The standard safety feature you will find on a welding jacket is that it will be flame resistant, but what is it made of? We know this type of safety gear is made from various fabrics and materials to provide it with the right properties.
In this article, we will investigate what materials are used to make this type of gear for welding applications. We will also take a closer look at each type of material to explore their strong points and weaknesses, to see which is the best.
Read on and find out what types of materials welding jackets are made of and why these materials are used.
Properties of a Welding Jacket
There are a few properties a welding jacket must have to qualify it as safe to use for many different types of welding applications. We compiled a short list of the properties you would want your welding jacket to have regardless of the fabric used.
If the welding jacket is not flame retardant, you should not use it for welding because it will not keep you protected. While welding, you may have issues with sparks that land on your jacket, which is quite hot.
So if you are in an environment with heavy sparks flying around, your welding jacket should be able to resist the heat – check that it is flame retardant before buying.
This is a very important feature that welders who mostly work in heated areas cannot be overlooked. If the welding jacket does not have some breathability, the welder may be overcome with heat exhaustion, which is not ideal.
The material should keep the welder cool and reduce overall user heat retention for much better comfort.
The welding jacket should not be too heavy, which may cause the welder to get warm faster and cause heat exhaustion. A heavy welder jacket may also cause fatigue if you are busy welding for many hours without interruption.
Those who do heavy stick welding will be exposed to a lot of heat, so a lightweight material welding jacket is a good option.
Materials Used for a Welding Jacket
Choosing the right material for welding durability is very important, but not all fabric types are the same. It is also true that only durable materials are used to manufacture welding apparel to make it safe to use.
These materials should be able to resist heat, be electrical resistant, and be abrasion resistant while it protects you from molten metal splatter. The following is a list of all the different types of durable fabrics used. See how all of them have high heat resistance.
Cotton With Flame Resistance
This is the most common material used in manufacturing a welding jacket, but it is not standard cotton. A single spark can turn a regular cotton shirt or other apparel into a deadly ball of flame, which is very unsafe.
That is why ordinary cotton is specially treated to become a highly protective gear to protect you from fire, sparks, and electric arc. This is done by inserting a flame retardant substance called THPC into every molecule of the cotton fabric in the manufacturing process of the material.
This substance reacts with flames and turns the cotton into non-flammable carbon, which turns the fabric black but does not burn. Lightweight cotton material is breathable and comfortable to wear, and it is also the most affordable to use for clothes manufacturing.
Light cotton jackets are comfortable, but when you buy cotton jackets, go for those with a thicker base for better durability and comfort. For those who are curious about how they make this cotton take a look at this Youtube video for more information.
Leather Welding Jackets
For many years leather has been used for personal protective equipment because of the high density of this durable natural fabric. This makes it a good option to use as protective clothing while welding, working in high-heat areas, or close to electric arcs.
A good quality piece of safety gear such as the Lincoln Electric heavy-duty leather welding jacket will prevent heat from penetrating. This welding jacket is made from soft but durable split cowhide, making it an excellent choice for proper protection.
When it comes to welding jackets made from leather, you will find a range of different cuts and grades, as well as different types. This is the best option if you need a welding jacket with high heat resistance to keep the welder safe.
Leather collar snaps are also added for more protection around the neck area and are made from different types of leather. The one problem with the leather is that welding jackets made from it are a bit on the heavy side and may get warm.
Hybrid Welding Jacket
You will find that these types of welding jackets are used to add both fabric features to the protective gear. If it is a leather jacket, it will be a bit heavy to wear for a long time, so cotton may be used for breathability.
These hybrid jackets are made with a cotton front and back, as well as leather sleeves to add extra protection for the welder. Depending on the welding you are doing, you will find that either of the mentioned materials works well.
With this type of welding jacket, you have the lightweight and breathability of the cotton and added protection of the leather. With the leather added to the sleeves, you will find that you can work easier and closer to intense heat for longer.
As mentioned before, Lincoln Electric makes excellent hybrid welding jackets that can be used for different applications and types of welding. This type of cotton welding jacket with added leather for protection comes with an adjustable cuff to protect your arms.
Leather strings are also added to these welding jackets to make them fit better and provide a higher level of comfort.
You can see that these welding jackets are much better for welding than regular jackets. Those with a cotton body and leather added to the sleeves provide much better protection from the welding arc. Check the sizing chart or try on the jacket you want to buy to ensure a safe fit, especially jackets with leather sleeves.