Gold Face Shields in the Hot WorkplaceBlake Hirschmann
Gold Face Shields in the Hot Workplace
Workers in Foundries and Smelteries are exposed to high heat during their work casting metals into molds. Heating up metal requires extremely high levels of heat. Stainless steel, for instance, melts at ~2750°, which creates a dangerous level of radiant heat.
Gold has a special property that is used in face shields to reflect that radiant heat away from the wearer. The worker is exposed to less heat and is feeling cooler.
By fusing a face shield with gold, Oberon creates a PPE that reflects radiant heat. The worker will only be exposed to 1%-5% of the heat, while at the same time providing good visibility / VLT (Visible Light Transmission). The user enjoys a clean view through the gold face shield. Gold can also be applied to a green shield to reduce the visible light (VLT) and provide the heat protection.
Oberon’s History with Gold
Our History with Gold Shields started in 1983 when Oberon was approached by NASA to create a solution to the blinding effects of UV radiation during early space flights.
Preliminary tests demonstrated goggles would be too bulky to be worn inside helmets, so a thin layer of gold was applied to the astronaut’s visors. This technology gave rise to Oberon’s “Gold Shield.”
This invention was found to be useful in space, but also provided solutions for radiant heat hazards in the workplace commonly found in foundries and steel mills.
Creating a Layer of Gold on Face Shields
Getting the gold onto the face shields is an interesting process. First, the shields are loaded into the chamber with the gold. The air in the chamber then needs to be completely removed, leaving a space that would resemble outer space: a vacuum.
Gold is then heated up to its melting point turning it into a vapor. Because of the lack of atmosphere inside the chamber, the gold begins to float around the chamber and sticks to the face shields. The picture shown is an example of what the chamber looks like when the gold is being melted and applied to the face shields.
Once the gold is applied to the face shields, they are coated with our Silicote-1TM scratch resistant hard coating. Without this protective coating, simple contact or rubbing would damage the protective mirror.
Our Gold Shield Line
Oberon has created PPE for many different applications and our Gold Shield line is no different. Our Clear Gold shield is a great tool for a heat reflection application that doesn’t block visible light (VLT).
It provides 95% heat protection and ~30% VLT. Our Green or Dark Green shields provide more heat protection and cut the VLT down to ~1%, but the heat protection up to 99%, which is a great solution for a high heat environment that is also very bright.
Workers in the molten metal industry are exposed to high levels of heat daily. Proper Heat Protection not only keeps the worker safe, but also allows the worker to work longer and more comfortable in a high heat environment. Oberon is committed to keep workers safe.