Rail Weld:

Exothermic welding, also known as exothermic bonding, thermite welding and thermit welding is a welding process that employs molten metal to permanently join the conductors.

The process employs an exothermic reaction of a thermite composition to heat the metal, and requires no external source of heat or current. The chemical reaction that produces the heat is an aluminothermic reaction between aluminium powder and a metal oxide.

The products are aluminium oxide, free elemental iron, and a large amount of heat. The reactants are commonly powdered and mixed with a binder to keep the material solid and prevent separation.

Commonly the reacting composition is five parts iron oxide red (rust) powder and three parts aluminium powder by weight, ignited at high temperatures.

A strongly exothermic (heat-generating) reaction occurs that via reduction and oxidation produces a white hot mass of molten iron and a slag of refractory aluminium oxide.

The molten iron is the actual welding material; the aluminium oxide is much less dense than the liquid iron and so floats to the top of the reaction, so the set-up for welding must take into account that the actual molten metal is at the bottom of the crucible and covered by floating slag.



 
     
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