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18-02-2020


Rail technology

 

Thermite welding is a technique in which rails with a temperature of more than 2500 degrees are welded together without joints. This is done by means of a bucket containing thermite, a mixture of iron and aluminum powder. The igniter enters the bucket and starts a chemical reaction that connects the rails. Thermal welding is used for welding all types and qualities of rails, including groove rails and crane rails.

The advantage of thermal welding is that the process is standardized and the welder can work efficiently compared to conventional welding techniques. "The advantage of the Pandrol welding packages is that welding is done quickly and in an environmentally friendly way," explains director Mark van den Rijen.

The first system is in a steel bucket which can be fitted with a special filter lid. Van den Rijen: “The thermite is burned in the bucket, creating a lot of smoke. Thanks to the filter, this smoke is trapped and absorbed, making it safer to work. This is better for the health of welders and their colleagues in the track, but also offers benefits when performing work in tunnels, for example. "

Because the sand mold is placed in the bucket in an innovative way, the residue is loose in the bucket after welding, making it easy to separate and the steel bucket can simply reach the old iron. He points out that such seemingly small differences save a lot of time and help to ensure that not too much material is thrown into the residual waste, which is bad for the environment. ”

The second thermal welding system that is being demonstrated is in a cardboard bucket. “The advantage of this system is that almost all material, including the bucket, burns. As a result, you have almost no residual material to remove, which can save a lot of time. Because the bucket is made of cardboard, the system is also even cheaper than systems with an iron bucket. "

Automated process

“Thermite welding is a standardized process, making it less susceptible to error and thus better safeguarding the quality of the weld.  Alom wants to take a new step towards with these products to a safer and more sustainable rail market. ”

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