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Mathematical Modeling of Optical Radiation Emission as a Function of Welding Power during Gas Shielded Metal Arc Welding

Bauer, Stefan*; Janßen, Marco*; Schmitz, Martin; Ott, Günter*

doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000000709

Arc welding is accompanied by intense optical radiation emission that can be detrimental not only for the welder himself but also for people working nearby or for passersby. Technological progress advances continuously in the field of joining, so an up-to-date radiation database is necessary. Additionally, many literature irradiance data have been measured for a few welding currents or for parts of the optical spectral region only. Within this paper, a comprehensive study of contemporary metal active gas, metal inert gas, and cold metal transfer welding is presented covering optical radiation emission from 200 up to 2,700 nm by means of (spectro-) radiometric measurements. The investigated welding currents range from 70 to 350 A, reflecting values usually applied in industry. Based upon these new irradiance data, three mathematical models were derived in order to describe optical radiation emission as a function of welding power. The linear, exponential, and sigmoidal emission models depend on the process variant (standard or pulsed) as well as on the welding material (mild and stainless steel, aluminum). In conjunction with the corresponding exposure limit values for incoherent optical radiation maximum permissible exposure durations were calculated as a function of welding power. Typical times are shorter than 1 s for the ultraviolet spectral region and range from 1 to 10 s for visible radiation. For the infrared regime, exposure durations are of the order of minutes to hours. Finally, a validation of the metal active gas emission models was carried out with manual arc welding.

*Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), Unit Physical Agents, Friedrich-Henkel-Weg 1‐25, 44149 Dortmund, Germany; †Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance (IFA), Alte Heerstraße 111, 53757 Sankt Augustin, Germany.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

For correspondence contact: Stefan Bauer, Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), Friedrich-Henkel-Weg 1‐25, 44149 Dortmund, Germany, or email at

(Manuscript accepted 1 May 2017)

© 2017 by the Health Physics Society