When it comes to welding safety, the hands need to be protected with high-quality welding gloves. Similarly to those who work in the construction industry, there are several risks that one faces when it comes to welding.
- 1 What Are Welding Gloves?
- 2 Why You Need Welding Gloves
- 3 Welding Glove Requirements
- 4 Materials and Characteristics
- 5 How to Get The Right Welding Glove Fit
- 6 Hand Hazards
- 7 Welder’s gloves according to Welding Process
- 8 Free Brochures
- 9 References
What Are Welding Gloves?
Welding gloves are manufactured to protect the hands from heat, flames and electric shock. ANSI Standard Z49.1 requires that all cutters and welders wear protective gloves. The types of gloves vary by the welding process.
Why You Need Welding Gloves
Electric shock, injuries, and skin burns are but a few mishaps that welders do experience when they lack hand protection. Others include the hand getting smashed, being crushed between two objects or getting cut accidentally. Sparks, hot metal, hot flying objects, dust, grime, grease, and chemicals are dangers that welders get to face too. This is why it is important to ensure protective hand gloves are worn at all times during welding operations.
When you know what your hands need, then you can finally provide the much-needed protection. Here is why hand protection is vital if you are planning to perform any welding job.
Welding Glove Requirements
Specific welding glove requirements vary based on the process. Here are some general welding glove features to look for.
- Electrical insulation
- Heat insulation
- Moisture resistant
- Ability to keep the hands dry
- Flexible when working for full range of motion
- Comfort: size and fit
- Quality materials: edges and seams that do not interfere with work
- Long lasting
- Puncture and tear resistant
Materials and Characteristics
|Welding Glove Material||Characteristics||Characteristics|
|Calfskin||More Dexterity than Cowhide Not as touch as Cowhide|
|Aluminized||Reflects Heat Radiation Heat Resistant||GMAW SMAW|
|Cowhide||Most Versatile Material Tough Durable Heat and Flame Resistant Electrical Resistance (when dry)||Ideal for MIG and Stick Welding and Handling|
|Deerskin||Good Touch Sensitivity||Perfect for TIG Welding and Light-duty projects|
|Goatskin||Durable Excellent Dexterity Which Varies by Grains and Grade Selected, Also Impacts Strength Comfortable Light Weight||Excellent Choice for TIG and MIG Handling and Welding|
|Kevlar Threat||Does Not Melt High Heat Resistance 2.5x stronger than Polyester or Nylon No Stretch for a Tight Seam and Fit|
|Pigskin||Flexible Dries Quickly Oil Resistant||Perfect for Stick and MIG Handling and Welding|
|Rubber||Moisture Proof Electrically Insulated Strong and Durable|
|Silicone||Durable Strong Resistant to Extreme Temperatures Resistant to Ultraviolet Radiation Heat Resistant (up to 660F) Repels Moisture|
|Sheepskin||Smooth Surface for Wire Handling High Dexterity||Perfect for TIG Welding|
|Treated Cotton||Light Flexible Absorbent|
How to Get The Right Welding Glove Fit
- Choose gloves that are made from materials selected for the specific application.
- Gloves should provide dexterity, flexibility, comfort (and of course safety).
- Inspect gloves for wear and tear
- To get the right fit, measure around your dominant hand
- Electrical: from gloves that lack insulation are damaged, torn or wet
- Thermal: from sparks, slag, spatter, molten metal, fire, arc rays flames, heat
- Mechanical: hazards related to punctures, tears, scrapes, cuts
Prevention of Burns
The hands are vital not only for performing welding jobs but also for other jobs and chores at home. Welders get to handle the arc when welding. During this process, sparks, molten metal spatter, and hot metal gets to fly around. If they were to come into contact with the skin around the hands, it would result in severe burns. This would cause one to be incapacitated as the burns will prevent one from handling the arc welding equipment well.
There are several gloves designed with the right thickness that would prevent burns. Furthermore, they will not shrivel when heats come into contact with them and won’t burn through or wear out quickly. The leather is said to be one such material. Another material that can provide protection to the hands is aluminized gloves which provide reflective and insulating protection.
Prevention of Scratches and Cuts
When handling metal pieces, there are high chances of being cut and getting scratches. While the cuts may not seem deep, the area may get infected leading to further damage to the hands. This is why it is paramount to wear hand protection.
The one thing you need to know is that the right welding gloves can make a huge difference, especially how you work. It affects your welding speed, ability, and safety. To prevent scratches and cuts, gloves made of leather are highly advantageous.
In the market, you can find a wide variety of leather gloves perfect for welding. They are designed into many layers which assure the user of safety at all times when at work. Top grain leather is of high quality, and many welders have been found to prefer this. It enables one to have better control and movement when working. Split leather is also available which is much thicker and provides better protection without sacrificing flexibility.
Welder’s gloves according to Welding Process
- MIG welding gloves
If you are undertaking MIG welding jobs, then you need to use high-quality goatskin with heat resistant lining. This is attributed to the high amounts of heat and spatter that occur during the MIG process. This is why gloves are made to be thicker with many layers. Other leather materials suitable for making MIG protective hand gloves include top grain cowhide, goatskin or deerskin. The way leather molds around the hand offer the much-needed protection during work.
- TIG Welding Gloves
TIG welders prefer goatskin or any other thin and pliable material. The gloves provide the much-needed movement which allows for precise welds made with TIG torches. This is because the process creates fewer spatters which mean TIG gloves will not provide protection against hot process like MIG which creates a lot of spatter.
TIG gloves are designed with extra padding around the palm area and even outside of the hand. The extra padding helps the fingers to rest alongside hot surfaces. The TIG gloves are designed to be removed off easily when it becomes too hot. The one thing you need to know ahead of time is that gloves with Velcro straps can be impossible to remove. This is highly disadvantageous when you want to remove the gloves quickly because of too much heat. You need to consider heat resistant Kevlar or wool foam lining for added protection.
- Stick welding gloves
When it comes to stick welding, a thicker cut of leather is needed. The split grains of elkskin, goatskin and pigskin are the best candidates for stick welding gloves. Since stick welding processes are simple, the user will not need a flexible glove. The glove needs to be thick and protective since the process gives off a lot of heat and sparks when compared to other welding processes.
How to Select Gloves for Welding
by American Welding Society