Chief Automotive Technologies has introduced a new heavy-duty weld fume Extractor.
Designed to reduce the risk of technicians breathing harmful airborne particulates such as manganese and chromium, the Chief fume extractor uses an electric fan to draw weld fumes through a flanged bellmouth hood that focuses extraction power at the fume source, resulting in greater fume capture than competitive designs.
Fumes are drawn into a large ProTura Nanofibre cartridge filter with a MERV 15 efficiency rating. These nanofibre filters (that contain fibres 1,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair), are not used in competitive HEPA filters. They allow air to pass through the filter despite surface dust buildup to help improve extraction airflow efficiency, provide longer filter life, and reduce energy consumption.
Some fume extractor arms are made of plastic tubing. The Chief fume extractor’s arm is manufactured of powder-coated aluminum with cast aluminum joints.
This heavy-duty construction helps prevent wear and breakage in even the most demanding shop settings. The seven-foot (2.13 m) arm holds a bell-shaped extraction hood with an integrated 360-degree handle for easy maneuvering, and an ember catcher prevents hot particles from reaching the filter.
In order to use the Chief fume extractor, the technician rolls the fume extractor to the work area, positions the extraction hood near the metal being welded, and turns the motor on. Options include an optional arc detector that will automatically turn on the fume extractor as soon as the technician strikes the arc, and a hood-mounted light kit to help illuminate the work area.
Manganese and chromium generated during welding comes from the welding consumables—the “stick welding” electrodes and flux.
Overexposure to manganese has been shown to cause neurotoxic damage to the brain, producing a long list of ailments including sexual dysfunction, debilitating tremors or shakes, lack of emotional control and difficulty walking. Chromium is an occupational carcinogen that has been directly related to cancer. Therefore, purchasing equipment that helps result in a low exposure limit to these welding fume elements is considered prudent.