Future with tradition.

Every success has a history

The Thermit reaction was discovered in 1893 by Prof. Hans Goldschmidt, a German chemist, and patented in 1895. In 1899 the first commercial application of Thermit was the welding of Tram tracks in Essen, Germany. Aluminothermic welding has made pioneered the installation of continuous welded rails by uniformly uniting the railway track ends and is the fastest method of joining large pieces of steel. It is essentially a “portable foundry” and can be used in any location. Thermitrex (Pty) Ltd in Boksburg East, Gauteng, RSA was established in 1971. It is a member of Goldschmidt-Thermit Group a multinational company with 23 subsidiaries located worldwide and its headquarters are located in Leipzig, Germany. Thermitrex has a foundry located on the company premises, which manufactures ferro-alloys that is used as a raw material in the Aluminothermic mixture. The ferro-alloys are exported to sister companies worldwide.

Business Development

1847

Theodor Goldschmidt establishes the "Chemische Fabrik Th. Goldschmidt" in Berlin, Germany.

1875

The company founder Theodor Goldschmidt passes away.

1882

After receiving his PhD in chemistry Karl Goldschmidt takes on sole management responsibility for the time being of the Chemische Fabrik Th. Goldschmidt company.

1888

For about 30 years the brothers Karl and Hans Goldschmidt share responsibility for the company – Karl Goldschmidt as entrepreneur and politician with a social conscience and Hans Goldschmidt as a chemist who promotes technical development.

1889

Relocation of the “Chemische Fabrik Th. Goldschmidt” to Essen, Germany.

1896

Implementation of a company health insurance fund.

1897

Implementation of a staff pension fund.

1900

The "Allgemeine Thermit-Gesellschaft" company is founded to market the thermite process.
Registration of the THERMIT® trademark.


Product Development

1895

The imperial patent no. 96317 marks the start of a real success story. Prof. Hans Goldschmidt develops the aluminothermic process – the basis for the Thermit® process for the continuous welding of railway tracks.

1899

Goldschmidt is awarded the first patent in the area of track welding with patent DRP 116400 for aluminothermic butt welding.
The first track welds with Thermit® are made for the Essen tramways.


Business Development

1902

The “Allgemeine Thermit-Gesellschaft” company has its own generous exhibition pavilion at the famous Düsseldorf industrial and commercial exhibition. The company receives a gold medal for the aluminothermic process.

1904

Foundation of Thermit Ltd. in London, Great Britain and Goldschmidt Thermit Co. in New York, USA.

1906

Société Anonyme de l‘Aluminothermit founded in Paris, France, with C. Delachaux as the first managing director.
In Jersey City, USA, Goldschmidt Thermit Co. sets up a factory to produce welding materials.

1909

Australian Thermit Co. founded in Sydney, Australia.

1911

The Chemische Fabrik Th. Goldschmidt becomes a joint stock company (AG).


Product Development

1904

The first track welds with Thermit® are made on the Hungarian state railway in Budapest. These represent the first known welds carried out on railway tracks.

1909

In Tokyo, Japan grooved rails used for trams are welded with the Thermit® process.

1911

On the Seetalbahn tramway in Switzerland, a longer section of track with a length of about 1,000 m is welded for the first time. The welds prove a success and even in 1924 the welds still show no signs of wear.


Business Development

1918

After the end of World War I, all of the companies abroad are lost.

1919

Elektro-Thermit GmbH founded in Berlin, Germany.

1922

Elektro Thermit GmbH is now completely owned by the Th. Goldschmidt AG company and the company is now based in the Colditzstraße in Berlin-Tempelhof.
The Chemische Fabrik Buckau AG company is acquired and through this also the plant in Halle Ammendorf, Germany.

1923

Theo Goldschmidt takes over the position of Chairman of the Board of the Goldschmidt AG from his father Karl Goldschmidt.

1925

Establishment of switch construction by Elektro Thermit GmbH, which ended in 1989.

1928

Th. Goldschmidt AG acquires an interest in Elektro-Schweißwerk Ing. P.C. Wagner in Vienna to make the first Thermit foreign investment after World War I.


Product Development

1928

The Deutsche Reichsbahn approves the Thermit® welding process as a standard welding process for track.

1935

In Argentina the Roca railway line is the first railway in South America where railway track is welded using the Thermit® welding process.


Business Development

1943

The Thermit facility in Essen is mainly destroyed in a bombing raid. To compensate for this in November of the year a new Thermit production facility is opened in Halle Ammendorf, Germany.

1946

The plant at Halle Ammendorf in the Soviet occupied area of Germany is impounded by the authorities along with all of its Thermit production.

1949

The Elektro-Thermit GmbH company is founded in Essen, West Germany. The existing Elektro-Thermit GmbH company in Berlin from now on concentrates exclusively on switch production and the business of rail welding in Berlin.

1950

The Goldschmidt AG acquires an interest in Thermit Italiana in Milan, Italy.
The Thermit process is used for the first time in Brazil within the scope of a license contract with Monas Ltda in Rio de Janeiro.


Product Development

1945

From 1945 the Thermit® welding process becomes the standard welding process for the tracks of nearly all railway organizations worldwide.


Business Development

1951

Goldschmidt AG participates in the founding of Thermit do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro and India Thermit Corp., India.

1952

A subsidiary of Elektro-Thermit GmbH is founded in in Vienna, Austria.

1953

The Elektro Thermit GmbH exhibits at the groundbreaking trade fair "Rail and road" in Munich.
E.T. Argentina is founded in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1959

Thermit Welding founded in Rainham, United Kingdom.


Product Development

1953

Patent for the ELLIRA® welding repair process.

1955

Patent for the SmW fast Thermit® welding process.

1957

The fast Thermit® welding process SmW becomes the standard welding process on the German railways.


Business Development

1960

Full acquisition of E.T. Argentina.
Merger of P.C. Wagner KG and branch office of Elektro-Thermit GmbH to become P.C. Wagner Elektrothermit Schweißgesellschaft, Vienna, Austria.

1967

Orgotherm Inc. founded in Chicago, USA.

1975

After reacquisition of the Thermit brand rights in the USA and the acquisition of Thermex Metallurgical Inc. including all existing production locations, US Thermit Inc. is founded in Lakehurst, USA. For the time being Orgotherm Inc. remains independent.

1976

Acquisition of Thermitrex in Johannesburg, South Africa by Thermit Welding.

1978

The separate Thermit companies in Essen and Berlin are given a single management.


Product Development

1960

Since 1945 approximately 19,900 km of rails have been joined using aluminothermic welding around the world.

1961

Introduction of the SoW welding process.

1970

Patent issued for the MT insulated joints. In the same year the hydraulic weld trimmer is introduced.

1971

Patent for the SkV welding process and ETEKA5® welding repair process.

1972

The SkV welding process becomes the standard welding process with the Deutsche Bundesbahn and many other railway organizations worldwide.

1979

Patent of the RIFLEX® welding repair process.


Business Development

1981

In January, after a construction process of 18 months, the completely renovated production facility at Lakehurst starts operation.

1983

Complete takeover of Orgotherm Inc.
In Brazil a new Thermit production facility starts operation.

1984

Orgotherm Inc. merges with US Thermit Inc. to become Orgo-Thermit Inc.

1986

Thermit Australia founded.
Thermit Australia acquires the existing Thermit business of Steel Mains Ltd. which goes back to the Goldschmidt company founded in Australia in 1909.


Product Development

1982

Introduction of the ATS-ER automatic tapping thimble.


Business Development

1990

Complete acquisition of the Thermit Italiana and Thermit Welding.
OSG Oberbau Schweißgesellschaft (OSG) founded in Halle/Saale, Germany which on January 1, 1991 takes over and continues the existing Amotherm operations of the former VEB Plastwerke starting with 56 employees.

1992

Complete takeover of Thermit do Brasil.

1993

Form-Thermit founded in Brno, Czech Republic as a subsidiary of P.C. Wagner.

1995

MÀV-Thermit founded in Budapest, Hungary as a subsidiary of P.C. Wagner.
Sale of E.T. Argentina to the Oppizzi family.
Acquisition of Railway Maintenance Services by Thermit Australia.

1996

The plant in Halle is enlarged to 50,000 m² through the purchase of 20,000 m².
Elektro-Thermit Dienstleistungsgesellschaft mbH (ETDL) founded in Essen, Germany.

1997

Winding up of the OSG company with assets transferred to Elektro Thermit GmbH.

1998

Separation of all Thermit companies in Germany and abroad from the Goldschmidt AG and takeover by the assets management company "Erben Dr. Karl Goldschmidt GmbH, Essen (VVG).


Product Development

1998

Patent for the single use crucible.

1999

Patent for the High Performance Weld (HPW).


Business Development

2001

Acquisition of the Elaugen Group with locations in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic and Belgium.

2003

Thermit GmbH founded as Finance and Management Holding of the Goldschmidt Thermit Group
RO-Thermit founded in Rumania as a subsidiary of MÁV-Thermit.

2004

Thermit China Co. Ltd. founded as a subsidiary of Goldschmidt Thermit GmbH.
Relocation of the head office of Goldschmidt Thermit GmbH from Essen, Germany to Leipzig, Germany

2005

Relocation of Elektro-Thermit GmbH & Co. KG to Halle/Saale, Germany and start of the new Thermit production in Halle/Saale, Germany.

2006

Goldschmidt Thermit Railservice GmbH founded from ETDL and Elaugen Essen, Germany
Goldschmidt Thermit Railservice (Österreich) Ges. m.b.H founded in Austria from P.C. Wagner Elektro-Thermit and Elaugen in Vienna


Product Development

2004

SoW-5 welding process approval acc.to EN 14730-1.
Introduction of different measuring devices such as RAILSCAN, RAILSTRAIGHTS, TRACKSCAN and temperature measuring devices.

2005

Introduction of different measuring services such asstress free temperature measurement and geometrical measuring services.

2006

Homologation of SkV-Elite welding process acc. to EN 14730-1.
Stress-free temperature acceptance inspection with the RAILSCAN measuring device on the French TGV high-speed line "LGV Est européenne" before opening of the line and the TGV speed record.

2007

Long-term rail stress measurements up to 2009 using DMS technology in the Citytunnel Leipzig, Germany.


Business Development

2010

Goldschmidt-Thermit Japan Co., Ltd. founded in Japan.

2011

OOO GT-ATS founded in Russia.

2013

Acquisition of PortaCo, Inc., Moorhead, Minnesota, USA.

2014

New construction of the molding shop of Elektro-Thermit GmbH & Co. KG in Halle/Saale, Germany.
Technology Innovation Center founded in Leipzig, Germany.


Product Development

2010

Homologation of SkV-Elite L25 welding process acc. to EN 14730-1.
First measurement of the Eurotunnel with the RAILSCAN measuring device.
Delivery of components for the Thermit welding process with the Gautrain line extension for the soccer world cup in South Africa.

2011

Measurement of approx. 1,000 track kilometers of the high-speed line of the Turkish railways TCDD with the RAILSCAN measuring device.

2012

Approval/release for users for RAILSTRAIGHT measuring devices with the German railways, DB Netz AG.

2013

Supply of components for the Thermit welding process and training and support for welding specialists with the Marmaray historic tunnel project in Istanbul, Turkey where the railway networks of Asia and Europe were connected.
Supply of weld-tempered rails, welding consumables and training for welding specialists for the new Ring Line tram system in Doha Education City, Qatar.
Execution of Thermit welds for the extension of the railway network for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sotschi, Russia.

2014

Introduction of the RAILSTRAIGHT APP.
Introduction of the SMARTWELD SPARK.
Introduction of the Goldschmidt Tools.