Thermit® News December 2015



An eventful and successful year 2015 is drawing to a close

We would like to express our hearty thanks to you, our customers and our business partners, for your excellent interaction, the successful and pleasant cooperation as always and, above all, for your trust in us over the last 12 months.

Next year we will be entering into new, exciting projects with optimism, joy and a cool head for making sound decisions. We look forward to realising these projects together with you.

May you enjoy the holidays amongst family and friends! We wish you and your families a joyful, restful Christmas and a great start to the New Year 2016.

Best wishes,

Dr.-Ing. Matthias Wewel         Dr.-Ing. Jörg Keichel               Johannes Braun
CEO                                       CTO                                      Managing Director



Optimally equipped for the winter

For the coldest times of the year, we present a range of products to ensure a perfectly functioning rail system and a smooth, trouble-free Thermit® welding process even at low temperatures.

As a safe, reliable and long-lasting solution to prevent rails and switches from freezing, we offer self-regulating switch heating. When the air temperature drops below +5 °C, the switch heating automatically turns on, keeping the rail preventively warm. The special composition of the cable guarantees long-term reliability. Quick and low-cost to install, it also keeps travel comfort at a constant. More than 70,000 metres of cable have already been successfully installed in Europe. Our self-regulating switch heating is already approved on the Hungarian and Italian national railways.

Specifically designed for use on construction sites, the gas cylinder warmer for propane increases process reliability during preheating for all standard Thermit® welding processes at low temperatures. With a high degree of efficiency, it presents an uncomplicated solution that reliably guarantees the necessary gas supply from the propane cylinder for the welding process.

For efficient preheating of high-density, non-combustible and non-corrosive gases in commercial applications, we present the gas preheater for oxygen bottles. It attaches directly onto the bottle (bottle connection acc. to DIN 477-1). Because the medium is heated, the downstream fittings cannot ice up due to expansion cooling. The gas preheater is used on gas bottles or gas pipework with a maximum permissible filling pressure of 300 bar at 15 °C. It is also for use in the high-pressure section of a central gas supply system.

Contact us any time for further information or for a non-binding offer.



German Unity Transport Project No. 8

The new construction and development of the railway line from Nuremberg to Berlin connects to the already finished stretch from Munich to Nuremberg and is part of a trans-European transportation network from northern Italy to Scandinavia. After completion of the work the journey time from Munich to Berlin will take roughly only 4 hours. This represents a halving of the time required in comparison to the past. A total investment of 13 billion euros is planned for the construction of the corridor between Munich and Berlin.

The German unification transportation projects were initiated by the German government in 1991 after the reunification of the country. The project is being realized by DB ProjektBau GmbH, a subsidiary of the German railways, the Deutsche Bahn AG company.

The section Leipzig/Halle–Erfurt was ceremoniously opened at the beginning of December. Elektro-Thermit is supplying all the products required for the Thermit® welding process. This includes welding material, molds and crucibles. In this project, the Thermit® welding process mainly finds application in areas for switches and stops.  We are proud to be a part of such an important project with our products.



Christmas party for non-profit association

For nearly 100 years, the name Elektro-Thermit has stood for high quality, continuous growth and international customer focus as well as for dependability and collaboration as a partner. We like to extend our commitment to further causes.

The Verein zur Förderung krebskranker Kinder Halle (Saale) e. V. (association for assisting children with cancer) supports and accompanies children with cancer and their families. In the clubhouse Villa Kinderplanet, the whole family can take a break from the daily clinical routine and draw strength through activities such as crafting, pottery, music, painting and playing games together. The association lives from donations and the help of volunteers.

We are supporting the association with a fundraising campaign organised by our employees for our annual summer festival. And thanks to the donations in kind from our business partners and suppliers, the donations amounted to more than 1,000 Euro. The association will use this funding, among other things, to organise a big Christmas festival at the hospital for the children and their families. Because they urgently need a new wardrobe as well, our management and other staff members decided spontaneously decided to buy it and install it straight away at the Villa Kinderplanet.



Our services: Answers to frequently asked questions!

Our technical service staff would be pleased to answer your questions concerning Thermit® welding. Below is a compilation of questions you may also be thinking of asking, and their answers.

Influences determining optimum trimming point

In the October edition of the newsletter, focus was on the "alignment, superelevation and effects on the vertical shrinkage of a rail joining weld".

The following deals with the influences that determine the optimum trimming point.

When is the right time to trim? The right time to trim is when the shear blades can still fully sever the solidified, but not yet hardened, red-hot Thermit® steel without forming hot cracks.

What happens if I start too early? If you trim too early then there is a risk that the Thermit® steel, which is still too soft, will fail to resist the tensile stress behind the shear blade edges as they snip towards each other, and so will be ripped apart and crack. The bigger the gap widths of the respective method, the greater the risk of hot cracking due to too early trimming. Also, the Z120 grade portion is more susceptible to hot cracking as a result of too early trimming than portions of other grades.

What happens if I start too late? If you trim too late, then the shear blades can no longer cut all the way through the already hardened, red-hot Thermit® steel.

Why the combination of shear force and shear speed? The hydraulic weld trimmer consists of a drive unit and a shearing unit and defines the time window during which trimming is possible in the form of a combination of limited shear force and limited shear speed. Shear force results from the oil pressure produced by the hydraulic pump of the drive (500 +20 bar) and the effective working piston surface area in the shearing unit.

Shear speed results from the volumetric flow rate of oil produced by the hydraulic pump of the drive (1.8 l/min).

Given the risk of hot cracking, it is not possible to compensate for failing shear force – say due to dropping oil pressure on the drive – by starting the trim earlier. Given the action of further, more complex influences, the trimming times can only be recommended as guideline values.

Work instructions and welder training address these influences:

Mould head removal: Remove the mould head carefully after the waiting time after pouring as indicated in the data sheet. To do so, carefully tilt the mould head and check whether the welding material is still liquid. If so, place the mould head back.

The starting point of trimming process is visually to determine as follows:

a) If mould head is removed early the welding material is coloured white or light-yellow. Start the trimming when a darkening by oxide skin with blisters rises up.

b) If mould head is removed later the welding material is coloured already yellow. Then immediately start the trimming.

Influences on the waiting time after pouring until mould head removal are shown as follows:

Updated: work instructions for the Thermit® welding process

The processing of our consumables into high-quality end products by your trained employees can only be implemented using the current work instructions.

Below you are provided with an overview as to which work instructions have been edited since the last edition of the newsletter.

The complete overview of the work instructions, sub-divided according to language and methods are available on our website. You can obtain the required version of the work instructions from your contact in the Technical Service or Sales department.



Elektro-Thermit exhibits in Scandinavia

The last exhibition we participated in this year was the Elmia Nordic Rail in October. In Jönköping (Sweden), at the largest and most successful Scandinavian railway exhibition, Elektro-Thermit presented, among other things, Thermit® Head Repair, the alternative to classical arc-deposition welding; SMARTWELD SPARK, for safe and reliable ignition of Thermit® portions; our RAILSTRAIGHT electronic measuring devices and corresponding RAILSTRAIGHT APP; our magnetic barrier and our profile grinder GP 4000 Diesel. Our booth also hosted the company Triple-S-GmbH, a systems provider for geothermal switch and surface heating.

The specialist visitors once again had the ideal opportunity to speak with our experts about the newest products and services relating to the track superstructure.

You will surely see us also at one of the national and international trade fairs and conferences next year:



Roadshows deliver first-class service

In 2014, Elektro-Thermit added a customer-oriented tool to its sales strategy. The very first roadshows were already extreme successes in the opinion of customers and company alike. Our sales and technical service staff will continue to hold them in 2016 and you, the customer, can expect much more from us. At the last roadshows in Germany and Spain, we presented our Thermit® welding process as well as the RAILSTRAIGHT series of electronic straightedge, the profile grinder GP 4000  and the torque wrench WT 1400 P.

What do we mean by “roadshow”? “Essentially, it’s what the name implies. A roadshow is a show we take on the road. We drive to our customers and bring our products with us, such as our Thermit® Head Repair, Goldschmidt Tools, Porta Co Tools, RAILSTRAIGHTS, self-regulating switch heating and magnetic barrier. This gives our customers the chance not only to see our products, but also to experience them directly and try them out first-hand. They also have the opportunity to share ideas with our experts,” says Thomas Westermann, Sales Manager of Elektro-Thermit GmbH & Co. KG. With the valuable and experienced feedback from customers, we can continuously improve our products.

The roadshows are aimed at all of our customers. All those who are interested in trying our products out first-hand can get in touch with our contacts in sales and technical service. We will put together the roadshow with the exact products you need.

We will be holding roadshows in many countries across Europe over the next few months. 2016 is set to be an exciting year. We look forward to working together with you.


For comments or questions, please contact:
Manuela Illmer

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

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

Editorial (v.i.S.d.P.): Manuela Illmer
Tel.: +49 (0) 345 7795-718

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