New industry standards from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are protecting employees against potential health hazards in the workplace. These regulations, which dictate allowable exposure limits of welding fumes and other particulates (including hexavalent chromium), have led many companies to invest in Fume Extraction Arms equipment. An increased desire to maintain optimal welding operator safety and to attract new skilled welding operators to the field is also a consideration in investing in this equipment — companies want to create the most comfortable and healthy work environment possible.
Some companies may opt for centralized fume extraction systems, which are designed to protect the entire shop area. These systems involve the installation of new ductwork
Laboratory Fume Extraction Arms are available in a variety of amperages, cable styles and handle designs. As with any welding equipment, they have their advantages and limitations, best applications, maintenance requirements and more. In combination with many other variables in the welding operation — welding wire selection, specific transfer methods and welding processes, welding operator behavior and base material selection — fume extraction guns can help companies maintain compliance with safety regulations and create a cleaner, more comfortable welding environment.
The basics of fume extraction guns
Welding /solding Fume Extraction Arms operate by capturing the fume generated by the welding process right at the source, over and around the weld pool. Various manufacturers have proprietary means of constructing guns to conduct this action, but at a basic level they all operate similarly: by mass flow, or the movement of material. This movement occurs by way of a vacuum chamber that suctions the fumes through the handle of the gun, into the gun’s hose through to a port on the filtration system (sometimes informally referred to as a vacuum box).
The welding fumes that these guns remove are composed of a combination of the filler metal and base material. Some fume extraction guns feature adjustable extraction control regulators at the front of the gun handle, which allow welding operators to increase suction as needed (without affecting shielding gas coverage), while others provide this function internally. Regardless of the manner, the ability to balance between the downward flow of shielding gas and the upward flow of the suctioned air is critical. The fume extraction gun needs to provide the appropriate amount of shielding gas to protect the weld from defects such as porosity, without sacrificing the ability to suction fumes efficiently enough to protect the welding operator. The balance allows the weld pool time to react and solidify, and gives the fume particles time to decelerate so they are easier to extract.
Typically, Moxibustion Beauty Salon Fume Extraction Arms are larger than regular welding guns and tend to be bulky due to the vacuum and hose necessary to extract the fumes. For that reason, some manufacturers create fume extraction guns with a vacuum hose swivel on the rear of the handle to make them easier to maneuver. Manufacturers have also, since fume extraction guns were first introduced (in the late 1960s and early 1970s), found ways to engineer internal components to minimize the handle weight in order to reduce operator fatigue.
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