Guide to Filtering Air in a Welding Workshop

Filtering air in a welding workshop is extremely important for several reasons. First, the fumes and debris that comes out of a welding station are hazardous to the employees’ health. Second, maintaining a level of air quality is required by law. OSHA and ACGIH (the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists) have regulations that require fumes and welding dust be kept to a minimum.

So, how should air be filtered? Welding air filters should be chosen based on the shop’s needs. Does your shop need units that can be moved over to other workstations as needed? Or does your workstation need a filter that can be easily turned on at the workstation without needing to bring a filter over to start work? Is your workstation larger or smaller?
Here are the most common options.

Types of Welding Air Filters

Welding air filters come in many shapes and sizes.

Larger areas will typically have a central extraction filtration unit that is stationary, kept in a single spot. This makes filtering the air even throughout the work area and can be suitable for multiple extraction sites. They can also be connected to capture hoods or welding cabs. They’re typically used for larger work spaces with high air volumes.

Central extraction units are suited for cutting beds or laser systems. They also clean the filters automatically.

Other units are mounted on the wall, which could be very useful for smaller workstations that still need a stationary unit.

Portable welding fume extractors have a slightly different use, though.

Using a Portable Welding Fume Extractor

Portable welding fume extractors lower the amount of fumes and particulate in the operator and the work areas for a higher air quality in the space. 

These units are mobile and can be taken anywhere as needed. However, they’re only suitable for smaller air volumes. 

These are excellent for filtering air, especially if you need it to be used at different welding stations. It’s a good way to make sure that all welding stations can have their air cleared of particulate and fumes.

When researching welding air filters, make sure to know:

  • The air volume of your work space
  • The number of welding sites in your work space
  • The regulations for keeping your welding work space’s air quality above board with the law

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