A guy from ERICO came over to our office to demonstrate their "smokeless" cadweld molds.
Essentially this process is a way of making the connections between the copper wire that forms the grounding grid under the floor of the data center. The starting material (copper oxide and aluminum powder) heats the metal to 4,200° F inside the graphite mold, creating a solid, welded connection between two wires. This creates a better connection than does the "normal" method, which is just to screw-clamp the two wires together.
Here they were trying to determine if Cadweld's "smokeless" product was indeed smokeless enough to use in a live datacenter (i.e. where there are computers running). Relative to a normal cadweld mold, which produces a 1ft flame and a big puff of thick black smoke, this is almost nothing. But because the smoke consists of aluminum oxide there is still a lot of hesitation.
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