Weltek powered air-purifying respirators (PAPR) have been popular in the UK over the last couple of years. Welders have become increasingly aware of the health implications of breathing in welding and grinding fumes on a frequent basis and have invested in protecting their health. You only needed to blow your nose after welding for a while to see what you had been breathing in. Whilst its true there are plenty of welders that may have not been affected by fume and go on to live long lives, whose to say there’s not many more who have had health problems as a result.
In February this year, the Health and Safety Executive changed there enforcement for the control of welding fume. They have now declared that any amount of welding of any material could be hazardous and as such, appropriate control measures should be in place to control exposure to welders and persons near by. Principally, these controls must include localised exhaust ventilation (LEV) when welding indoors. LEV extracts fume at the source before the fume can enter the welders breathing area. This can be through a positional hood above the work piece or on torch extraction when using MIG welding processes.
Where does air fed or PAPR helmets fit into this?
Respiratory protective equipment (RPE) should be used by the individual carrying out the welding to protect from residual fume. Indoors it is considered a secondary control measure. When welding outdoors, an LEV is not effective due to the wind etc and as such, RPE is the primary and only control measure. With that said, downwind positioning of the operator to the fume should also be considered. Air fed welding helmets are a source of RPE, they “suck” air in through a belt worn blower unit, filter out the fume and deliver clean air to the welders helmet. They differ to face fit masks which can be worn under the welders helmet. Face fit helmets require a skin fit seal and as such should not be used with any facial hair. They should also be face fitted to the individual and depending on the size of the company, records should be kept of the face fitting and checking procedures.
Since the new regulations, Weltek helmets have been extremely popular, selling out all over the UK in the months after the HSE announcement. So much so, that Weltek have struggled to cope with demand of their air fed masks.
With so many of the Weltek air fed helmets now in circulation in the UK, we at TBWS Welding Supplies thought it would be beneficial for users to have a break down of the Weltek parts.
Weltek Airkos Spare Parts
The Weltek Airkos blower unit comes with a battery, charger and filters (pre filter and main filters) when purchased. The Airkos unit supplied is standard across the Weltek range of air fed helmets.
The standard Weltek standard issue battery (CR7020) provides a 10 hour running time when used on the 180 litre per minute blower setting. Spare batteries are available as well as the choice to have a heavy duty 6 cell battery which provides the user with 14 hours running time on the lower setting. The heavy duty battery (CR7021) is compatible with the Airkos charger which is supplied with the Weltek air fed units.
Weltek Airkos Filters
The Airkos blower unit operates a 2 stage air filtration system which comprises of 2 filters. The main filter CR7050, fits inside the Airkos blower. A further pre filter (CR7060) acts as a sleeve and covers the sides of the main filter. The pre filter takes out the bulk of the welding/grinding fume and prolongs the main filters lifespan. The pre filters are available in a pack of 10. The Airkos PAPR system has an audible alarm when it detects clogging in the filters and alerts the user to change them. Also available is a carbon odour filter which is installed within the Airkos system to prevent unpleasant smells being drawn in and wafted around the wearers face. I have read countless reviews of air fed helmets where someone has deposited an unpleasant odour near the welders air blower on purpose. Be ahead of the game and use an odour filter!
Weltek Helmet Spares
To illustrate the spares available, in the image to the right, I have used the extremely popular Weltek Navitek S4 air fed welding helmet. Most of the Weltek range use the same spares. If in doubt, each product page lists the helmets that the spare part is compatible with.
- Cover lens AX4000 – A replacement outer lens, compatible with Kapio and Navitek helmets
- S4 ADF FI00S4 – A replacement auto darkening filter for the Navitek S4 welding helmet. Other ADF filters for other Weltek helmets available – please contact us for details.
- Face seal CR7032 – A replacement fire retardant/heat resistant face seal, compatible with all Weltek air fed helmets.
- Head gear CR7025 – Replacement adjustable head gear for all Weltek PAPR masks. Replacement sweat bands for the front of the head gear are also available – AX1140
- Grinding visor AX3415 – A polycarbonate large screen located on the Navitek range of air fed helmets only.
- Inner lens – Inner lenses differ across the Weltek range. Part numbers as follows: AX2250 – Kapio red & Navitek red helmets. AX2330 – Kapio black helmet. AX2360 – Navitek red S13
Replacement Airkos blower unit – supplied without filters – blower only
Airkos air hose and hose covers