While working on my new sculpture "The Runner" I ran into a problem. After fiting the top of the base in place and tacking it in place I was ready to do the finish welding. One section was done with no problems at all, but then everything went to worms!! Trying to MIG weld the outside joints was giving me nothing but porosity! I turned off the evaporative cooler, thinking that might have been the problem, and tried again.
Cleaned up the mess and closed the doors..... Same problem!!
Tried a different MIG welder - you have to eliminate the possibilities, right? Same results again!?!?!?
While I am busy having fun in my studio creating my work, my business manager is busy keeping my name and my work in the public eye. From keeping the website fresh with new content and adding my videos on YouTube every week, she makes sure the search engines will keep me at the top of the list. This has led to private sales as well as commissions, both public and private. When the local PBS station was looking for artists to interview, they consulted a local gallery and then found me on Google. The live TV interview came just two days later. There is also a chance the segment may go national.
Many metal fabrication shops and welders perform repair or modification work on old equipment, both in a shop setting and in the field. Performing repair work on hollow structures can pose a significant hazard other than a large internal pressure buildup from heating which we discussed in the last welding safety article.
As an easy introduction, consider the need to perform cutting or welding on a tank that used to contain a flammable solvent. Empty of liquid means it is safe, right? Not necessarily. It is the vapors that burn, not the liquid. An “empty” hollow structure such as a tank could be the worst case scenario, full of flammable vapors. Given the right ratio of vapor to oxygen, that hollow structure is like a bomb, ready to explode as soon as enough energy is transferred from the hotwork process.
Serious issues affecting your health – and why TIG welding is the answer.
Hazards during welding can be quite obvious like the electric arc, molten metal, radiant heat, and the incredibly bright light from the arc. Other hazards such as metals in the weld fume plume or gases produced during the welding process are not always as obvious. Fortunately, TIG welding is one of the best processes for minimizing hazards to those often unidentified hazards.
We’re all familiar with what happens to ice when we warm it up, it melts. If we continue to warm the water until it boils it starts to quickly evaporate. Similar to water turning to steam, some of the molten metal during the welding process evaporates into the air. This metal then quickly solidifies into a very small particulate, or fume, as it cools. This is what we see rising from most weld processes.
When we’re performing Hardfacing tasks, a specific metal of concern to our health is chromium.
Eye injuries are one of the most common types of injuries to welders and they are also easy to prevent. Flying debris, intense light, and irritation from chemicals or fumes are all hazards to a welder’s eyes. It is important to remember that these hazards are also present for all who are near the welding operation, not just the welder.
The extremely bright light from arc welding can cause flash burn, similar to sunburn to the eyes. Use of a weld hood with the proper lens shade is essential. For new welders who are not sure which lens shade to use there are good resources available. Take a look at ANSI Z49.1 standard, Safety in Welding, Cutting, and Allied Processes which contains recommendations on which shade to use based on specific characteristics of the welding or cutting process.