Thermit® News April 2019



100 Years Of Elektro-Thermit


With the aim of introducing aluminothermic and electric rail welding to the German National Rail, Th. Goldschmidt AG, Essen, founded the subsidiary Elektro-Thermit GmbH in Berlin-Tempelhof together with the accumulator factory, Berlin-Hagen, in January 1919. This laid the foundation for continuously welded track and modern rail traffic. The prerequisite for this was the aluminothermic process created by Prof. Hans Goldschmidt, which was patented in 1895.

Today, we can look back at 100 years of further developments and innovations in the field of THERMIT® welding. This is a success story which would not have been possible without many years of constructive cooperation with our customers and partners. Our focus has always been on the continuous improvement of our welding processes and the use of THERMIT® consumables for the production of high-quality track welds. In addition, we are addressing the challenges of continuously digitally recording and processing the process parameters of a THERMIT® weld. Close cooperation with customers and railway companies is also necessary for this. We look forward to another successful 100 years of Elektro-Thermit, together with our partners.



Last year, Elektro-Thermit organised product training for its sales representatives and agents. Since this event received so much positive feedback, a second training was organised. This training took place at our sister company GRAW in Poland, as their measuring technology products were a central focus. The aim was to familiarise our agents with the new measuring instruments. Theory and practice were close related. The products were explained in detail by the experts on site and could be tested afterwards. Products from the Goldschmidt Thermit Group were also on the agenda. The SMARTWELD JET, the SMARTWELD RECORD and the battery-powered RAIL DRILL RD 330 B were presented. The exchange of experience between the agents from the different sales areas was also an essential part of the event.



Last year, our sister company GT-ATS (in St. Petersburg, Russia) received the tender for THERMIT® welding on the tracks of the Russian state railway RZD. This was an enormous challenge for our colleagues in Russia. 200 welders were recruited, trained in a short period of time and sent nationwide to provide the required welding capacity. Elektro-Thermit supported the sister company in the training of Russian welders among other things. As a result, 16 welding supervisors from GT-ATS visited us in Halle at the end of February. In particular, the trainers of our technical service explained the key aspects of monitoring a THERMIT® weld. In addition, several trainers from Elektro-Thermit were in Russia in March to provide technical support to selected welding supervisors of GT-ATS in during the testing to be performed by the Russian THERMIT® welders.




Updated: Work instructions for the THERMIT® welding method

The processing of our consumable materials by your trained employees to create a high quality finished product must be performed in accordance with the latest version of our work instructions. 

A complete overview of our work instructions, sub-divided according to language and methods, is available here.

Your contact in the Technical Service or Sales departments will be happy to provide you with the requested version of the work instruction you require.




This year, Elektro-Thermit once more took the opportunity to present a selected product portfolio to a wide audience of experts at the biennial RailTech Europe fair in the Dutch city of Utrecht. As usual, we were represented by our sales representative ETS Spoor B.V., but also at the trade fair stand of the Goldschmidt Thermit Group, which was represented for the first time this year. The three days were used intensively for customer discussions and technical exchange.




After the revision of standard prEN 14730-2 (railway applications - superstructure - aluminothermic welding of tracks - part 2: The qualification of aluminothermic welders, certification of companies and acceptance of welds) the draft is now available to national standardisation experts for a decision. If the draft is adopted by a majority, several updates will be relevant to the training of aluminothermic welders.

The update of the standard includes new requirements for the qualification of aluminothermic welders. The aim is to improve the quality of the track weld.

Demands are placed on the instructor and examiner for the first time. It will be necessary for the instructor to be qualified, accredited and certified by the railway company and the process provider. The examiner must also be qualified by the railway company and the process provider.

The training centre must be now also recognised by the railway company and the process provider.

For the first time, the updated standard EN 14730-2 defines requirements for the duration of training. If participants do not have welding experience, training takes at least four weeks. For welders with welding experience, this training time is reduced to two weeks. Where training is aimed at switching from one welding procedure to the procedure of another process provider, the duration is determined by the respective training centre.

Additionally, the new training contents are: Grinding wheels, portable power supply, finish grinding and autogenous technology for preheating and flame cutting. In the practical training and the practical test, the finish grinding tolerances of the railway company are now relevant. It was previously sufficient to prove basic grinding skills.

The Elektro-Thermit GmbH & Co. KG training centre is prepared for the new qualitative requirements in its approved external training centres.


For comments or questions, please contact:
Franziska Maister

Elektro-Thermit GmbH & Co. KG
Chemiestr. 24
06132 Halle (Saale), Germany

Managing Directors:
Dr.-Ing. Matthias Wewel (CEO)
Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Johannes Braun

Editorial (v.i.S.d.P.): Franziska Maister
Tel.: +49 (0) 345 7795-725

VAT Reg. No.: DE 203131971
Tax No.: 110/112/02561
Registration office: Stendal
Registration number: HRA 34021