Safety is definitely of foremost importance when welding, and to achieve a high level of safety while welding, you would surely need a welding blanket. Welding blanket is a protective covering that is generally used by welders to protect the surrounding structures from spatters or droplets of molten metals while welding. The welding blanket, as the name implies, is like a blanket or safety equipment that is designed to prevent spatters or droplets from hitting you and your equipment while welding. It can be a layer of highly flexible protective material that contains inorganic or unexpanded vermiculite that is heat resistant. Since this blanket is heat resistant, it can protect the welder and surrounding areas from being hit and damaged by spatter and droplets of molten metal.
Contemporary welding blankets are usually made of fiberglass that are flame retardant, meaning they inhibit the effect of flame. They can withstand temperatures that range from 300 degrees Fahrenheit to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Earlier welding blankets were made of asbestos. However, since asbestos has been found to cause some health hazards, the use of asbestos for has quickly become unpopular.
1) Medium-duty Welding Blanket
This is a very flexible welding blanket that you can use with ease and flexibility. This blanket is ideal for industrial use, and every industry that engages in welding should have this type of blanket. This blanket is not susceptible of burns and can withstand heat of up to 290 degrees Celsius. It is likewise not easily damaged by the continuous effects of vapors, oil, grease, or liquids. This blanket is also available in various sizes and has brass eyelets.
2) Neoprene Welding Blanket
It is likewise not as flexible as the medium-duty blankets. One advantage, however, it is configured for vertical usage. Using the brass eyelets, you can readily drape the neoprene welding blanket around the area you would like to protect. You can use it to protect window frames, walls, and even bookshelves while welding, and it functions as a protective curtain.
3) Heavy-duty Welding Blanket
This is a very strong and heavy-duty blanket that can resist up heat of up to 1,000 degrees Celsius. It also has superior tensile strength than that of the asbestos. Moreover, this type of blanket has passed the standard UK fire testing and adhered to the welding specification of BS476 Pt 20. This blanket is available in three different sizes. Lastly, this blanket has brass eyelets that allow its user to fix it in one area.
Why Welding Industry Needs Welding Blanket?
It is a fact that the welding process produces spatters or droplets of molten metal. These spatters of molten metal usually have the high temperature of up to 3,000 degrees centigrade. Upon hitting the adjacent surface, the spatter globules have temperature of up to 1,800 degrees centigrade which is enough to cause damage to anything they come in contact with. Thus, during the welding process, it is imperative to have protective coverings that could be easily spread over the adjacent areas and surfaces during the welding process.
It is used for the purpose of protecting the adjacent areas during welding, and it should comply with the international standards. The U.S. Government and ISO, for example, set standards on the quality of a welding blanket, and it would surely be good to purchase the one that is compliant with both the national and international standards.
The act of welding is fraught with various risks. These risks when not minimized may lead to injuries. These injuries include an unexpected electric shock, inhaling poisonous fumes, and accidental explosions. There are also injuries due to insufficient protective equipment. These injuries are the most common injuries when welding. So, to prevent injuries like these, welders should practice extra precautions by wearing appropriate protective gears.
One equipment that can protect you from injuries is that of the welding blanket. Welding blanket not only prevents injuries. It also protects your equipment and properties from damages. Sparks and spatters may accidentally hit your equipment or other properties. Thus, you need to protect your properties by using a welding blanket.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Welding Blanket
There are several factors that you must bear in mind when purchasing a welding blanket and some of these factors include the following.
There are many material choices when it comes to welding blankets which include glass fibers, silica, vinyl, Nomex/Kevlar woven fabric, or aramid fiber. Moreover, a flexible protective material like a welding blanket should consist of various layers. The outermost layer should be made of inorganic and heat resistant fibrous material. This fibrous material should comprise 10 to 70 percent of the said layer. It can be a ceramic type of material, especially, if you are going to use the welding blanket in extreme conditions. It can also be made of cheaper fibers with lower melting point such as those of fiberglass or mineral wool. These cheaper fibers can be used for less severe conditions. Sometimes, welding blankets may also consist of a combination of various fibrous materials that are found to be reliable and good enough for use in ordinary welding situations.
Welding blankets vary, not only according to the materials out of which it is made, but also according to their thickness. The thickness of the materials usually plays a critical role in intense heat resistant. The thickness usually ranges from .10 cm to around .40 of an inch.
The size of the welding blankets likewise plays a critical role in their capacity to serve as protective materials. Always remember that the larger the blanket is, the greater the area it can protect. Hence, if you are not burdened with budget constraint, you should always opt for a wider blanket.
Best Welding Blankets
Here are the most highly recommended welding blankets on the market today:
1) HiwowSport 48 x 72inches High Temp Carbon Fiber Welding Protective Blanket
It is a welding blanket that is made of tear-resistant Carbon Fiber material. This welding blanket is designed to withstand up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Its dimensions are 48 by 72 inches and 21oz/square yard.
The HiwowSport Welding Protective Blanket is efficient against heat and is definitely of high quality. You can drape it over your floor surfaces or as the cover for equipment and machineries to protect them from sparks and spatters. You can also use it as a wall or vertical shield against spatters and sparks too. It weighs around 3.7 pounds and comes with no folding.
2) Lenco 08820 Welding Blanket
The Lenco 08820 Welding Blanket is a non-coated welding blanket that features Kevlar stitched of 100% fiberglass. It is designed for heavy-duty usage and comes with excellent quality. It has a finely finished edge and is highly durable.
It weighs around 1.6 ounce and measures around 18 x 14 inches with a thickness of 1.5 inches. It has grommets every 12 inches. It permits proper ventilation. It offers maximum protection, being a heat-treated blanket.
3) Neiko 10909A Heavy Duty Fiberglass Welding Blanket and Cover with Brass Grommets
The Neiko 10909A Fiberglass Welding Blanket and Cover is made of 100% flame retardant materials. It is durable and usable for general purposes. Using it, you can protect your properties from damages due to spatters and sparks. It is heavy duty and consists of 19.8 oz/sq.yd fiberglass. Thus, it is capable of providing excellent thermal protection.
This blanket features a premium weaving pattern measuring 30 x 30 per square inch for extra durability. This welding blanket is designed for long-term use. Its working temperature is up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit or 537 degrees Celsius. It also features reinforced hem of 3/8 I.D. brass grommets every 11 inches for easy and secure hanging.
4) Hobart Heat-treated Fiberglass Blanket
The Hobart heat-treated fiberglass blanket is an 18-ounce fiberglass welding blanket. It provides awesome protection for surfaces and areas that are exposed to welding sparks and spatters. It is extra soft and is pliable enough being made of brass grommets. This welding blanket is heat-treated and is 100% asbestos-free. It can withstand temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Hobart heat-treated fiberglass blanket comes with a reusable storage bag. The package also includes some important safety tips on how to use and store this product. Its dimensions are 4 by 6 feet.
5) Steiner 316-18X18 Velvet Shield 16-Ounce Black Carbonized Fiber Welding Blanket
The Steiner Black Carbonized Fiber Welding Blanket is a heavy-duty welding blanket that can protect your equipment and other surfaces from sparks, spatter, and light slag. It is made of 16 Oz. of carbonized fiber that provides soft but tough welding protection. It can surely withstand an incredible amount of heat. Its temperature rating is 1,800 Fahrenheit. It also weighs around 16oz per square yard. The Steiner Black Carbonized Fiber Welding Blanket is less expensive than the abovementioned welding blankets.
Among the abovementioned brands of welding jackets, I think the Steiner appears to be the most excellent in my opinion. It inevitably resists damage from sparks and spatters and does excellent protection underneath. On the downside, it is expensive as compared to other welding blankets. You will surely save more in the long run if you buy this brand because it is durable and lasts longer than other brands.