Custom painted helmets? Safe?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Simcoe County, Canada
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    322

    Custom painted helmets? Safe?

    Ok, the factory painted helmets are probably safe but...

    What about the homebrew/custom painted jobs? Aren't some types of paint fairly flammable? I remember a lacquer pot that flashed when hit by grinder sparks.

    The other thing,

    The plain helmets are ANSI rated based on the material the mfg. used. I also recall some paints/solvents will turn certain plastics into goo.

    So how do you know the custom paint on yer lid hasn't, at the least, un-ANSIed it (can't think of a better word), or at the worst, yer wearin' a flare waiting to be lit?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    NOT on a warm, sunny beach
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    Re: Custom painted helmets? Safe?

    I used acrylic paint pens to custom paint two of my helmets and I never had a problem with flamability issues. I think that the ingredients that make paint flammable when it is wet evaporate out once the paint is dry. Nail polish is flamable and I have never caught my hands on fire while welding. Also, the paint used on countless parts and pieces that need to be welded for repair isn't badly flamable once it is dry. A certain area of paint around the weld will burn from the heat, but the flames don't generally spread to the rest of the paint in my experience (oh, unless it is a rubberized part...then it burns pretty good)

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Re: Custom painted helmets? Safe?

    I custom painted my mask 15 yrs ago with enamel paints with a clearcoat over the whole thing...

    Only thing that happens is major scratches in it from squeezing your head into places it dont fit to get the job done..
    (see sig)..

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Simcoe County, Canada
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    Re: Custom painted helmets? Safe?

    I figured enamel might be the safest and easiest on the base material (shell) than lacquer, but maybe acrylic is the best?

    Anyhow, whatever you do to your lid, keep it safe (and try not to scratch it )

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    1,052

    Re: Custom painted helmets? Safe?

    I used an epoxy enamel which I dont recommend cause it chips, but it was fun to do. Its probably a bit flammable, but I think my hair will catch on fire before the paint ever does.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    California Farmland
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    Re: Custom painted helmets? Safe?

    I have guys in Refinery's every day and I end up going several day per week. I recently had to refresh my training in a bay area refinery and they said that they are going around and telling people that they cant have paint or stickers on the hat's. They said that with the paint and stickers that we are not able to correctly check our helmets to see if there are any cracks in them. Most refinery give us stickers that say that we went through the site specific training, or have the emergency numbers / evacuation signals on them, this does not make that much sense, but for what it is worth this is their concern with paint as well as weakining the plastic.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Re: Custom painted helmets? Safe?

    Say what????

    Screw that...
    Cracked masks...
    Thats a completly new one on me...

    Tell them theres lots more places to look for "infractions"

    ...zap!


    I am not completely insane..
    Some parts are missing

    Professional Driver on a closed course....
    Do not attempt.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Simcoe County, Canada
    Posts
    322

    Re: Custom painted helmets? Safe?

    Years ago where I worked a guy painted his hardhat and I guess the solvent embrittled the plastic and short story, his hardhat split in two when a co-worker lightly rapped on his hardhat with a ratchet. Good thing he found out before something dropped on him from up high.

    I'm always leery of using paint on protective gear made of plastic.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    86

    Re: Custom painted helmets? Safe?

    I painted my helmet and others with PPG basecoat clearcoat polyurethane. I weld with it everyday for two years now and no problems with flammability.

    Once the paint gases out after a couple of days it's OK to use. As for scratching, once a year I wet sand and re-clearcoat and it's like new again.

    Hope this helps.
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