Cutting torches and welders come in handy whenever you feel the need to cut metal for a particular workpiece or home improvement project involving metal. Unfortunately, welders and cutting torches can be hazardous since the process emits extreme temperatures as well as toxic and corrosive chemicals. Apart from learning the chemical reactions of welding and cutting torches against metal, it is just as important to look out for personal safety and prevent injury.
In this regard, we wear close-fitting clothes, heavy leather boots, a protective helmet, and of course, welding safety gloves. In this article, we will be discussing the significance of personal protective equipment and how just a pair of gloves can save many lives, including yours.
The welding industry has drastically changed over the years and is continually improving amidst the advancements in technology. Taking a look at the far-flung history of welding, which dates back to the Bronze Age around 3300 to 1200 BC, welding became a widespread practice during the middle ages, precisely 2000 years ago.
The process of developing welding technology motivated the rise of cutting torches and welding tools that operate largely on fuel and other compounds (e.g. oxy-acetylene). While these became useful for more complex construction projects and favorable for manufacturing industries that sell welding products, they also became more threatening towards the human body. Experts believe that as society progresses with building tools, it should correspond with a series of developments in safety gears.
Ever since the invention of flame-cutting torches and high-quality welders, the demand for “Personal Protective Equipment” or PPEs has increased throughout the decades. PPEs are pieces of safety gear created to shield a welding operator from all too common welding dangers. In 40 innovative years, you can now purchase safety gear from your nearest welding store. They range from helmets, jackets, aprons, leggings, hoods, and welding safety gloves—all meant to protect welders at work.
The essence of these gloves is to insulate situations concerning electrical shock, ultraviolet, and infrared radiation. These tools keep welding operators free from injury often caused by burns, cuts, scratches, and exposure to arc rays. The use of welding gloves also grants a welding operator the ability to move more freely and execute necessary cutting or welding techniques. Continued usage of these gloves eliminates the fear of electrical or fire hazards while holding or using a welding tool. An example of this is applying a skill in the form of vertical or overhead welding; wearing a pair of gloves is highly recommended to perform this mechanic.
In the effort to upgrade PPEs, welding professionals have developed various types of welding gloves that would be crucial for both the comfort of the welding operator and to counteract the newer chemicals that have been integrated into the latest welder and cutting torch models. Welding safety gloves are designed to be durable and have undergone several tests to merit expert claims as ‘resistant to fire.’ With comfort and prevention of injury being the top reasons to own and use a pair of gloves, here are the three components that make welding gloves dependable.
In this section, learn how three components make welding safety gloves a life-saving tool for all welders. It all boils down to material, structure, and glove type.
A contributing factor to why you should use a welding safety glove is that it is more reliable compared to a regular construction glove. Their differences are largely anchored on their material compositions. Welding gloves are usually made up of leather and flame-resistant treated cotton clothing with added sheets of flame-resistant fabric, suitable for any welding activity.
A noteworthy aspect of wearing a pair of gloves is that it also allows digit articulation, and it provides abrasion resistance and enhanced grip strength. At the end of the day, safety gloves are worn to withstand extreme temperatures to protect your hands from burns, cuts, sparks, and scratches. The only prevention tip for electrical shocks is to keep your welding safety gloves dry to prevent grounding.
As a way to contrast welding gloves from standard leather work gloves, there are three apparent differences between them. First of all, welding safety gloves have a better insulation system. This is a crucial element because welding involves heat, either using conduction or radiation. You need an effective insulation system to withstand heat for a more extended period. For welding gloves like the GTAW or TIG Gloves or light GMAW-S or Short Circuit MIG Gloves, you would not need as much insulation because they have colder processes.
Another big difference between welding safety gloves and standard leather construction gloves is the type of gauntlets that they have. A gauntlet of welding gloves usually extends beyond the welding operator’s hands and may touch the operator’s elbow. The length can be estimated for about a yard or longer than that of a mechanic glove. At the same time, the gauntlet could have a small skirt which should be helpful when trying to prevent your safety gloves from becoming a funnel. Either way, gauntlets this lengthy are beneficial because your hands are protected from spatter and sparks.
Last but not least, welding gloves are meant for welding activities because they are made of non-synthetic materials such as cotton, wool, and leather. This is a preferable choice because non-synthetic substances burn instead of melt. A typical welding safety glove would have very minimal synthetic material, except welding gloves for cold methods. Nonetheless, what comprises it is compatible with the chemical processes involved (e.g. combustion).
Aside from realizing that safety gloves are one of the most reliable PPEs for your hands during a welding activity, you should also give enough attention to comprehending the parts of welding gloves. Welding safety gloves often have sleeves that are 16 inches long to protect your forearm from open flames, hot coals, and sparks. The operator can decide the dimensions of each pair of gloves; there are smaller-sized and bigger-sized gloves. If you can’t find the perfect fit for your hands, all you need to do is make a custom glove size request with the nearest welding store to your location.
Just like an average glove, a pair of safety welding gloves has its parts; there are glove fourchettes and quirks on the base of each finger, a thumb area, tranks that would cover the palm space and backside of the welding gloves, some gauge stitchings on the palm area, and the lining, found inside the welding gloves to increase the warmth and comfort of wearing leather hand gloves for welding. The thread used for the gauge stitching can be modified to polyester or Kevlar, while the linings can be adjusted to a thicker or less bulky composition.
As you choose your safety gloves, do not forget to include your preference because your style should be incorporated into the plan. Part of the selection is your personal choice of fabric (i.e. leather or fabric hem), the inclusion of a gauntlet cuff, and your preference or need for welted safety welding gloves.
Once you have familiarized yourself with the general material of welding gloves and their parts, the last step is to determine what you are trying to create through welding. Stating your purpose or deciding on the workpiece can help you choose the best-performing welder or cutting torch and its respective welding gloves. There are three primary types of welding gloves that are compatible with your welding needs. These are TIG safety welding gloves, MIG safety welding gloves, and Stick safety welding gloves.
TIG welding gloves are usually made of goat, cow, or pig hides; they are made this way such that they can provide finger sensitivity and adequate protection. Contradicting popular belief: TIG welding gloves are not a kind of universal safety gear that can work with any type of cutting torch or welder. These gloves are partnered with a TIG cutting torch or welder since it mainly consists of a thin protective layer.
MIG welding gloves, on the other hand, can also be made of pig or cowhide, but their distinct material would be deer hide. When it comes to usage, MIG welding gloves are exceptional in protecting and providing dexterity to your hands. They can be used for multiple cutting torch and welder brands. Just be sure to save enough cash to afford MIG welding gloves and cool them every so often.
The robust appearance of Stick welding gloves is due to it being made up of cow or elk hides, but just like the MIG welding gloves, Stick welding gloves can work with cutting torches and welders, especially when making precise cuts or unions. Since elk skin is the most typical material of Stick welding gloves, welding operators receive a great deal of comfort with its abrasion and flame-resistant elements. If you are trying to explore at least one of these welding safety gloves, MCR safety welding gloves are available with a descriptive analysis of welding material breakdowns.
Since welding remains to be an essential part of the construction industry, PPE centers are constantly developing welding gloves for all shapes and sizes. Compared to the older brands, the newest safety gloves are tailored using state-of-the-art technology for comfort and maximum protection. Here are some of our suggested brands:
PPEs or Personal Protective Equipment, specifically leather hand gloves for welding, were invented to shield welding operators from sparks, open flames, cuts, and other injuries. Beyond knowing how to use welding machines and cutting torches, understanding the properties of leather work gloves for welding would be of vital importance.
The material, structure, and glove type all contribute to the life-saving foundation of the gloves. Next time you see a welder missing these, remind them that each construction project should be safeguarded with hazard prevention equipment. Put your safety as the topmost priority because you can always restart with a failed workpiece but never rewind from an accident caused by the absence of PPEs.