Student Research: Jeffrey Walls

, Occupational & Environmental Exposure Sciences (OEES), 2012
Faculty Advisor: Noah S. Seixas

Characterization of Work Practices and Ventilation Effectiveness in Shipyard Confined Space Welding


Welding and thermal cutting processes generate fume and gases that can contain a variety of potentially dangerous air contaminants. The specific constituents of welding fume depend primarily on the welding process used. For consumable welding processes, the electrode contributes the largest fraction of the mass present in the welding fume, however, materials from the base metal, electrical coating, shielding gases, and any surface coatings also may be present in the fume. Other factors that influence the rate and composition of welding fume include the welding speed, power supply voltage, wire speed feed, and the arc length (Hovde & Raynor, 2007). Depending on the welding process used, welders can be exposed to metals fume such as manganese, iron, aluminum, lead, nickel, copper, chromium, arsenic, and zinc (AWS, 1979). Additionally, arc welders can be exposed to toxic gases, such as ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and nitrogen dioxide (Antonini, 2003).

* Taken from introduction