The Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company opened shop more than a century ago in 1902. After a few years of finding their identity in the business world, the five founders of the conglomerate finally stabilized the company's financial standing. Since then, the company has been a forerunner in the manufacture of many products we take for granted nowadays. In fact, 3M's products are so diversified that they are ranked among the hundred top companies by Fortune 500.
3M has been doing it all for over a hundred years from consumer goods, healthcare, and industrial safety products. The company's conglomerate structure allows it to have diversity in manufacturing because different businesses from different industries use their expertise to make quality products under the 3M umbrella.
Protective gear is a significant part of the 3M manufacturing industry. The company is big on ensuring the safety of industrial workers. Part of their product line is the 3M welding helmet and other welding safety equipment because these are some of the most challenging processes in any construction project.
We reviewed the 3M Speedglas 9100 Helmet so you don’t have to. Below are the features worth noting about it.
The 3M Speedglas 9100 Welding Helmet
3M is a company that values the safety of industrial workers in making their products. This catapulted them to the top tier in the welding PPE division. Part of the company's line of safety wear is the 3M Speedglas welding helmet series, of which the number 9100 is part. To know more about this particular helmet, we have compiled the advantages and setbacks of the product below.
Wearing a helmet on top of all the protective equipment can feel like it's too much. If you're one of those workers who need some room to weld in the zone, this helmet is for you. It is convenient to use if you're looking for good pivot action like the 3M Speedglas flip-up welding helmet 9100xx fx. The head size of the helmet can also fit most users easily. The design allows for basic movements of the head from side to side and up and down.
You have heard of other brands marketing their helmets using the screen dimensions and convincing customers that the screen will be so vast that the sides won't be noticeable. Aside from a 1.8 by 3.7-inch screen, the 3M 9100 helmet has added peripheral slots on each side of the helmet that further increases comprehensive visual coverage.
The helmet's light sensitivity is powered by heavy-duty batteries that can withstand a whole year of regular workday use. The change from light to dim screens is also unnoticeable since it is a 0.10-millisecond change. You'll have a dark screen to fend off the brightness of your welding in no time.
No matter how good the product is, you should always consider the disadvantages of that product. The same goes for the 3M 9100 helmet. Its biggest downside is probably its exterior design. Truth be told, it is not a unique design out there. But welding is not a fashion contest, and what the 3M 9100 lacks in looks, it more than makes up for in functionality.
Welding Injuries to Watch Out For
Welding processes are not easy. It takes time and effort to have the skills to fuse two metals. The machinery used in welding is complicated to use and control if you don't have adequate training or experience. Adding to the difficulty of the industry are the extremes welders work with every day. Metal has high melting points, which means that workers face scorching heat all the time too.
Injuries are quite common in welding, unfortunately. Although most of these are not life-threatening, they are still life-changing. Here are some examples of welding threats that workers battle with on a daily basis:
Arc eye or welder's flash is one of the most common injuries that happen to welders. Arc welding methods like Metal Inert Gas (MIG) and Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) are not only complicated but also hazardous types of welding. The arc method uses electricity in order to produce the welding arc that melts and joins the material. These arcs are known for producing alarming amounts of ultraviolet rays. Without proper eye protection, welders are endangering their eyes with UV rays.
The symptoms of the welder's flash are not felt for a few hours after welding. Unfortunate workers can get teary eyes and a burning or prickling sensation when they close their eyes. Worst cases of welder's flash damage the retina and cause blindness, much like how staring barefaced at the sun can blind anyone.
Wearing a helmet that protects your eyes completely while giving you adequate vision, as the 3M Speedglas helmet does, is an effective way to avoid welder's flash.
Manganese poisoning is an adverse effect of constant exposure to the chemical during welding. Victims of manganism experience symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease. Manganism is a result of inhaling manganese in welding materials like rods, wires, and electrodes.
The simplest way of avoiding manganism is wearing a helmet like the 3M Speedglas. It's not just any helmet workers wear. It must be a protective gear with space for an air filter like the 3M welding helmet respirator. Toxic fumes should not be taken lightly. It can cause severe damage that could ultimately stop you from doing any welding projects in the future. Before buying just any helmet on the market, learn about which one actually prioritizes safety for the wearer.
Final Thoughts on the 3M Welding Helmet
Welding is a vital part of any construction business. The safety of workers means that the project can be finished on time and with quality. Taking care of welders is like taking care of your whole business. The 3M company recognizes this, and it shows in their line of safety products.
One notable safety gear from the company is the 3M 9100 helmet, with its functions trumping its typical exterior. A widescreen that virtually changes mode in no time, peripheral windows to let you see your surroundings, and a battery life that can last for a year with 8-hour daily use are only some of the things you're getting with this helmet. It's everything a welder can ask for.
If, by chance, you're one of those advanced welders who need more from a helmet, try looking at the 3M speedglas flip-up welding helmet 9100XX or FX. It is another 3M helmet welding pros put on their wishlist.
Choosing a helmet is totally up to you. Remember to look for the protection capabilities of a helmet first and foremost. The rest of the specifications can come later. Invest in a helmet like the 3M 9100 made by a company that genuinely cares about your work and safety.