Step 1: Sensitivity and Delay Control Test
Auto-darkening helmets have arc sensors that control the different shades within the helmet. Check if your helmet features have the delay and sensitivity controls because these two are the most critical settings of any auto-darkening helmet.
After locating them, try adjusting the settings as you check to identify any changes. Since the helmets can respond to slight variation, conform if the helmet adjusts appropriately to prove its functionality.
Also, most helmets marketed as auto-darkening welding helmets always have a delay feature that allows you to avert getting flashed. Confirm if this feature is keeping the lens dark.
Step 2: Clarity Test
The testing for optical clarity of an auto-darkening welding helmet is non-negotiable. Ensure that the helmet’s clarity satisfies you. This is probably the most straightforward test because it involves wearing the helmet and checking for clarity by looking through the lens. If you want to strike an arc, it will allow you to have better confirmation of the helmet’s clarity.
Step 3: Auto-Darkening Filter Test
ADF plays a crucial role in protecting your eye from damage by enhancing the welding helmet’s usability. It limits the amount of light allowed to pass through the lens by automatically adjusting the shades for maximum protection.
Use one of the testing methods mentioned above to test for ADF.
Step 4: Safety Test
All auto-darkening helmets must meet all the safety standards to ensure that each welder is protected and safe from welding-related accidents or injuries. All auto-darkening welding helmets must meet the ANSI Z87.1-2003 standards. You can confirm this by asking from your store of purchase or researching the helmet’s certification detail.
A good auto-darkening helmet must have the following features and properties.
Complete UV and IR protection
Withstand temperature between 23-130 degree Fahrenheit
Step 5. Lens Test
Lens reaction time is also known as the switching speed; that is the time needed for the lens to darken. The ideal reaction time for any auto-darkening welding helmet is 1/2500ths of a second, even though some helmets might take a little longer.
The risk behind a delayed reaction time is that it exposes you to the risk of getting injuries from sparks that can be too large for the helmet to handle as fast as possible. Lens tests are as simple as putting on the helmet and using the different test methods. Ensure that the lenses’ reaction time is not noticeable with changes in light intensity or spark size.
Step 6. Power Test
Auto-darkening welding helmets usually have a solar panel and lithium batteries as their power source. Some helmets use replaceable batteries, while some use replaceable batteries. Others use solar-assisted with a battery pack.
Since it is challenging to check battery defects, ensure that they give you a warranty card when purchasing the helmet. For solar helmets, go outside and confirm if it is charging when the solar panel detects the daylight.
Step 7. Grind Mode Test
Some auto-darkening helmets have grind mode switches or buttons that allow you to activate auto-darkening. Press on the grind mode button or flip the switch. Remember that the auto-darkening shade lens can only work when the grind mode is off, and always remember to switch off grinding mode when you want to weld.