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How does an automatic welding helmet work?

HomeTechnologyHow does an automatic welding helmet work?

The subject of welding and welding with gas (autogenous welding) has played a central role, since the very beginning of our company. Accordingly, we have had numerous welding professionals from industry and trade among our customer base for many years.

Reason enough to take up the topic of occupational safety in this area and to introduce you to more precisely how an automatic welding helmet actually works.

More comfortable welding work with auto dark helmets

If the parts to be welded slip after fixing, you have forgotten something or want to check whether the weld seam was successful, you have to put the hand protection shield aside or at least look past it. Automatic welding helmets have a great advantage here – they are ready for use immediately and do not have to constantly nod their heads.

This will prevent injuries to the eyes and burns caused by flying sparks and ultraviolet and infrared radiation during welding. And since the requirements differ depending on the welding process, the welding helmets have automatic filters. They allow easy adjustment even while working. Even budget welding helmets with an automatic feature are quite comfortable to wear and easy to adjust.

How does an automatic welding helmet work?

An automatic window is built into the protective shield of these automatic welding helmets, which automatically darkens within a very short time at the start of the start-up process (the value is normally adjustable) and thus protects your eyes from the bright light of the arc that occurs during welding.

At the same time, it is possible to adjust the sensitivity of the filter to your welding process. Usually, the range is between 9 DIN for MIG / MAG welding processes and 13 DIN for TIG welding. Some welding helmets also offer the option of using a step for grinding.

Welding process: Area of ​​application for protective welding helmets

Since we have already mentioned the different welding processes, we are taking this as an opportunity to briefly introduce or explain them. In detail:

  • Electrode welding: This welding process is generally considered to be particularly easy and safe. Electrode welding essentially works on the principle that the electric arc burns between the workpiece and a melting electrode. Since no gas is required for this and the devices are easy to transport due to their compactness, this method can also be used outdoors without any problems, even in windy conditions. Accordingly, electric welding devices are used in almost all areas of industry, craft, and hobby.
  • MIG-MAG welding: MIG-MAG welding is considered the most commonly used welding process today. The high welding speed, precision, and durability of the weld seams make it particularly cost-efficient and therefore very economical. The acronym MIG-MAG is derived from the combination of metal inert gas (MIG) and metal active gas (MAG) and essentially describes the burning of the electric arc between the melting, automatically fed welding wire (= electrode) and the workpiece. In order to protect the arc and welding zone from the ingress of outside air, separate shielding gases are added in the MIG-MAG welding process.
  • MIG welding: The so-called metal inert gas (MIG) welding process is a hard soldering process which, in accordance with the standards, should actually be referred to as metal inert gas soldering (MSG). Both names are common, however. Just as easy to use as the MIG-MAG welding process outlined above, here the electric arc burns between the workpiece and the continuously melting solder wire electrode and the workpiece. Here, too, an added protective gas protects the arc and liquid solder from the outside air.
  • TIG welding: The so-called tungsten inert gas process (TIG) is particularly popular among welding professionals due to its easy handling and good controllability. Of all the welding processes listed here, it is the one with the most intense arc (see also the adjustable privacy levels, which usually range from 9 to 13). In the TIG welding process, the electric arc burns between the (non-melting) tungsten electrode and the workpiece, with the arc and welding zone being protected from external influences by a separately supplied argon protective gas. Professionals especially appreciate the possibility of very clean and comfortable welding work: The elimination of flux, the spatter-free arc, and clean seams without the need for reworking on the workpiece.
  • Plasma cutting: This welding process is based on the principle of constriction, through which a highly heated, ionized gas with a high energy content is created in the welding torch, the energy of which is converted into heat. This gas that transfers the arc is then called plasma. Plasma cutting is characterized by the high energy density of the arc and a correspondingly high cutting speed. Because only compressed air is required as the cutting gas here, it is considered a particularly convenient and powerful welding variant that is used primarily in the areas of tank construction, installation and steel construction.
Man with automatic welding helmet

Power supply for automatic welding helmets

Back to the automatic helmets. Due to the automatic darkening and the adjustable parameters, they require an energy source. In general, there are three types of automatic welding helmets :

  • battery
  • Solar cells
  • Combination of both

The advantage of battery-operated helmets lies in the extremely fast reaction or darkening time, which is often slightly better than with solar-powered welding helmets. However, this also requires replacing the battery. The solar-powered supply, on the other hand, is cheaper and the automatic system draws its energy from the respective arc of the welding torch. A combined version combines the advantages of both types.

Maintenance and care of the welding protection filter

The automatic filter cassette is protected from the outside with a cover plate that protects against weld spatter and pearls and is very easy to replace. The cover plates can be exchanged without any additional tools – within a very short time you have a good view again while welding.

In general, it is important that the sensors, solar cells and filter discs stay clean. Both the filter cassette and the helmet shell can be washed with soapy water, for example. Avoid solvents or aggressive cleaning agents. Keep the helmets in a clean and dry place.


With automatic welding helmets, both professionals and ambitious hobby welders get modern products at hand, which usually leave nothing to be desired in terms of safety or protection of your eyes and comfort. In addition to the standard versions of the helmets, there are also a number of different, more unusual designs – ideal for everyone who wants to make a visual statement when welding.

Featured image: Source

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