Thermal lance

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Thermal lance cutting a railroad bridge to prepare for replacement. Thermal lance.2004-8-4.jpg
Thermal lance cutting a railroad bridge to prepare for replacement.

A thermal lance, thermic lance, oxygen lance, or burning bar is a tool that heats and melts steel in the presence of pressurized oxygen to create very high temperatures for cutting. It consists of a long steel tube packed with alloy steel rods, sometimes mixed with aluminium rods to increase the heat output. One end of the tube is placed in a holder and oxygen is fed through the tube.

Tool Physical item that can be used to achieve a goal

A tool is an object used to extend the ability of an individual to modify features of the surrounding environment. Although many animals use simple tools, only human beings, whose use of stone tools dates back hundreds of millennia, use tools to make other tools. The set of tools required to perform different tasks that are part of the same activity is called gear or equipment.

Steel alloy made by combining iron and other elements

Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon, and sometimes other elements. Because of its high tensile strength and low cost, it is a major component used in buildings, infrastructure, tools, ships, automobiles, machines, appliances, and weapons.

Oxygen Chemical element with atomic number 8

Oxygen is the chemical element with the symbol O and atomic number 8. It is a member of the chalcogen group in the periodic table, a highly reactive nonmetal, and an oxidizing agent that readily forms oxides with most elements as well as with other compounds. By mass, oxygen is the third-most abundant element in the universe, after hydrogen and helium. At standard temperature and pressure, two atoms of the element bind to form dioxygen, a colorless and odorless diatomic gas with the formula O
. Diatomic oxygen gas constitutes 20.8% of the Earth's atmosphere. As compounds including oxides, the element makes up almost half of the Earth's crust.


The far end of the tube is pre-heated and lit by an oxyacetylene torch. An intense stream of burning steel is produced at the working end and can be used to cut rapidly through thick materials, including steel and concrete. The tube is consumed by the process within a few minutes.

Oxy-fuel welding and cutting Metalworking technique using a gaseous fuel and oxygen

Oxy-fuel welding and oxy-fuel cutting are processes that use fuel gases and oxygen to weld or cut metals. French engineers Edmond Fouché and Charles Picard became the first to develop oxygen-acetylene welding in 1903. Pure oxygen, instead of air, is used to increase the flame temperature to allow localized melting of the workpiece material in a room environment. A common propane/air flame burns at about 2,250 K, a propane/oxygen flame burns at about 2,526 K, an oxyhydrogen flame burns at 3,073 K and an acetylene/oxygen flame burns at about 3,773 K.

Concrete Composite construction material

Concrete, usually Portland cement concrete, is a composite material composed of fine and coarse aggregate bonded together with a fluid cement that hardens over time—most frequently in the past a lime-based cement binder, such as lime putty, but sometimes with other hydraulic cements, such as a calcium aluminate cement or Portland cement. It is distinguished from other, non-cementitious types of concrete all binding some form of aggregate together, including asphalt concrete with a bitumen binder, which is frequently used for road surfaces, and polymer concretes that use polymers as a binder.

Often used as a heavy duty demolition tool, the thermic lance is also used to remove seized axles of heavy machinery without damaging the bearings or axle housing. This technique is often used on the pins and axles of large equipment such as cranes, ships, bridges, and sluice-gates.

The temperature at which a thermal lance operates varies depending on the environment. [1] Kosanke gives the maximum temperature to be 4500 °C (8130 °F), [2] while Wang calculates it to be 2730 °C (4950 °F). [3]

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Pasteurization or pasteurisation is a process in which water and certain packaged and non-packaged foods are treated with mild heat, usually to less than 100 °C (212 °F), to eliminate pathogens and extend shelf life. The process is intended to destroy or deactivate organisms and enzymes that contribute to spoilage or risk of disease, including vegetative bacteria, but not bacterial spores. Since pasteurization is not sterilization, and does not kill spores, a second "double" pasteurization will extend the quality by killing spores that have germinated.

Calorimeter instrument for measuring heat

A calorimeter is an object used for calorimetry, or the process of measuring the heat of chemical reactions or physical changes as well as heat capacity. Differential scanning calorimeters, isothermal micro calorimeters, titration calorimeters and accelerated rate calorimeters are among the most common types. A simple calorimeter just consists of a thermometer attached to a metal container full of water suspended above a combustion chamber. It is one of the measurement devices used in the study of thermodynamics, chemistry, and biochemistry.

Candle solid block of wax with embedded wick

A candle is an ignitable wick embedded in wax, or another flammable solid substance such as tallow, that provides light, and in some cases, a fragrance. A candle can also provide heat, or be used as a method of keeping time. The candle can be used during the event of a power outage to provide light.

Thermite mixture

Thermite is a pyrotechnic composition of metal powder, which serves as fuel, and metal oxide. When ignited by heat, thermite undergoes an exothermic reduction-oxidation (redox) reaction. Most varieties are not explosive, but can create brief bursts of heat and high temperature in a small area. Its form of action is similar to that of other fuel-oxidizer mixtures, such as black powder.

Pyrolysis is the thermal decomposition of materials at elevated temperatures in an inert atmosphere. It involves a change of chemical composition and is irreversible. The word is coined from the Greek-derived elements pyro "fire" and lysis "separating".

Cracking (chemistry) thermal or catalytic decomposition of a compound such as a hydrocarbon into chemical species of smaller molecular weight

In petrochemistry, petroleum geology and organic chemistry, cracking is the process whereby complex organic molecules such as kerogens or long-chain hydrocarbons are broken down into simpler molecules such as light hydrocarbons, by the breaking of carbon-carbon bonds in the precursors. The rate of cracking and the end products are strongly dependent on the temperature and presence of catalysts. Cracking is the breakdown of a large alkane into smaller, more useful alkenes. Simply put, hydrocarbon cracking is the process of breaking a long-chain of hydrocarbons into short ones. This process requires high temperatures and high pressure.

The therm is a non-SI unit of heat energy equal to 100000 British thermal units (Btu). It is approximately the energy equivalent of burning 100 cubic feet – often referred to as 1 CCF – of natural gas.

High-speed steel subset of tool steels

High-speed steel is a subset of tool steels, commonly used as cutting tool material.

Thorium dioxide Chemical compound

Thorium dioxide (ThO2), also called thorium(IV) oxide, is a crystalline solid, often white or yellow in color. Also known as thoria, it is produced mainly as a by-product of lanthanide and uranium production. Thorianite is the name of the mineralogical form of thorium dioxide. It is moderately rare and crystallizes in an isometric system. The melting point of thorium oxide is 3300 °C – the highest of all known oxides. Only a few elements (including tungsten and carbon) and a few compounds (including tantalum carbide) have higher melting points. All thorium compounds are radioactive because there are no stable isotopes of thorium.

Tungsten carbide chemical compound

Tungsten carbide is a chemical compound containing equal parts of tungsten and carbon atoms. In its most basic form, tungsten carbide is a fine gray powder, but it can be pressed and formed into shapes through a process called sintering for use in industrial machinery, cutting tools, abrasives, armor-piercing rounds, other tools and instruments, and jewelry.

Lampworking Type of glasswork where a torch or lamp is primarily used to melt the glass

Lampworking is a type of glasswork where a torch or lamp is primarily used to melt the glass. Once in a molten state, the glass is formed by blowing and shaping with tools and hand movements. It is also known as flameworking or torchworking, as the modern practice no longer uses oil-fueled lamps. Although lack of a precise definition for lampworking makes it difficult to determine when this technique was first developed, the earliest verifiable lampworked glass is probably a collection of beads thought to date to the fifth century BC. Lampworking became widely practiced in Murano, Italy in the 14th century. In the mid 19th century lampwork technique was extended to the production of paperweights, primarily in France, where it became a popular art form, still collected today. Lampworking differs from glassblowing in that glassblowing uses a furnace as the primary heat source, although torches are also used.

Heating element converts electricity into heat through the process of resistive or Joule heating (electric current passing through the element encounters resistance, resulting in heating of the element; this process is independent of the direction of current flow)

A heating element converts electrical energy into heat through the process of Joule heating. Electric current through the element encounters resistance, resulting in heating of the element. Unlike the Peltier effect, this process is independent of the direction of current.

Electric arc furnace a furnace that uses electricity as a source of heat

An electric arc furnace (EAF) is a furnace that heats charged material by means of an electric arc.

Ferrocerium pyrophoric alloy whose primary components are cerium and iron

Ferrocerium is a synthetic pyrophoric alloy that produces hot sparks that can reach temperatures of 3,000 °C (5,430 °F) when rapidly oxidized by the process of striking the rod, thereby fragmenting it and exposing those fragments to the oxygen in the air. This property allows it to have many commercial applications, such as the ignition source for lighters, strikers for gas welding and cutting torches, deoxidization in metallurgy, and ferrocerium rods. Due to ferrocerium's ability to ignite in adverse conditions, rods of ferrocerium are commonly used as an emergency combustion device in survival kits.

Thermic may refer to:

Hot blast

Hot blast refers to the preheating of air blown into a blast furnace or other metallurgical process. As this considerably reduced the fuel consumed, hot blast was one of the most important technologies developed during the Industrial Revolution. Hot blast also allowed higher furnace temperatures, which increased the capacity of furnaces.

Pulse tube refrigerator

The pulse tube refrigerator (PTR) or pulse tube cryocooler is a developing technology that emerged largely in the early 1980s with a series of other innovations in the broader field of thermoacoustics. In contrast with other cryocoolers, this cryocooler can be made without moving parts in the low temperature part of the device, making the cooler suitable for a wide variety of applications.

Spark (fire) incandescent particle

A spark is an incandescent particle. Sparks may be produced by pyrotechnics, by metalworking or as a by-product of fires, especially when burning wood.

Blowtorch fuel-burning tool for applying flame and heat for various applications

A blowtorch, or blowlamp (UK), is a fuel-burning tool used for applying flame and heat to various applications, usually metalworking.


  1. LaGuardia, Thomas S. (2004). "Chapter 16.3: Characterization; Description of Select Technologies". The Decommissioning Handbook. New York: ASME Press. pp. 4‐46. ISBN   978-0-89448-041-6.
  2. Kosanke, B. J.; Sturman, B.; Kosanke, K.; von Maltitz, I.; Shimizu, T.; Wilson, M. A.; Kubota, N.; Jennings-White, C.; Chapman, D. (2004). Pyrotechnic Chemistry. Journal of Pyrotechnics. p. 124. ISBN   978-1-889526-15-7.
  3. Wang, Haorong; Hlavacek, Vladimir; Pranda, Pavol (2004). "Model Analysis of Thermal Lance Combustion". Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research. 43 (16): 4703. doi:10.1021/ie030729r.