Improved rail welding from Thermitrex
Until now, Thermit welding has used a conventional reusable multi-component crucible. While this worked well, there were disadvantages. Being heavy, two people were needed to carry it. Components could be damaged, or lost. And it needed to be cleaned out carefully to ensure the effectiveness of the next weld.
The single-use crucible is much lighter, requiring only one person to carry it. In addition, the new unit cuts out the need for a number of items of heavy ancillary equipment. The time taken to carry out a weld is considerably reduced.
The major advantage of the single-use crucible is that it reduces the risk of human error and consequent rework.
The single-use crucible, which is supplied inside a five-litre steel canister, is made from bonded refractory material,. Everything required for a weld is contained in the canister, which requires no preheating or drying before use. The expended canister can be used to remove the welding waste.
In terms of safety, the risk posed by sparks and the amount of smoke produced are both reduced. As the steps in the process are reduced, training of exothermic rail welders is considerably simplified.
The single-use crucible is slightly more expensive than the conventional unit. However, the numerous benefits of the new system will give its users an increased return.