Study report welding and other processes that generate fume in a similar way
17 November 2022, Prepared by the European Chemicals Agency
ECHA Scoping Study report for evaluation of limit values for welding fumes and fumes from other processes that generate fume in a similar way at the workplace
Welding and other processes that generate fume in a similar way
Welding is a broad term for the process of joining metals through coalescence. This coalescence is achieved by applying heat (energy) to melt the base metal pieces and fusing
them together to form a secure joint. A filler material (also containing metals) is typically added to the joint during welding to form a pool of molten material, that cools to form a
joint that is usually stronger than the base material. Welding techniques can then be broadly classified in terms of how the heat/energy is applied: gas welding (using fuel
gases), arc welding (using electricity) or beam welding (using laser/electron beams).
Other processes that generate fume in a similar way include soldering (uses lower temperatures, where only the filler melts), thermal cutting or gouging (melting to cut a shape), thermal spraying (melting to deposit a coating), flame straightening (heating not necessarily melting, to remove distortions). Additionally additive manufacturing has been considered in this report due to the metal melting-joining on cooling aspect. However this occurs in an inert atmosphere inside a machine where no exposure to workers can occur.
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