3M™ Speedglas™ Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about 3M™ Speedglas™ Welding Equipment, Welding Helmets, Welding Respirators or Welding PPE? Search through our library of our most frequently asked questions below.

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    Is the Adflo PAPR a P3?

    For protection from particulates, there are three classes of filters under AS/NZS1716 called P1, P2 and P3 (see descriptions in the Welding Safety Section). Filters are rated using these classifications. Respirators are classified using the Required Minimum Protection Factor (RMPF).

    The Adflo particle filter (Part No. 837010) has been tested and performs to PAPR-P3 level with a capture efficiency greater than 99.95% as outlined by AS/NZS1716.

    The Adflo PAPR (Powered Air Purifying Respirator) when fitted to any of the air fed Speedglas Welding Helmet Series 9100 head tops has a Required Minimum Protection Factor of 50 for particulate exposure as outlined in AS/NZS1715:2009. This simply means that the air you breathe will be at least 50 times cleaner than the air youd otherwise be breathing.

    For more information on which systems are suitable and which filters should be used when welding different types of materials go to the Welding Safety FAQ section. Or click here for more information on the Speedglas welding helmet series 9100 with Adflo PAPR.
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    Where can I buy Speedglas Welding Helmets?

    Speedglas welding helmets are available to order online and through over 300 physical touch points around Australia and New Zealand. To find your nearest welding helmet distributor or to order a welding helmet online simply type your details into our Where to Buy Welding Helmets Tool. This tool is also accessible through the welding helmet product section.
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    Where can I find the best pricing on Speedglas Welding Helmets?

    Simply locate the welding shield you are after in the helmet section and request a quote. The RRP of the welding mask will be sent to you with a list of your closest welding helmet distributors. You will likely be able to find a better price through local welding supplies companies or alternatively you can buy online through www.eweld.com.au. Please note that buying through a local stocking welding distributor is normally the faster and cheaper option.

    Explore our range of market leading welding helmets today.

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    Can I use a Speedglas 9000 or 9002 lens in a Speedglas 9100 welding helmet?

    Unfortunately the 9000 and 9002 welding lenses are not suitable for use in the Speedglas 9100 Welding Helmet Series as they are different series launched over a decade apart. If you have an Adflo welding respirator you can upgrade to the 9100XXi welding helmet series without having to order a complete system with Adflo PAPR. Upgrade kits for the Adflo powered air purifying respirator including the 9100 series head-top, breathing hose and carry bag are available in the Speedglas 9100 Powered Air Section. The Speedglas Welding Lens 9100XXi can be used in all 9100 Welding Helmets.
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    What protection should I wear when welding steel, galvanised steel, stainless steel, lead based painted steel and 2 component painted steel etc.

    For detailed information on which welding respirators are suitable and which filters should be used when welding different types of materials go to the Welding Safety FAQ section on this website where we answer all these questions and provide respiratory protection charts and guides.
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    Where can I speak with and share information about welding with welders? Which are the best welding helmet forums, welding discussion boards, welding community sites and welding social media pages?

    The Speedglas welder’s project gallery is a great resource to share what you are currently welding or working on with other welders. It’s also a great place to be inspired by other welders.

    You can join the local Speedglas conversation or the global Speedglas conversation on Facebook. Other great forums for discussing everything welding are Eweld, The Awesome Boilies Page and Weldporn. If you have any others you believe we should add to this list then please get in touch with us. If you ever have any welding or welding safety related questions then please don’t hesitate in contacting us.

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    What are the benefits of an auto-darkening helmet? How do auto welding helmets affect productivity?

    An auto-darkening welding lens allows you to work faster and more accurately than a passive welding helmet and is safer due to the shield being kept in the down position at all times.

    The key to remember with 3M™ Speedglas™ Auto Darkening Welding Lenses (or ADLs) is consistency. They enable constant, comfortable vision. They provide constant protection from ultraviolet and infrared (UV/IR) radiation. And they consistently auto-switch from clear to dark, and back again, in just the way you want. Speedglas welding ADLs also known as auto-darkening filters (ADFs) also eliminate the neck-strain of “helmet flipping”, while greatly increasing the accuracy of electrode placement. This, in turn, reduces the need for grinding and rework. In addition, you can get into tight, cramped spaces with your welding eye and face protection already in place. The lenses constant, clear view make even extremely awkward welds a lot easier.

    How fast does a Speedglas welding helmet pay for itself?

    If profitability is defined in terms of protection, one day is enough. But while “protection”sometimes can be difficult to measure, efficiency and weld quality are much easier to gauge. You can increase efficiency substantially when using Speedglas welding ADLs. Not only can you work faster when you can always see, but you move more efficiently, placing electrodes more precisely. Most “bad weld starts” can be eliminated. Fewer bad welds mean less grinding and higher overall quality levels.

    A welding example:

    Productivity gains are, of course, dependent on the application. If you do a lot of tack welds, you will have much greater productivity gains than a welder doing long seam welds. With that said, using a conservative 15% gain in productivity and a welder’s salary of $30 per hour, the 3M™ Speedglas™ Welding Helmet 9100XXi FX Air with 3M™ Adflo™ Powered Air Respirator has the capacity to pay for itself in less than three months. In one year, the productivity gain may be potentially as high as $9,360 in savings.

    To run your own productivity calculation using our productivity calculator, please get in touch with us. Click here for an overview of the Speedglas welding helmet range or use the welding helmet product selector.

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    What are the main welding methods?

    MIG/MAG or GMAW
    With MIG (Metal Inert Gas) or MAG (Metal Active Gas) welding also called Gas-shielded Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) an arc is maintained between a continuous solid wire electrode and the work piece.

    The arc and weld pool are shielded by a stream of inert or active gas. The process is suitable for most materials and filler wires are available for a wide range of metals.

    Flux Cored Arc Welding
    Flux Cored Arc Welding is quite similar to MIG/MAG welding as far as operation and equipment are concerned. However, the electrode is not solid but consists of a metal sheath surrounding a flux core.

    As in MIG/MAG welding, the flux cored process depends on a gas shield to protect the weld zone from atmospheric contamination. The gas is either applied separately or it is generated from the decomposition of gas forming ingredients contained in the flux core.

    Stick/MMAW or SMAW Welding with stick electrodes is called Manual Metal Arc Welding (MMAW) welding or Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW). It is the oldest and most versatile of the various arc welding processes.

    An electric arc is maintained between the end of a coated metal electrode and the work piece. The molten slag floats to the top of the weld puddle where it protects the weld metal from the atmosphere during solidification.

    Plasma Arc Welding
    Plasma Arc Welding is a process, which is very similar to TIG welding. It is a development of the TIG method, which is designed to increase productivity. In Plasma Arc Welding, there are two separate gas flows, the plasma gas which flows round the tungsten electrode and subsequently forms the core of the plasma arc and the shielding gas which provides protection for the molten pool.

    Plasma Cutting
    This process uses a concentrated electrical arc which melts the material through a high-temperature plasma beam.

    TIG or GTAW
    TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding or Gas-Shielded Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) is a process, which uses a non-consumable solid tungsten electrode.

    The electrode, the arc and the area surrounding the molten weld puddle are protected from the atmosphere by an inert gas shield.

    If a filler metal is necessary, it is added to the leading edge of the molten puddle.

    Any questions, drop us a line and contact us

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