Welding fumes are a complex mixture of metallic oxides, silicates and fluorides that form when a metal is heated above its boiling point and its vapors condense into very fine, airborne particles.
However, fume origins are not limited to the metal being welded itself, welding fumes can be comprised of particulate from the electrode or flux used, the gases both used and created while welding and any paint or coatings on the welded material as well.
Exposure to these types of fumes can have short or long lasting effects on a person, including time off, illness, early retirement and even life-long health problems.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety lists some possible exposure health risks as simple as a slight respiratory or eye irritation to much more harmful afflictions including lung cancer risk, metal fume fever, poisoning, loss of consciousness and even death.
You can see the full health effect listing from the CCOH in detail here
Fume extraction is the easiest and safest way to control your work place air quality. Many companies, including Nederman and Miller Electric offer a variety of solutions, depending on your needs.
ON TORCH EXTRACTION
An opening at the nozzle collects the fume through hoses that are connected to a high vacuum system. This solution removes the welding fume directly from the source over the welding pool, eliminating the majority of particulates.
Extractor arms are connected to a vacuum filter system and hung over a particular workspace. The arm is flexible and easily positioned so that it can be swung in and out of the way.
The extractor is suspended by a swivel, which allows the product to rotate 360 degrees. This makes the extraction arm flexible in all directions and very simple to position. Can be mounted in combination with different brackets, extension arms, on exhaust rails or on fixed or portable filter equipment.
PORTABLE FILTER UNITS
These systems, complete with extractor arms, are easily moved around the workspace. This allows the user the ability to weld in a variety of locations while still being able to utilize the filter extraction system.
The extraction arm includes an integrated spotlight, which optimizes the user-friendly design.
Accessories can be attached to improve individual applications. Can be combined to work as a mobile unit or as a fixed mounted unit.
These fixed workstation benches include an integrated fume extraction system. These systems allow the user to weld or grid without having to adjust any extraction points.
Underneath the working area a dust drawer takes care of the heavy dust. The drawer can easily be emptied from the front of the table. The duct connection for the external fan is located on top of the table and it is recommendable to use a filter device between the table and the fan.
Since robotic arms are performing during the welding process, this does not allow for extraction arms to be consistently positioned in the correct location. This issue can be solved by either mounting nozzles for extraction directly to the machine, or incorporating an extraction hood above the unit.
Fume extraction is not limited to only the welding industry. There are a myriad of extraction products available to aide in the safe removal of harsh fumes and particulates in just about any industry including:
Fire & Emergency Stations
Material Handling & Recycling
Process Industries & Energy
To learn more about fume extraction and extraction products click here.