Weld Spatter Protection Materials
Important assets such as wiring, cables, hoses, fixture jigs, pneumatic and hydraulic welding positioners and other equipment can be protected from weld spatter with a variety of products.
Fabrics & Sheet Materials - Used as vertical curtains or horizontal sheets/pads
Light weld spatter can be handled with thin silicone rubber sheeting or coatings of silicone rubber usually on base materials such as fiberglass. Also available cut into strips of "tape", or formed into sleeves. Custom fabricated shields are also available. Fabric weights up to 18oz per square yard are considered light duty.
Enhanced protection is provided by using heavier grades of silicone rubber sheeting or thicker coatings of silicone rubber on heavier fiberglass fabric. For medium protection - fabric weights of 18 to 36 oz per square yard are a good choice. For heavy spatter containment, fabrics weights in the 40 to 98 oz per square yard range are available. In the 50 to 98 oz range, several of the fabrics are available as 1 side coated to improve handling by reducing stiffness. The one side coated fabrics also allow for the fiberglass side of the material to be adhesively attached to metal surfaces.
Silicone rubber coated fabrics perform well in both vertical and horizontal applications. Silicone rubber is a good thermal conductor, so when spatter strikes the surface, the heat released by the spatter is dissipated, reducing hot spots and burn-through. Other coating materials are available - neoprene rubber works well for light to medium spatter, as do acrylic coatings. Many of these materials are available in bright orange, red or yellow color to improve safety by highlighting the area.
For welding applications that involve pre-heat, or when torch flame will be in very close proximity, silica fabrics provide excellent protection as the fibers do not melt. Direct flame contact causes the faric to glow, but does not cause it to fail.
These fabrics can also be cut into shapes for placement onto objects, or held in place vertically using magnets for steel applications. Fabrics can also be bunched to create plugs to protect openings. They are all easily cut with metal shears, a carpet knife or fabric shears (fabric shears are available at stores such as walmart).
Plain non coated fabrics will fray during handling, so generally it is best to have the materials hemmed to improve handling and extend its lifespan. A satin weave is offered on the silica fabrics to make it easier to handle and reduce fraying.
Tapes - Used as a wrap
Tapes can be used as a wrap on wiring, cables, hoses, tubing or piping. Silicone rubber coated tapes provide good weld spatter and spark protection, while plain slit or woven InsilMax tapes provide direct flame protection.
Sleeves - Wire Cable Tubing and Hose Protection
Sleeves of silicone rubber coated fiberglass and silicone rubber tubing can be used to protect wiring, cables, tubing and hoses. Industrial or Aviation grade Firesleeve provides excellent protection for welding hoses and cables for handheld or fixture welding operations.