A welders are merchants who specializes in the fusion of materials. The term welder refers to the operator; the machine is known as the welding power source. The articles to be joined can be metals (such as steel, aluminum, brass, stainless steel, etc.) or plastic or polymer varieties. Welders generally have to have good dexterity and attention to detail, as well as technical knowledge about the materials they join and best practices in the field.
Welding, without adequate precautions appropriate for the process, can be a dangerous and unhealthy practice. However, with the use of new technology and proper protection, the risks of injury and death associated with welding can be significantly reduced. Because many standard welding procedures involve an open electric arc or a flame, the risk of burns is significant. To avoid them, welders wear personal protective equipment in the form of heavy leather gloves and long-sleeved protective jackets to avoid exposure to extreme heat and flames. Also, the brightness of the welding area leads to a condition called arc eye in which ultraviolet light causes inflammation of the cornea and can burn the retinas of the eyes. Full-face welding helmets are used with dark front plates to prevent this exposure, and in recent years new helmet models have been produced that feature a face plate that darkens itself when exposed to high amounts of UV light. To protect passers-by, dark welding curtains often surround the welding area. These curtains, made of a polyvinyl chloride plastic film, protect nearby workers from exposure to UV light from the electric arc, but should not be used to replace the filter glass used in helmets.
Welders are often also exposed to dangerous gases and particles. Processes such as arc welding with a flux core and armored metal arc welding produce smoke that contains particles of various types of oxides, which in some cases can lead to medical conditions such as metal fume fever. The size of the particles in question tends to influence the toxicity of the fumes, and the smaller particles present a greater danger. Also, many processes produce fumes and various gases, most commonly carbon dioxide and ozone, which can be dangerous if ventilation is inadequate. Besides, because the use of compressed gases and flames in many welding processes poses a risk of explosion and fire, some necessary precautions include limiting the amount of oxygen in the air and keeping combustible materials away from the workplace.  Welders with experience in welding pressure vessels, including underwater helmets, industrial boilers and heat exchangers from power plants and furnaces, are generally known as boilermakers.
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