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The particle size distribution, density, and specific surface area of welding fumes from SMAW and GMAW mild and stainless steel consumables.
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1995 Feb; 56(2):128-135
The particle size distributions and physical characteristics (fume density and specific surface area) of fumes from both shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) and gas metal arc welding (GMAW) were studied. A test chamber using a micro orifice uniform deposit (cascade) impactor was employed to collect up to six samples of each type of fume. Bulk samples were collected for bulk fume density and specific surface area analysis. Polycarbonate substrates were used to collect impactor samples which were analyzed for elemental content. Results indicated that the bulk fume densities and specific surface areas were greater for the welding wires than for the welding rods. The differences were primarily related to process and not whether the materials were mild steel (MS) versus stainless steel (SS). The mass particle size detection (PSDs), determined by inertial impaction, for the two welding rods (SMAW-MS and SMAW-SS) and the two welding wires (SMAW-MS and GMAW-SS) were similar in shape, and all basically consisted of submicrometer particles. The mass distributions for the welding wires were shifted to the smaller particle sizes compared to those for the welding rods. The Micro- Orifice Uniform Deposit Impactor (MOUDI) elemental mass frequency histograms appeared similar to the average mass histograms, suggesting that the metals were evenly distributed across the PSDs. The author suggests that predictions of deposition and exposure for the overall aerosol should also apply to the individual metals.
NIOSH-Author; Welding-industry; Metalworking-industry; Welding-equipment; Welders-lung; Respiratory-system-disorders; Lung-function; Lung-disease; Metal-fume-fever
Issue of Publication
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division