Monday, December 11, 2023

What do the “din” mean on a welding helmet and which ones are recommended when buying one?

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The DIN in welding mask they refer to the graduation that normalizes the German institute, and it is a series of numbers, generally from 8 to 15, that determine the opacity of the glass of the welding mask.

Why is it necessary to adjust the opacity in these More expensive? Simple: each welding technique presents a flame or voltaic arc with different characteristics, and according to the intensity of the emissions in the ultraviolet, infrared and visible spectrum, greater or lesser protection is required. Additionally, the glass must also be able to withstand the projections of slag and other hard materials at high temperatures without risk of failure.

DIN on welding masks: how to interpret them?

The DIN on welding masks is, technically, a number that represents the degree of filtration offered by the glass. It is normalized by the agency DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung) and the scale is set between 1 and 15, with 1 being completely transparent glass and 15 being completely opaque glass.

Welding masks generally offer protection in the range between 9 and 13, which corresponds to the most common electromagnetic emissions in the field of electrical and chemical welding.

welding mask

Automatic masks

The More expensive Automatic or photosensitive allow the welder to work more efficiently, since the glass automatically and immediately opaque as soon as it detects an increase in the intensity of ultraviolet, infrared and visible spectrum emissions.

The change occurs in a small fraction of a second (1/3600 in home masks and 1/20000 in professional masks), so the eye is properly protected from dangerous radiation, without the need to “guess” where the electrode should be placed. or the torch.

Are More expensive they usually have a shade range between 9 and 13, so they are not fixed like the More expensive traditional, thus offering a useful versatility for the welder who works with various techniques.

Photosensitive welding mask

Photosensitive welding mask

Fixed type welding helmets

The welding masks or shields fixed or specialized type, provide complete protection for a number DIN specific; the most common are located within the range 9 – 13, although it is possible to obtain graduated masks with greater or lesser opacity.

As a general rule the More expensive and goggles designed for flame welding provide the numbers DIN lower, while the welding helmets designed for techniques such as TIG in a high range of current intensity are graduated up to 16.

Fixed type welding mask

Fixed type welding mask

welding goggles

Of all, they are the ones that offer the least protection, although they also allow greater comfort. They are designed for welding with low ultraviolet radiation emission flame.

welding goggles

welding goggles

Mask shading ranges

Is it desirable or advisable to always have maximum protection in the mask? The answer is no. The darkening of the glass responds to the need to protect the eyes from exposure to harmful radiation, but that same protection makes vision difficult.

A flame welding does not offer the same intensity of radiation that could be caused, for example, by the electric arc of a TIG welder with an output of 550A. In the first case, it is desirable to filter only what is necessary, in order to be able to visualize the work that is being carried out. In the other case, much of the visibility must be sacrificed to protect the eyes.

The existence of different degrees of darkening (graduation DIN) obeys this reason: each grade offers a different relationship between visibility and protection; It wouldn’t make sense to work with a mask DIN fifteen to carry out welding with an oxyacetylene torch, and it would also be dangerous to use a mask grade 9 to work with the TIG technique in the highest ranges of electrical intensity.

Considering the protection of the user’s eyes as a priority, and the importance of visibility when performing work, some manufacturers have designed photosensitive masks with a built-in LED lamp.

Photosensitive welding mask with LED lamp

Photosensitive welding mask with LED lamp

How to choose which mask to buy?

To correctly choose which photosensitive mask to buy, always look for the DIN in welding helmets, and choose according to the table that we offer below.

Box on masks

For manual arc welding (SMAW) choose the ranges between 9 and 13. If you are going to work mostly at maximum intensity, choose a fixed mask in graduation 13. On the contrary, if your work will be variable, choose a automatic photosensitive mask within this range; they are the most economical, since they are massively produced and are the most chosen.

For welding with the MIG technique, it is necessary to start from a protection of grade 10, up to grade 13. For TIG, on the other hand, it is necessary to have the maximum protection available if working at high intensities.

In plasma cutting, choose automatic masks with a minimum graduation of 11.

For plasma welding, it is possible to work with smaller graduations, starting from DIN 6 and reaching up DIN 11.

As a general rule, the greater the intensity of the current —if working with electric welders— the greater the protection chosen should be. The range varies according to the technique, the filler material and the material to be welded, so it is not possible to generate a simple equation for choosing the degree of protection DIN, but it is possible to state that, for most cases except the TIG technique, protection within the 10-13 range is adequate.

If you want a mask Versatile for home, hobby or small production jobs, the More expensive auto-darkening lights in the 9-13 range are definitely the best choice, both for the low price and for the reliability of the product.

If your work specializes in TIG techniques with high current intensities, choose fixed graduation welding helmets in the higher ranges, starting at 13.

For flame welding, protection within the 6-11 range will suffice.

In conclusion, according to your application choose the mask or shield to buy. The important thing is that you always use the appropriate protection to work safely, avoiding irreversible damage to your eyesight.

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