Tag Archives: CADWELD


We are pleased to announce the launch of a dedicated CADWELD site, a one-stop-shop for specifying engineers and contractors to discover everything they need to know about exothermic welding. Find catalogs, download specifications, watch installation videos and much more at Cadweld.com!


They are extremely versatile as there are literally hundreds of different connections that can be made. If you are still unsure, WAPP is ever ready to assist you with advising what equipment you need for your job. The minimum information that you’ll need to provide to us is what connection you’re trying to achieve, and the dimensions of the items to be connected. For instance, a 120mm2 copper earth cable to cable Horizontal Tee connection. Or a 70mm2 copper earth cable to 19mm ground rod and so forth.


nVent ERICO CADWELD connections are specified and used extensively in the big four mining companies in Western Australia, namely BHP, Rio Tinto, Roy Hill and FMG for their superior connections that will never loosen, break, or corrode.

Did you know that WAPP also offers hands-on public CADWELD training every quarter, or as an in-house training for our valued clients? A certificate of completion is issued to all attendees at the end of each training to ensure that your personnel are job-ready to perform these welds.

CADWELD Training at WAPPCADWELD Training at WAPP

We are the best-stocked nVent ERICO distributor in Western Australia with a variety of molds and charges. Contact us today for all your CADWELD needs.

Components to an effective grounding system

An effective grounding system is one of the most important aspects of ensuring lightning protection. The purpose of this system is to provide a pathway for the lightning energy to safely flow to earth, as if this is not effective the extreme current -given the conditions- can find alternate pathways. If the current does deviate, the damage can range from electromagnetic interference on sensitive equipment and overloading circuits to electrical fires, arc flash and electrocution. For this reason, it is crucial to consult professionals when implementing one of these systems.

Grounding System Components


  1. Earthing network conductor. Conductor must have the current carrying capacity for the maximum fault current for the total clearing time of the fault. Copper or copper-bonded steel conductors are characteristically used for this purpose. WAPP offers various types of conductors for earth grids and bonding ranging from flat copper tape, various copper earth cables to proprietary ERICO Smoothweave cables.
  2. Interconnecting Joints. Connections between grounding conductors are essential to the functionality and reliability of the system, this is how the elements of the grounding system tie together. Exothermically welding the connections, by use of CADWELD provides a superior bond on a molecular level ensuring that it will never corrode or loosen which would otherwise damage the integrity of the electrical continuity. A more economical and procedurally simple alternative are mechanical connectors, these are of bolted, wedge and crimp type which, rely on the physical surface contact to maintain electrical connection. For above ground connections (e.g. fence clamps), this is an acceptable way of bonding.
  3. Grounding Electrode. The grounding electrode (or sometimes referred to as rod/stake) provides electrical connection to the ground and acts to dissipate current to it. Electrodes can be categorised as either “natural” or “made”. A natural ERICO_Ground_rods.jpgelectrode is intrinsic to the structure this could be metal underground water piping, effectively grounded metal framework of the facility, and/or the steel in reinforced concrete foundations. An electrode is considered made when it is implemented for the express function of improving the performance a grounding system this includes buried metal plates, buried mesh conductor and rods or pipes driven into the ground. The ground rod is the single most used, efficient and effective grounding device in the practice today. ERICO has developed bonded ground rods impervious to many issues common in cheaper ground rods, further information see copper ground rods.
  4. Soil Composition. The soil resistivity rating, a measure of ohm-meters, has a large impact on the performance of a grounding system and is to be known prior to GEM25Aengineering a proper grounding system. Based off the soil resistivity the design engineer will locate the area of the most conductive soil and from this, determine the depth the electrodes required to be placed accordingly. The best solution to improving earth composition can be altered to decrease its resistivity through the use of the cost effective Ground Enhancing Material (GEM). The optimal solution is the effective implementation of GEM to reach the desired resistance. There are other solutions such as bentonite which perform the same task however, are deemed inferior, for more information on this see GEM vs Bentonite.
  5. Electrode to Earth Resistivity. Rod surface area and earth composition are the main contributing factors. Doubling radius of the driven rod will reduce resistance by merely 10% and is not a cost-effective option. Doubling the rod length however, will theoretically reduce resistance by 40%. Placement of numerous rods that are driven to a predetermined depth in low resistivity soil.

Western Australian Power Protection (WAPP) offers obligation free consultation and quotation for grounding systems. To speak to a professional to address your specific needs find our contact information on our ‘Contact Us’ page


Exothermic welding is also known as exothermic bonding, thermite welding or CADWELD. It was invented around 1895 by Hans Goldschmidt and refined later by Dr Charles Cadwell. It was first used to weld signal bonds to railroad tracks.

CADWELD electrical connections have become recognised as the ultimate connection for rail, cathodic, power and grounding applications.


The CADWELD process can create permanent bond between copper/copper, copper/galvanized or plain steel, copper/copper clad steel, copper/bronze/brass/stainless steel, steel/steel, molecular bonds with no external or heat source The shape of the mold, its dimension, and the size of the welding material, are all dependent on the items to be welded. In this process, conductors are prepared, placed in a purpose-designed graphite mold, and exothermically welded to produce a permanent electrical connection.

CADWELD connections


The CAD weld have four different features Integrated Weld Metal Package, Colour Coded Weld Metal, Electronic Control Unit, Six Foot Control Unit Lead

Benefits of CADWELD V’s other Connection Types

CADWELD Welded Connections Offer the Following Benefits:

  • Low labor costs and ease of application.
  • Inexpensive, lightweight equipment — saves time and money
  • Current carrying (fusing) capacity equal to that of the conductor.
  • Will not deteriorate with age.
  • Permanent molecular bond that cannot loosen or corrode.CADWELD rebar
  • Will withstand repeated faults.
  • No special skills required.
  • No external power or heat required.
  • Can be checked for quality by visual inspection.
  • Portable system.
  • Exceeds IEEEC 837-2014 Grounding Standard

CADWELD V’s Mechanical Connections

CADWELD Weld Mechanical Crimped Connection
 CADWELD diagram

Mechanical connection diagram

Mechanical connection diagram2

Actual Contact Surface

The CADWELD bonded connection provides permanent conductivity over the whole of the section due to a molecular bonding between the metal surfaces.

IEEEC837 2014 Compliant

The mechanical connection presents a significant difference between the apparent contact surface and the actual surface.

IEEEC837 2014 Failed Compliance

IEEEC 837-2014 Standard Compliance (ERICO CADWELD) exothermically welded connections are engineered to create a permanent bond that withstands repeated fault currents and will not loosen, deteriorate or increase in resistance. The connections are designed to maintain for the life of the conductor and/or installation. It also has a high current – carrying capacity equal to that of the conductor. The melting temperature of CADWELD connection is higher than the melting temperature of copper (1082°C).

Once application has been completed, installers can clearly ensure quality assurance by visual inspection of the new connection.

CADWELD connections2

Where is CADWELD used CADWELD has been the preferred method across many industries but predominantly used for:

  • Rail
  • Grounding and EarthingCADWELD connections3
  • Connecting of cables and tapes/strips
  • Connecting to rebar
  • Connecting to fence posts, pipes and flat steel surfaces
  • Connecting to ground rods and earth grids and much more..
  • Lightning Protection
  • Communications
  • Cathodic Protection

There are hundreds of molds and solutions available off the shelf and custom made. At West Australian Power Protection (WAPP) we can provide the right solution to get the job done right the first time.

For more information call (08) 98451 2199 or email wapp1@wapp.com.au