In metal processing, fumes are emitted during welding, brazing, cutting and engraving which are inhaled by welders or other persons in the area. This basically consists of a mixture of gases, fine dusts, fumes and particulates. Depending on its composition and concentration, this mixture can be hazardous to the health. Only a device which can efficiently extract these hazardous substances is able to ensure the optimum protection of employees’ health.
Hazards from welding and brazing fumes
Welding and brazing fumes or cutting dusts consist of various gases and millions of tiny, ultra-fine particles in the nanometre range, which are invisible to the naked eye. These pollutants can be inhaled and most are even respirable (entering the alveolar region). They accumulate in the body where, depending on their chemical composition, they can cause serious respiratory diseases and even cancer, brain and nerve damage, or have mutagenic effects. Air cleaning measures are thus necessary for reasons of health and safety at work, but also to protect the environment. Extracting the emissions directly at the point of generation provides the best protection.
Hazard assessment for welding fumes
As these fumes are classified as a hazardous material, a hazard assessment must be carried out. This assessment analyses the composition of the welding fumes, determines the harmful properties of the components, the hazard class depending on the process and the working conditions. Implemented protective measures must be checked regularly by measuring the concentration of hazardous substances, amended if necessary and documented.
Legal requirements for extracting welding fumes
The following requirements must be complied with (in Germany) when extracting fumes: the German Occupational Health and Safety Act (Arbeitsschutzgesetz, ArbSchG), the Ordinance on Hazardous Substances (Gefahrstoffverordnung, GefStoffV) and the Technical Rules for Hazardous Substances (TRGS). The applicable workplace exposure limits are defined in the TRGS (e.g. TRGS 402, TRGS 900, TRGS 528). The company is obliged to take measures if the limit is exceeded.
NOVUS offers a wide range of solutions for extracting harmful fumes, from local extraction and extraction hoods to production hall air conditioning and ventilation systems using the layered or mixed air ventilation technologies. Our extraction and filtering units are adapted to meet individual requirements; they are optionally available with an IFA W3 certificate for welding high-alloyed steels.
Extracting welding fumes in production halls
The Airtower F is our specialist for the extraction and filtration of emissions arising from welding, soldering and plasma cutting in production halls. Read more about its construction and functioning on the product page.
Centralised fume extraction system
The NOVUS Airline has been specially developed to extract and filter welding and soldering fumes. Read more about its construction and functioning on the product page.
NOVUS offers a comprehensive product portfolio ranging from plug & play devices to customer-specific centralised or decentralised extraction systems, from best selling line to custom units and attachments.
Fumes are generated during processes such as welding, thermal and plasma cutting, laser cutting and casting. Their extraction is therefore essential in the following sectors of industry.