Welding Fume Extraction

The CMAXX is a modular, flexible system with many options for welding fume extraction. Because there are many types of welding applications, a dust and fume collection system for welding must be adaptable. Welding shops have options including ambient and source capture systems to meet their needs.

Common Processes requiring weld fume extraction include:

  • Gas metal arc welding (GMAW), also commonly known as metal inert gas (MIG) welding
  • Flux-cored arc welding (FCAW)
  • Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) also commonly known as tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding
  • Submerged arc welding (SAW)
  • Electroslag welding (ESW)
  • Oxyacetylene welding
  • Resistance welding (including spot welding, seam welding, and flash welding)
  • Brazing and soldering (not welding, but produce similar fumes)

Other methods of welding such as magnetic pulse welding and ultrasonic welding, may not produce as much smoke or fumes as more traditional methods.

Welding fumes contain a mix of metal particles and gasses. Unlike many other processes, the fumes are often directly in the welder’s breathing area. Welding fume extraction removes the hazardous materials from the area to protect welders from exposure.

A source capture system for welding fume extraction uses hoods, downdraft tables, or fume arms. These are called capture points. Fumes are extracted from each welding station. This can be especially important if exposure must be tightly limited.

An ambient system circulates all the air in an area through the filters. Often, this air returns to the area after filtration. The number of times that the air is replaced in an hour depends on the size of the space and the amounts of fumes or dust in the air.

Possible Equipment

Weld fumes may be combustible. Dust testing can establish what types of fire and explosion features are needed to meet OSHA and NFPA standards. Metal dusts produced by welding may be very combustible. Please see our white paper on combustible dust for more details.

For welding and other metal fume applications, DeltaMAXX cartridge filters provide the necessary efficiency for small particle capture. These filters can capture particles as small as 0.3 microns. If the fumes contain especially hazardous materials like hexavalent chromium, the system may include HEPA after-filters. These filters are an extra barrier against the escape of toxic materials.

Please see the case studies below for examples of how Imperial Systems has helped other companies solve their weld fume extraction problems.