Simulating the Installation of a Telecom Grounding System Using Exothermic Welding Training

March 17 | 1:00 - 1:30 PM

This proposal is for a workshop whereby common components of a modern grounding system including theft deterrent conductors, ground rods, and ground bars would be welded together using exothermic welding methods. The end result of this workshop will be the construction of a simulated mini ground system, that would represent a typical grounding system at a telecommunications radio site. Exothermic welding is the most established connection method in the telecommunications and power industry in the USA and large parts of the world. There have been two significant developments in design and installation of telecommunication grounding system in the last few years 1) There has been an increase of copper theft in the industry and hence the grounding systems utilize many components like wires and ground bars that are theft deterrent and alternatives to copper 2)Traditional exothermic welding process has been using a flint ignition system to ignite and start the welding reaction An exothermic connection is a welded connection produced by a chemical process contained in a graphite mold that releases large amount of heat, During the Exothermic process, aluminum reduces copper oxide at approx. 4500F, yielding, super-heated copper (which forms the weld) and Aluminum oxide (disposable slag) The chemical reaction for this 3Cu2O +2Al 6Cu + Al2O3 + Heat Modern exothermic welding used electronic ignition system for ignition and this is gaining widespread popularity due to the high reliability and additional safety features Background of Exothermic welding In early 1900’s arc-welded rail bonding were widely for the railway and mining industries. While the connections were a significant advancement, the heavy equipment required to complete the welding was a drawback. In 1939, the Exothermically Welded Connection for making copper to copper and copper to steel connections was developed Exothermically Welded Connections are specified by engineers and consultants for telecommunications and many other industries and installed by contractors and site owners large and small all over the world. There are 100,000,000 plus field-proven connections installed around the globe by our very satisfied customers, Over the year many brands of exothermic connection have evolved and today continues to serve the market as the most popular grounding connection in telecommunications industry. The reason for this is that exothermic welds continue to maintain a reputation for electrically superior connections that will never loosen, break, or corrode in most environments. Due to recent prevalence of copper theft in the telecommunication industry newer types of non-copper conductors have become common in the telecommunication grounding system. Exothermic welding has been adopted for use with many of these modern conductors. There has also been development in Exothermic one shot welding where disposable molds are popular in some applications

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