires less vacuum volume, typically 80-100 CFM compared to 600-900 CFM for large smoke extraction arms. When air is evacuated outside, you also have to consider extra heating or air conditioning costs.

Efficient smoke extraction
It is important to understand the factors behind fume extraction. The speed of the welding smoke that goes up is proportional to the power used to perform the weld; the higher the parameters, the faster the smoke will go up. To catch the smoke, you need to be positioned properly and your vacuumed air must be faster than the speed of the smoke going up.

• The torch: Fume extraction torches are usually heavier than standard GMAW torche