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Safety is a very important consideration when welding. One of the best ways to ensure your safety and the safety of others around you when welding is using a welding blanket.
What is a Welding Blanket?
A welding blanket is a protective covering that welders use to protect their bodies and surrounding structures from spatters or droplets of molten metals when welding.
Read More: Welding blanket alternative
When choosing a welding blanket, you should choose one with excellent flame retardant properties.
What Materials Are Popularly Used to Make Welding Blankets?
Now that you know the answer to the question: “what is a welding blanket?”  it is now time to learn about the different materials used to make them.
In the past, asbestos was the most popular material used to make welding blankets. However, it was outlawed due to safety concerns.
Today, fiberglass is the most popular material used, but you can also find felt and leather blankets with their own unique characteristics.
Fiberglass is made of similar components to those used in glass manufacturing. The components are mixed together, heated up, and then threads are spun from that. The fiberglass blanket is made by weaving the fiberglass threads.
Fiberglass has a high melting temperature, which is why it is the perfect material for making welding blankets. Unfortunately, fiberglass loses small sheds that tend to irritate human skin.
To prevent this and improve other features such as heat resistance, a coating is usually added.
- Durable and strong
- Incredibly heat resistant
- If left uncoated, it shed thereby irritating skin
Leather is naturally fire-resistant, which is why many welding apparels including jackets, sleeves, and aprons are made from leather.
Leather is a better material to work with compared to fiberglass, but it is also much heavier and more expensive.
Leather welding blankets typically don’t have any grommets, which is why they work great as a cover for protecting car bodies from sparks and splatter produced by welding.
- Durable and strong
- Feels smooth on the skin and doesn’t require a coating
- It is very heavy which can make it difficult to work with
- It is very expensive
Felt is a textile that’s made by pressing fibers together as opposed to weaving them. Carbon is the material popularly used to make felt welding blankets.
Carbon felt has a temperature resistance of about 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, which is considerably higher than that of both leather and fiberglass.
Felt also feels soft, which means that it doesn’t irritate the skin. Unfortunately, it is not as strong as either leather or fiberglass and does not last as long too.
- Resistant against incredibly high temperatures
- Feels soft on the skin
- It is not very durable
Asbestos might be outlawed, but you can still come across some rogue vendors selling such blankets. That’s why even if you don’t know what the material should be, just remember that asbestos is bad and you don’t want anything to do with it.
Protecting yourself and the surrounding area is of the utmost importance when welding. Molten splatter or sparks can cause damage to property or even injury to people around the welding area. Fortunately, a good welding blanket can help with that.
Now that you know: “What is a welding blanket?” you should choose a welding blanket with excellent flame retardant capabilities.
Fiberglass, leather, and felt are the 3 most common materials used to make welding blankets.
Of the 3, fiberglass is most popular since it is cheap to buy and is highly durable. Still, you shouldn’t buy fiberglass welding blankets blindly.
You should also consider the type of finishing and ensure that it has grommets so that you may hang it if the need ever arises.
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