Abrasive blasting is a tough, gritty job. However, much of the testing, evaluation, and review of sandblasting equipment is performed in a very controlled environment. Any long-time abrasive blaster will tell you that a blasting job site with real-life conditions is the ideal testing ground for new blasting equipment, particularly blasting hoods.
To conduct a thorough and realistic field evaluation test for an abrasive blasting helmet, use the following template and tips below.
Step 1. The Hold Test
Hold the test helmet in one hand and current helmet in the other.
Do you feel a difference in the weight of the helmets?___________________________________
Which helmet feels lighter?__________________________________________________________
Need to Know: Lighter weight helmets mean less neck strain at the end of a full shift.
Step 2. The Balance Test
Attach the appropriate cooling device for the helmet(s) being tested. Then adjust any inserts or cheek pads to determine the appropriate fit.
Need to Know: Removable inserts will allow for easier sanitizing.
Evaluate the stability of the helmet. How stable does the helmet feel on your head with each of the following movements?
Turning head to look over right/left shoulder_______________________________________
Step 3. The Fit & Function Test
Use the helmet while blasting an actual job. Check for the following aspects regarding fit and function. Does it perform differently with different types of media blasting?
How cool is the air inside the helmet?_________________________________________________
How does the airflow compare to your current helmet?_________________________________
Is anything impairing the flow of air to your head or face?_______________________________
How well did the breathing tube and helmet move with you as you worked?_______________
Step 4. The Wear & Tear Test
Getting peace of mind about the durability of a blasting helmet includes not only the design features, but also the support of the helmet manufacturer. To help understand the toughness and long-lasting qualities of the helmet, note the following:
Length of Manufacturer’s Warranty___________________________________________________
Items Covered under Warranty_______________________________________________________
What design features prevent wear and tear in vulnerable areas?
o Breathing tube connection
o Cape attachment area/latch guard
o Field replaceable parts
Step 5. The Overall Feedback
How would you describe the overall comfort level of the helmet?________________________
How would you rate the level of airflow during use?
What do you like best about the test helmet?
To include the Bullard GenVX blasting helmet in your Field Test, click here. We’ll set you up with a demo helmet and a technical expert to get you started.