Robotic Welding

Facts on Welding Smoke and Fumes:

  • Robotic, and Automated Weld processes create smoke and fumes.
  • Similar to Manual Welding, many of the same core principles apply
  • The following factors affect how hazardous the smoke and fumes are;
  • Weld Process (MIG / TIG / Laser Welding, etc.)
  • Material being welded (Mild or Carbon Steel / Stainless Steel / Aluminum, etc.)
  • Material thickness.
  • Consumables (wire / electrodes / shielding gas etc.) being used.
  • Weld parameters (amperage, weld speed, heat etc.)
  • Location of workers in relation to the weld process
  • Coatings on the material
  • Amount of oil on material
  • Exposure to welding fumes can cause numerous health problems. When inhaled, welding fumes can enter the lungs, bloodstream, brain nerve cells, spinal cord and other organs and can cause both short- and long-term health effects – read more at ASSE / Welding Fume Risks



“Welder’s Guide to the Hazards of Welding Gases and Fumes”

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How to Control Welding Smoke and Fumes:

The type of equipment that is appropriate for your process depends on how hazardous the fume is, and how large the weldments are, as well as other factors. Some factors to note:

  • Stainless steel, especially in MIG welding processes, generally requires source capture methods to control the fume very closely to keep low exposure to Hexavalent Chromium that is present in the fumes.
  • Mild Steel can be controlled with Source Capture or Ambient and General Ventilation

Equipment to Control Robotic Welding Smoke and Fumes:

Source Capture Equipment:

  • Fume arms are generally not appropriate to capturing fumes from automated processes, as they need to be positioned by a worker to keep near enough to the weld location to have effective capture.
  • Overhead hoods are a very effective method in controlling smoke from welding robots as the smoke is kept in a contained environment, to be captured by an intake device in to the air filtration unit. Note that if workers are located within the enclosure, higher rates of ventilation may be required, to keep fume from exceeding Permissible Exposure Limits.