Welding blankets protect the welder and the immediate surrounding area against hazards that commonly occur in the welding process. Potential dangers such as heat, sparks, spatter, and slag pose a threat not only to the wellbeing of the operator but to bystanders and equipment too. Utilising a welding blanket forms a flexible, fire and heat resistant shield, reducing the risk of serious injury and fire.
The Cromwell range of welding blankets contains products from well-known brands such as SWP and Tusker, so you'll be sure to find the right solution for your welding needs.
Welding blankets are fire-resistant blankets that can be used a variety of welding applications including for horizontal, vertical, or one-sided or dual sided welding operations. Their primary function is protection in high or low-intensity welding jobs or for cutting techniques. Some blankets feature a higher capacity and can act as a thermal or electrical insulator.
Welding blankets should be used where there is a risk of fire or heat damage to the work area or other equipment, as well as where there is a risk to the safety of the welder.
Welding spatter has a temperature of over 2700°C when pooled and even when cooled by coming into contact with its surroundings it can still be as hot as 1800°C. In certain situations, the welding area may contain flammable items like gas cylinders which cannot be removed, a welding blanket is vital in these situations as it can prevent hot projectiles from coming into direct contact with these items.
Welding blankets are relatively similar as they provide the same basic function. There are various sizes of welding blankets, however the material is usually the determining factor of how effective the blanket will be in the application. To help you select the right blanket for your welding area needs, we have listed the most common types below.
Black slag - Ideal for tougher welding jobs. It can resist molten spatters with temperatures of up to 3000 degrees Fahrenheit as well as resisting abrasions.
Vermiculite - This material can withstand temperatures of 1500 degrees Fahrenheit to up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit continuously for short periods of time. Ideal for vertical applications it offers protection from heat, sparks, and up to medium levels of sandblasting and grinding.
Aluminum fiberglass - Blankets constructed from this material are reflective and can withstand abrasions and temperatures of up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. Their aluminum foil sides and are used for welding jobs where there is a need to reflect heat.
Silica - Typically used for protecting workspaces from slag and even molten spatters. Resisting temperatures as high as 2300 degrees Fahrenheit, this material can be used in more heavy-duty welding applications.
Acrylic - Not as resistant as other materials Acrylic blankets are commonly used in light welding applications. This material is fire retardant and can be used as a barrier when welding.
To help you select the best welding blanket for the job, it is necessary to know some of the technical terms involved in the industry. Cromwell has compiled a list of terms that may be useful when choosing the right level of protection for your welding needs.
Fire resistant - A material that resists heat and fire.
Fire retardant - Not to be confused with fire resistant. A fire retardant material is not immune to combustion, they burn slower than non-retardant materials if combustion occurs. With time and exposure to heat and flame the material will eventually burn.
Spatter - The reinforcement on the opposite side of the weld. A burn hazard to both the welder and the environment, particularly if there is excess.
Slag - A brittle mass that pools overt the weld bead in certain welding applications. A hazard due to the high temperature.
Are welding blankets fireproof?
By definition, fireproof or fire resistant means a material that prevents combustion from occurring i.e., resists burning and can withstand heat, most welding blankets fit into this category. However some blankets, like acrylic blankets are fire retardant, which means that over time and exposure they are susceptible to burning, but at a slower rate than non-retardant materials, reducing risk.
When should welding blankets be used?
It is a good idea to use welding blanket in any applications where spatter and slag may cause heat damage to the work area or be a health hazard to the welder.
What are welding blankets made from?
Because of the nature of the industry, they are used in, welding blankets are constructed using fire and heat resistant materials such as silicate, aluminium paper, polyurethane, graphite, clay, and other fire resistant coverings.
For more regarding welding blankets be sure to check out our handy guides.