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View Full Version : Welding cloths....a caution!



torker
07-20-2009, 10:49 AM
I just got the latest burns all cleaned up and dressed for the day...lol!
These are nasty lil buggers tho...because I wasn't paying attention.
Was out in the shop last night doing a bunch of AirArc gouging. It was hotter than hell out so I wasn't wearing any leather.
I had a couple of big molten sizzlers jump into my left glove....
Usually not a big deal...
But I knew I was in trouble right away as it felt like my arm was immediately on fire.
The shirt I was wearing was a 50/50 cotton poly blend...I didn't look at the tag.
That damm polyester melted right into my skin....when I opened the button and pulled back the sleeve...the skin came with it.
I now have 4 lovely lil 1st degree burns that will take a long time to heal.
Look at your stuff....if it has poly in it...don't weld in it....you could get bit!
Russ

JoeFin
07-20-2009, 11:24 AM
Got just 1 word for you - NOMEX

Personally i prefer my old style leather hood with "Insta-Dark" sheild to my normal welding hood. The Leather hood completely drapes over my head and neck to prevent any cheerys from rolling down my shirt. Its an absolute must have for over head work.

In addition to my leather coat I have a Nomex jacket which is so much lighter for hot weather, and when I'm doing Tig table work I have just the Nomex sleaves that go over my arms

I used to have a bunch a T-shirts with holes in them

Jim Shaper
07-20-2009, 01:05 PM
I just wear the cotton "green" welding shirts unless I'm doing overhead and then I pull out the leather.

I've found machining with carbide exposes me to more hot metal than mig or stick ever did. Too bad long sleeves are a bad idea around the machines which pelt me.

I hope you recover quickly.

pressurerelief
07-20-2009, 03:22 PM
In the hazmat business we refer to polyester, nylon, rayon, etc, as shrink wrap for just that reason. Nomex or PBI.

P/R

Dawai
07-20-2009, 04:55 PM
I'm a electrician. Polyester will compound burns with welding or electrical fires.

Nomex is only fireproof when laundered properly. If you wash it in a regular washing machine with regular cotton methods, it is just as flammable as any other clothing.

Russ, You'd be so proud of me, I was tig welding in flip flops, shorts and teee shirt .. Again.. Dad always said if you ain't smart you better be tough.

Jim Shaper
07-20-2009, 05:00 PM
Dave, that ain't no feat. There's only arc (sun) burn to worry about.

Now if you were welding 1/16" electrode flux core in that outfit...:eek:

I used to do some small repairs with mig in shorts, t-shirt, and sandals ("this'll only take a second" type stuff). The spatter burns on my shins would just be blisters that'd rub off in the shower that night.

Dawai
07-20-2009, 06:41 PM
Yeah... the wide band emf does us all no-good either.

THE old green semi-fire retardant welding jacket they gave me at a nuclear plant. It has been washed a few times, I still use it, but it has holes burned all in it now. Mostly it is Sun-burn protection now. I laid the blue-jean apron across my legs and put the green jacket on a lil bit ago.

Besides, wearing a burned up welders jacket makes me look-a-like I know-a-what I am doing.. ha.. I weld by sound a lot these days.

Optics Curmudgeon
07-20-2009, 10:08 PM
Nomex is only fireproof when laundered properly. If you wash it in a regular washing machine with regular cotton methods, it is just as flammable as any other clothing.

I've heard that before, in an Air Force survival class. It was in the context of "people will tell you that your Nomex flight suit will deteriorate with ordinary washing. Categorically not true". Supported by The Authority (DuPont):

Does Nomex® Protective Apparel require special laundering techniques?
Normal home, commercial and industrial laundering and dry techniques are suitable. Because the flame -resistant protection is part of the aramid fiber it cannot be washed or worn out, even if the garment is mishandled. Recommended laundering procedures are available. Many companies consider industrial laundering programs to ensure their garments are thoroughly cleaned and properly maintained and to implement and manage their Protective Apparel programs.

Nomex® Protective Apparel garments are extremely durable and stand up well to repeated launderings and use. Fabrics have very low initial shrinkage (1 % to 3% ) and maintain their size and shape over the life of the garment. Nomex® Protective Apparel garments come out of the dryer ready to wear and rarely need pressing.

Chlorine bleach should not be used on Nomex® protective garments. Chlorine bleach or other additives will not remove the flame protection as they can with flame-retardant treated fabrics; however, to preserve garment strength and prolong garment life, chlorine bleach should not be used.

Caution: Thoroughly remove greases, oily soil and other flammable contaminants from Nomex® protective garments. Flammable contaminants serve as a fuel source and will reduce the thermal performance of any garment. Tears or rips should be repaired with components made from Nomex® brand fabric, sewing thread, zipper tapes and patches.

From http://www2.dupont.com/Personal_Protection/en_US/products/Nomex/nomexind/nomex_industrial_faq.html#12QD

Joe

Jim Shaper
07-20-2009, 11:12 PM
My green shirt is pretty well perforated too. I've got a brand new one around here somewhere, but I don't think I've worn out the old one just yet. :D

Dawai
07-21-2009, 08:09 AM
Hi. Well the old TIDE washing powder left a residue on clothing that made it flammable. WE use the cheap stuff in a liquid bottle now so I don't know.

I have been on fire more than once. A few times wearing nomex. Old flannel shirts were the worst. Wearing layers of clothing in a cold shop you don't really notice you are on fire till it heat starts "sinking" through the clothing layers.

A real funny event (after the fact) was the Poly-propylene tennis shoes I caught on fire. I was flip kicking that foot like "super-foot Wallace".. just a flaming blur.. I did manage to get it put out, a hole where you could see my burned sock about the size of a baseball.

Last Nomex jacket handed to me on a construction job was a 2x.. it would not button up.. Must have been made in China.

JoeFin
07-21-2009, 02:31 PM
Yeah... the wide band emf does us all no-good either.

The Ultra Violet light from Tig can be exceptionaly damaging

Problem is it goes right through the thin layers of skin on the backs of your hands and does some Very Serious Damage on the Tendons. Same goes for the inside of your elbows where those of us who prefer not to wear sleeves get those nice little Tig Sunburns

As for tough

I was welding with 6011 when a nice size cheery fell into my untied tennis shoe - but I finished the bead hopping on 1 foot

camdigger
07-23-2009, 02:41 PM
Fire retardant clothing comes in various types.

Proban and the like are treated cotton. As such they DO lose their fire inhibition properties with laundering.

Nomex, and the Dale aramids are inherently fire retardant as the chemistry of the manmade fibre is flame retardant. As such they do not lose their fire retardant properties when laundered properly.

Proban, Nomex, and the Dale aramid fabrics are only good for flash fire protection and are not sufficient protection for welding where the burns can be from hot globs of stuff, but they will not sustain an open flame and they do not melt into your skin like synthetic threads will.

My $.02 cdn.
Cam

P.S. watch the potential for infection Russ, as I'm sure you're aware, it can make a bad burn waaayyyy worse.

speedy
07-25-2009, 09:42 AM
I just got the latest burns all cleaned up and dressed for the day...lol! These are nasty lil buggers tho...because I wasn't paying attention.
I now have 4 lovely lil 1st degree burns that will take a long time to heal.
Look at your stuff....if it has poly in it...don't weld in it....you could get bit!
Russ

I use our Aloe Vera plant for any burns that I receive, welding, sun, whatever.Also for cuts.
With my last serious deep tissue burn my old dog 'Tan' kept it clean till it healed when medication wouldn't work a bean.
Good luck with the repair Russ.

Ken_Shea
07-25-2009, 09:52 AM
I use our Aloe Vera plant for any burns that I receive, welding, sun, whatever.Also for cuts.
With my last serious deep tissue burn my old dog 'Tan' kept it clean till it healed when medication wouldn't work a bean.
Good luck with the repair Russ.

A second to that, it does work!

Dawai
07-25-2009, 12:48 PM
Bag balm, cow udder creme.. Vitamin E diaper lotion with medication.. works great on burns.. I should know.

It also works good on tattoos, a sub topical needle abrasion like. (many many holes closely spaced together)

I got a tube just the other day, the green can with flowers is what I used to see up north.. THE women use it as a moisturizer in the dry western air.. or they look like a iguana when they get my age.. THE women who looked my age were almost a illegal age.. (run away old man) too expensive to keep.

Walter
07-25-2009, 07:22 PM
I still just cope with leathers, they keep the pain factor down. We used to wear these heavy cotton (denim) type coveralls. they worked great until they frayed, then we were putting out hot spots. They mostly smoldered, but on occasion we got flames. All in all they worked really well. Been some years since I did any production welding (long hours) but much of the time I went the t-shirt route Always noticed the slight burn on my arms, but it never really bothered me. I have to agree, I notice more burns now from chips then I ever did welding.

jatt
07-25-2009, 08:06 PM
Hi all,

Yep first time poster. Yeah I go along with the Vitamin E cream and aloe vera (raid the missus stash). She dont mind cause shes always complaining about how rough my hands are.

Went out and picked up a leather hood and jacket. Do a bit of overhead welding, so I recon this gear is a must. Get some funny looks and comments when customers pop in, but after I show em the burn mark in my helment (how it didnt wreck the LCD lens I dont know) they soon understsnd why I wear a hood.

Recently got given a jacket by a bloke who does pours in a foundary. Its got the leather sleeves, but a different type of material for the rest of it. No tags to suggest what its made from. Havent tried it out yet.

bobhdus
08-05-2009, 01:34 PM
Most of the welders where I work wear tank tops and shorts and ansi steel toe shoes. They use the green jackets and shoe string guards and other PPE as needed. But they are on production lines welding scooter frames and fuel tanks. I am in Maintenance here and have to wear Carhartt FR clothing for the variety and out of position welding that I do. Other than my pants keep shrinking(?) I have never had any issues, but I do wear the light green jacket to protect my FR shirt. It will still get holes in it. I have noticed though that my Carhartt boot soles will burn rather well if I step on a hot spent electrode stub. The little red shop towels are another issue. We have folks that like to get them smoldering then throw them up on top of a machine out of reach so all can enjoy the unique flavorful aroma.

motorcyclemac
08-09-2009, 05:15 AM
Back in the day when I worked as an auto mechanic I used to do a LOT of exhaust work. One day I had a Malibu up on the rack installing dual pipes. I was mindlessly welding the tail pipes to the mufflers when a goober fell from the pipe into my coverall pocket. We mechanics all carried a spiral notebook in our left chest pocket to write mileage and part numbers on. That hot goober fell right into the pages of that notebook. Lit it right up. I didn't know I was on fire. The mechanic from the next bay over came running up while I was welding.. He started slapping the crap outta my chest trying to put the fire out. I stopped welding and flipped up my helmet in surprise...he was still slapping at my coveralls. He got the fire out. My coveralls were polyester. It burned the notebook, melted my ball point pen and my coveralls into a gooey melted plastic mess. Fortunately it was winter time and I had on long johns and a flannel shirt under the coveralls. I didn't get hurt...but was alarming. Needless to say... that notebook stayed in my back pocket from that point on. The firefighter mechanic found a nice bottle of Jack Daniels on his tool box the next day....


Cheers
Mac.

JoeFin
08-09-2009, 01:41 PM
I have a couple of these

http://cgi.ebay.com/REVCO-INDUSTRIES-30-inch-4XL-welding-coat-Banox-FR3-NEW_W0QQitemZ260460347221QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_Def aultDomain_0?hash=item3ca4a57f55&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

at $14.99 it is a "Hell of a Deal"


Went out and picked up a leather hood and jacket. Do a bit of overhead welding, so I recon this gear is a must. Get some funny looks and comments when customers pop in, but after I show em the burn mark in my helment (how it didnt wreck the LCD lens I dont know) they soon understsnd why I wear a hood.

Yep I use a Leather Hood as well - it only takes 1 or 2 cheeries down the neck of your shirt to understand why