Industry Update: Welders’ Personal Protective Apparel Research

In an effort to further facilitate the combination of comfort and protection of welders, researchers are examining new finishes for resistance to molten metal splash. The study was initiated as an effort to create a lighter weight protective material for welders that could efficiently dispel liquid metal in a splash as well as resist the thermal impact of a splash.

Finishes were developed to rapidly repel a molten metal splash to create a smaller window of time for heat to transfer through the lighter weight material. One significant finding showed that the combination of organic polymers with the addition of ground carbon fibers in a finish were be able to better repel splashes for the lightweight fabrics. In comparison, ceramic hollow microspheres combined with the organic polymers did not improve repellency.

Other results in the study examined lightweight materials created with inorganic compounds and metal oxides that did not demonstrate ideal thermal protection; but, when combined with silanes at the base solution, a reduced surface energy was observed leading to better thermal resistance to a splash.

The study performed as an AiF research project by the Deutsches Textilforschungszentrum Nord-West (DTNW) and the Hohenstein Institute can be followed through the Hohenstein research site:

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