what is thermit welding - tracks being welded concept image.

What Is Thermit Welding and How Does It Work

Welding is a useful process that can help join two pieces of metal together. There are several different methods of welding that cater to different applications. One popular type is known as thermit welding. This process uses molten metal to bind one piece of metal to another. But how exactly does it work, and what are its real-world applications? 

R & S Track Maintenance is here to explain the process of thermit welding, and how it can be used to improve the safety of your city’s railway system. 

How Does Thermit Welding Work? 

Thermit welding, also known as thermite welding or exothermic welding, is a process used to join two pieces of metal together by creating a chemical reaction that produces intense heat. The heat in this reaction can rise to temperatures up to 4500 F. This heat is generated by a chemical reaction between a mixture of powdered metal oxide, which is usually iron, and a reducing agent, which is normally aluminum. The reaction releases a tremendous amount of heat, and the high temperature causes the surrounding metal to melt and fuse together with the other piece. 

What Are the Applications of Thermit Welding? 

Thermit welding has several different applications. It is often used for heavy industrial projects where a reliable and strong joint is required, such as connecting metal plates, pipelines, structural steel, and more. This process is used for welding the hulls of ships, by connecting thick metal plates to each other. This process is also widely used to weld railway rails together. 

Is Thermit Welding Safe? 

While effective, thermit welding can be slower than other methods of welding such as flash butt welds. It is also a dangerous and messy process due to the immense amount of heat and molten metal created from the exothermic reaction. Special facial and bodily protection are always needed for the job. Additionally, this process releases hazardous materials like aluminum and iron oxide, which can be harmful to humans and the environment if they are not disposed of. So, thermit welding requires careful handling and the right training for the project to be done safely and properly. That is why the trained professionals at R & S Track Maintenance are the best people for the job.

Keep Your Railroads Safe with R & S Track Maintenance, Inc 

Expert railroad track maintenance is critical for ensuring safe, dependable, and efficient train operations. R&S Track can lengthen the lifespan of track infrastructure through frequent inspections, track cleaning, ballast maintenance, rail grinding, thermit welding and scheduled maintenance. We provide customized railroad track construction services in the Midwest region, certified by the Railroad Industry Association, ensuring safe and secure rides for passengers and freight. To see the results of our track maintenance and other railroad projects, please visit our gallery. We also provide services for consulting, surveying, project designing, track rehabilitation, new track construction, derailment services, and more. Contact R&S Track Maintenance today for safe and reliable railway systems.