How does one test a welding blanket? Of course, there are independent laboratories that test and certify welding blankets, and there are bodies that provide ongoing oversight to ensure that standards are maintained between certifications.
Thus, we have FM and FR testing, but that’s not enough for a lot of our clients. They have their own special tests, some of which wouldn’t be included in the usual testing and certification process.
That’s because the welding blanket you choose depends on a lot of factors. These include the type of fire hazard the welding blanket is meant to guard against, how often it will be used, how close the ignition source is, environmental factors, and how much load it must bear.
Driving Trucks Over Welding Blankets: Weird but True
Chevron is among the companies that tests its welding blankets beyond the norm. The company uses welding blankets to cover manholes, and during shutdowns, heavy vehicles drive over them. As a result, Chevron has a lot of fun dragging welding blankets behind trucks. Then it drives heavy vehicles over them to see how the welding blanket will cope.
It comes as no surprise that many welding blankets just can’t stand up to this kind of abuse. After all, welding blankets aren’t meant to be used as road surfacing! We’re happy to say that our top-quality welding blankets will pass this crazy-sounding but necessary test.
Try Setting It Alight
This one is almost a no-brainer. The last thing a welding blanket should do is catch fire. But not bursting into flames isn’t enough. Exposure to heat shouldn’t leave the welding blanket brittle, and any flammable substrate underneath the blanket shouldn’t get scorched.
We enjoyed ourselves with propane torches and tiger torches to confirm what we already know: our welding blankets beat our competitors’ hands down. Just look at the aftermath of a tiger torch test on a competitor’s welding blanket.
Of course, any welding blanket will give up the ghost at some point, but we’re happy to say that our welding blankets performed beyond specification and definitely outperformed the other welding blankets we tested. This was true even when we compared welding blankets that supposedly have the same specifications as ours.
Slash it, Slice it, Tear it
Another cool way to test a welding blanket is to look at its sturdiness by trying to cut a nick in it and then seeing if it will run if you try to tear it. We love it when people try this little test on our welding blankets. Pull it as hard as you like, and all that happens is that you turn purple! We should know, we did it ourselves. Our heavy-duty welding blankets are tougher than the toughest guy.
Any Welding Blanket Test Has its Reasons
Whether it’s individual preference or a specific set of conditions you need they need a welding blanket to tolerate, there are always reasons for the punishing tests individuals and companies inflict on their welding blankets.
All too often, the extra tests they subject the materials to are the result of a previous bad experience with a welding blanket that wouldn’t take the conditions in which it was used. A near disaster can be almost as unsettling as an actual accident. You find yourself thinking chilling thoughts about what may have happened and how you can be sure of your welding blanket in future.
The Best Starting Point
Third party certifications remain the best starting point for ensuring that a welding blanket matches manufacturers’ claims. As for the extras you need – such as Chevron’s requirement for welding blankets that can handle being driven over – knowing what your specific work situations encompasses enables us to advise you.
Overengineering for safety is a positive step, but costs also matter. Thus, we produce several grades of welding blankets beginning with the Alpha welding blanket. It is the toughest welding blanket in our range, and on the market today. If you don’t need quite such rigorous protection, there are other grades that cost less but which are nevertheless suitable for lighter work.
We know that welding blankets have a vital role in fire protection, the safety of your workers, and the protection of your capital assets. We take this responsibility seriously. Tell us about your welding blanket requirements, and we will make our recommendations based on your needs. Be safe with Nische Solutions.