The ACE process has been developed by Thermit Welding GB, with support from GPX. Thermit Welding GB is part of the international Goldschmidt Group. ACE provides a system by which the aluminothermic casting process can be speeded, up thus reducing the welding time. This is very interesting for infrastructure controllers and contractors as it offers the opportunity to save circa 10-15 minutes per weld; this is key particularly in the current climate of ever decreasing possession times and can result in the opportunity to produce extra welds per shift.
The system is part of the Smartweld suite of technical innovations. The components making up the ACE system are relatively simple comprising of a twelve volt battery powered control system with integral pump, a water reservoir and an atomising nozzle in a fixed housing. The system employs a Gull Wing shear such that the head riser and side riser runners are removed at one time thus giving access to the whole rail-head.
Eight minutes after completion of the pour and removal of the risers the nozzle housing is placed directly over the weld. The pump is switched on and the casting rail head and upper web are enveloped in a controlled water mist for eight minutes. Once the eight minutes spray time is complete the rail head temperature is checked to ensure that it is below 400°C. Once below 400°C normal rail head grinding and finishing can commence. ACE is approved for use on LUL under Plant Certificate: Plant/9589_rev 00
GPX are proud to have supported the development of this innovation and believe that it can be of great benefit to the industry in general. GPX are rolling out the process with two welding teams. GPX are approved to deliver training in use of the equipment.
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