The Smartweld suite of devices have been developed to provide accurate data records whilst monitoring the installation of aluminothermic welds.
It is generally acknowledged that the weakness of most aluminothermic welding processes is the application and control of the oxy/gas preheating procedure. All processes rely on the skill of the welder in aligning the preheating appliance, manually adjusting gas pressures to produce the correct preheating condition, and timing the duration of the preheat. Welds rejected on inspection due to faults linked to incorrect preheating are believed to cost the industry in excess of 1 million pounds per year, and so innovation has been introduced to alleviate the problem by looking at three key factors that control preheat – the pressure gauges, the stopwatch, – and the welder. This innovation was begun by Thermit introducing the Smartweld Innovation Project in 2009.
The Smartweld Innovation Project aims to introduce a new range of products specifically focused on improving the Thermit welding processes. One step of this project included a development programme commencing with BOC laboratories to analyse the preheating parameters and determine the variability to enable working tolerances to be developed.