How to keep cool while welding; what are the possibilities?
It’s holiday time and so we are happy with beautiful and warm days. For the people who are still working that is often a different story and that certainly applies to welders. We don’t need to explain that welding is a hot process and that the temperature with MIG/MAG in particular can rise considerably. If on top of that, thick material is welded and even pre-heated, keeping the welder cool is a big challenge. One thing is certain: we don’t want to compromise on the personal protection of the welder. So what are the possibilities?
In addition to personal protection, you can also opt for personal cooling. And we mean that quite literally. There are various types of cooling vests. Inquiries show that the version with cooling elements works best under workwear or an overall. The vest with hydrogel (see photo) works on the basis of evaporation and is therefore less suitable to wear underneath something.
We don’t have a picture of the vest with cooling elements, because the owner took the vest with him to wear during his holiday on the motorbike!
Of course you immediately think of air conditioning when it comes to cooling a workspace, but in rooms where welding is done, this is generally not a workable option. Fortunately, there are other systems that do work. First of all, there are mobile fans, which ensure the flow of air. So the air is not necessarily cooled, but kept in motion and that usually feels a lot more pleasant.
An adiabatic cooling system does provide cooler air. This is a system that brings cool air into the workspace by means of water vapour and a fan. We spoke to Jeroen van der Linden of Nemag about this system. They experience a cooling effect in their production halls through the use of adiabatic cooling. Nemag’s experience also shows that a higher hall is experienced as cooler than a lower one. Simply because the warm air rises!
What else you can do
In any case, it remains a challenge to work on extremely hot summer days. The heat is a considerable burden on the body. It is important to schedule sufficient and therefore probably more breaks than on other days. We assume that we do not have to explain that drinking a lot of water is important.
Starting earlier, when it’s still cool, it’s also done in many places. An interesting addition of Jeroen is that starting too early brings very different challenges. Starting much earlier than usual should mean that people also go to sleep earlier. But especially on hot days it is pleasant to sit outside for a long time in the evening because it cools down. At Nemag, people start only one hour earlier, but they do so throughout the summer period. Regardless of the weather.
What do you do?
We like to hear from welders who always work in warm conditions. Is it also a matter of getting used to it? Something that is not to be expected in the Netherlands, of course.
What are your top tips to keep it cool on hot and even extremely hot days?