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7XE EXTRACTOR - Fume-extraction welding torch

Translas developed an innovative welding torch together with the TNO research institute and Stichting iTanks Rotterdam (NL). The project was carried out under a Dutch business community subsidy granted to TNO by the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The innovation consists of:
*  Welding torch with integrated weld fume extraction (55 m3/hr);
*  A conical suction hose tapering from Ø 36 mm to Ø 44 mm;
*  A central vacuuming system with constant flow control and filtering system and (optional) a mobile filtering system with multi cyclones (2015).

 The smoke-extraction torch reduces the welder’s exposure to welding fumes by at least 90 to 95%, as measured in the TNO Worst Case Room. The current generation of smoke-extraction torches achieve a smoke reduction factor of 2 while the Extractor achieves a factor of 20 - a spectacular development! This innovation has been made possible by positioning the suction openings at the top of the suction head of the welding torch very close to the weld pool. The conical shape of the suction head allows the shielding gas to flow at a higher rate. The shielding gas can therefore reach the weld pool without being sucked away, thereby guaranteeing good welding quality. TNO has submitted a patent application for their concept of the suction orifice (its form and position), flow rate of the shielding gas and capacity of the filtering/suction facility.

The ability to view the weld is optimised by the conical design of the suction head. The connection between the welding torch and suction facility is achieved by a flexible ball joint in combination with a conically tapering exhaust hose (diameter near the handle being Ø 38 mm, increasing to Ø 50 mm at the suction end). The handling of the torch has been markedly improved thanks to these two designs. The choice of the materials for the welding torch is based on its heat transfer properties, fire safety, and robustness.

Graph

            Figure 1. Cumulative distribution of exposure to welding fumes (TNO applied research)

In figure 1 above, the TNO welding fume concentrations are shown in various field conditions with and without control units. The present welding fumes (GSW-8h TWA) limit is almost always exceeded. The use of the Extractor appears to reduce the welder’s exposure to welding fumes to under the current Dutch legal limit for welding fumes (1 mg/m3).

All in keeping with our motto:  BY WELDERS, FOR WELDERS.