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Thermic Lance - Introduction

What is a Thermic Lance?

The Thermic Lance is a consumable steel tube, packed with low carbon steel wires. They are usually supplied in three metre lengths with varying diameters. The lance is attached to a 'lance holder ', which is connected to a suitable oxygen hose fitted to a high-pressure oxygen supply.

Thermic Lancing is the process of cutting and removing stubborn materials by thermo-chemical reaction. When ignited the lance will burn at intense temperatures and is capable of cutting or boring through almost any material.

Thermic Lance boring is a method of boring and severing concrete, steel, cast iron and hard to clean materials without noise or vibration in a fraction of the time taken by conventional methods. It is ideal for demolition work, where noise and vibration are unacceptable, or where speed is essential particularly on reinforced concrete. The equipment is extremely simple and easy to operate, and the capital cost in comparison to drills etc is negligible.

The process was developed in France following the Second World War, as a means of assisting the break up of gun emplacements, submarine pens, and other large concrete structures. Thermic Lancing depends on the fact that red-hot steel will oxidize very rapidly in an atmosphere of pure oxygen.  When the steel is at red heat, it has reached ignition (oxidation) temperature.  

A stream of pure oxygen directed at the red-hot area will immediately form a film of iron oxide. The melting point of iron oxide (approx 800-900 degrees C) is well below the melting of steel (1,400 - 1,500 degrees C.).
The velocity of the high pressure oxygen blows the oxide film away and another film of oxide is instantly formed and blown away.  The reaction is exothermic (gives off self generated heat) and will continue as long as red heat and the oxygen stream are present.  The intense heat generated at the end of the thermic lance, when applied to a material will quicky burn through it and also consume the lance.

The burning action can be stopped anytime by turning off the oxygen supply.

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Thermic Lance in Use

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Thermic Lance in Use

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Thermic Lance in Use

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Thermic Lance

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Thermic Lance

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Thermic Lance Holder

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