Stick welding, also known as Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), is one of the world’s first and most widely used welding processes. Unlike TIG and MIG welding, stick welding produces the most heat, sparks and spatter. This means that thicker gloves are a must. This blog will highlight other factors you should consider when looking for the best stick welding gloves.
When You Should Use Stick Welding:
Stick welding is a versatile process because it can be performed inside and outside and in remote areas. This makes it preferable for working on pipelines, refineries or ships. Stick welding is used to weld iron, steel and stainless steel, but can also be used to weld aluminum, nickel and copper alloys.
1. Aluminized Backing:
Radiant heat is a major concern for stick welders because of the high amount of sparks and heat that’s produced. For this reason, consider stick welding gloves with an aluminized backing which can reflect up to 95% of radiant heat.
The temperature of a welding arc ranges from 5400°F ( approx. 3000°C) to 36,000°F (approx. 20,000°C) hence why an aluminized backing is so important. But, those high temperatures will also be affecting the metal that is being welded. Look for gloves that are insulated with cotton or wool to prevent burns from thermal contact. Dexterity isn’t as much of a concern with stick welding as it is with TIG, so a little extra padding can only be beneficial.
3. Ultraviolet Radiation:
Weld arcs are so bright that they can lead to a condition called “arc eye” if the proper precautions are not taken. Wear PPE like welding helmets with dark face plates to reduce exposure. The eye is the obvious part of the body that we protect when welding. But, UV rays for weld arcs can affect our skin in the same way as being outside on a sunny day. You probably don’t want to stop welding every thirty minutes to reapply your SPF 60. Instead, choose heavy leather gloves and a leather welding jacket like our Top Star Deluxe Welders Jackets. These jackets have the added benefit of protecting your upper body from spark and spatter.
4. Kevlar® Stitching:
Due to the high heat given off by arc welding, it’s not uncommon for cotton stitching to burn up and gloves to fall apart. Kevlar® will not burn or melt even at higher temperatures, increasing the lifespan of your gloves.
Stick welding is one of the world’s first and most popular styles of welding because of its simplicity — both in operation and equipment. But you need to make sure you’re wearing the proper protection.
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