Welding masks are essential to protect the wearer from the side-effects of welding. Flash-burn, sparks and excessive heat are all common risks in the welding process, and welding helmets and masks provide much needed protection for the welders face and eyes.RS offers a wide range of adjustable helmets and masks, with solutions to support your workplace requirements. For more information, please see our welding masks guide.
A welding mask is a protective head shield that covers your face and eyes. It provides a fixed-darkness or auto-darkening viewing portal so you can concentrate on your work without your eyes being damaged by flash burn or errant sparks. They are typically constructed of fibreglass or Polyamide, which offers sufficient protection while remaining relatively lightweight.
There are two main types of welding mask- those that have a fixed-darkness viewing portal, and those that have an auto-darkening viewing portal. Fixed darkness usually has a flip-up face shield, so you can see normally when you are not welding, and then nod your head to put the mask in place once you are ready to weld.
Auto-darkening helmets use a polarizing filter that automatically prevents harmful flash burn to the welder. This has the advantage that the wearer does not have to adjust their helmet for working, saving them time and effort. As they do not need to be adjusted, they reduce the risk of exposure to harmful light.
The major disadvantage of a darkening welding helmet is that they are often more expensive that their fixed-darkness counterparts. It is important to choose the welding mask that is best suited to the job at hand.