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Subject: Welding Helmets

Date: 09/27/99
Posted by: Ian
E-mail: apptec(at)enternet(dot)com(dot)au(no spam)
URL: http://


I am on my 3 rd. Auto Darkening Welding Helmet. I buy the ones which rely upon the little Solar cell arrangement for power. I absolutely swear by these things. ( I am a Welder / Sheetmeatal Worker, run my own business). I get a good run from these, roughly around 3 - 4 years, then they start to slow down before they go dark, time to toss it out. What is the technology behind the lens? Is it a polarised layer with a Liquid Crystal Layer acting as a Kerr Cell?, or is it Simply Liquid Crystal on it's own? My understanding of LCD Technology is that it does not like heat, starts to go black etc. Don't get much hotter than over a Mig whilst in South Australia in Summertime! My reason for asking is beacause I am interested in playing around with the technology for the purpose of shutting off light on a project that I am tinkering with, except that the window area is much larger than the Viewfinder in a helmet. Is the technology at an affordable level for guys like us to possibly manufacture on our own, ( not for welding, I simply buy a new approved helmet, thank you!!! ). but for tinkering around with. This may sound like a silly request, but aside from running a welding & sheet shop, I have just about every tool & machine imagineable, I also do a reasonable amount of Electronics & Plastics Fabrication, all part of manufacturing animated Sign Systems & Displays. I am not put off simply by the difficulty of the process, as long as it is within reach of the common man. Many thanks in advance. Ian BEE

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