What is an Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet? How Does It Work?

People who often work with metal would need welding to join two or more pieces of metal. In welding, a high amount of heat is used to fuse the parts. Once the metal is cold, it will form a solid joint. The welding involves a tremendous amount of heat. There are different ways to weld the metal, including gas, electric arc, friction, electron beam, and laser welding. Because of the high amount of heat and energy involved, the welding also generates a lot of bright light. In such a case, the person welding the metal would need eye protection to protect the eyes from the bright light.

Until a few years back, the welding helmets in India used to be very simple. They had a face cover and a dark glass. The face cover protected the face, and the dark glass was used to block the bright light enabling the welder to see where he was welding. The dark glass also protected the eyes. The only problem with this design was that the dark glass made it difficult to see when the light conditions were optimal. The welder had to lift the helmet as soon as you removed the contact with the welding tip.

The Next Gen Helmets: Auto-Darkening Welding Helmets

You understand the issues associated with traditional welding helmets. Some companies made simple changes to the traditional helmet and made them even better. They introduced auto-darkening welding helmets, which would change the colour of the lens in real-time. When you are not welding, the lens will remain transparent, allowing the normal amount of light to enter the helmet. When you start welding, the light sensor on the auto-darkening welding helmets will detect it and tint the lens. The tint will then block the light and help protect your eyes during the welding. As soon as the welding is stopped, the lens would turn transparent again.

So, How Does Auto-Darkening Welding Helmets Work?

There is an electric circuit in the welding helmets, and we will explain to you about this circuit along with other components of the welding helmets. A battery and solar power combination deliver voltage to the electric circuit to make it work. Some welding helmets may also come with a replaceable battery. Apart from this, the welding helmets would have the following parts.

  • UV Filter – The UV Filter on the welding helmets is to filter the ultraviolet and the infrared lights. This is a regular filter made of many metallic layers and glass. This layer blocks 99% of UV and IR light and offers maximum protection to your eyes. UV filter also blocks a certain amount of blue light.
  • Polarization Filter – Then, a polarizing filter in the second layer blocks more light. This filter is required for the auto-darkening feature to work. Usually, it is a set of two filters arranged perpendicularly.
  • LC Screen –The next part of the helmet is the LCD. This display turns dark when an electric current is applied, and the intensity of the darkness varies. This is the most important component of welding helmets.
  • Circuit – Somewhere on the side, there is an integrated circuit that would connect to the LCD and battery. This circuit has a photocell that detects light and lets the current pass.

All these components work together for the auto-darkening welding helmets. The circuit detects light and passes the current to the LCD. The LCD turns dark as soon as current is applied, and the polarization filter works as a safety mechanism in case of circuit failure. As soon as the light source is removed, the photocell blocks the current, making the lens transparent. And this is how the auto-darkening welding helmets work.

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