K-TIG (keyhole TIG) is a variant of
K-TIG is a precision process and is best suited for corrosion resistant materials and some higher end carbon steels. Check out more information on K-TIG materials here.
K-TIG ideal thickness ranges are:
If it’s thinner (1mm or 2mm), K-TIG welds in TIG (melt-in) mode. In this mode, welding speed will typically be 2x to 3x that of conventional TIG/GTAW and will be single pass,
If it’s thicker - Prepare your materials with a thick landing, and K-TIG will perform a full penetration root pass followed by a filler pass. The filler passes can be performed by K-TIG or by another welding process.
K-TIG is ideally suited to longitudinal, circumferential and corner joints. It only requires a square butt preparation, no
Like all systems K-TIG has some limitations. Here they are, plain and simple:
The K-TIG system welds effortlessly in 1G and 2G welding positions. It’s not intended for orbital (5G/6G) applications.
Copper and aluminium cannot be welded with K-TIG. Likewise low grade, high sulphur carbon steels are generally not suitable.
K-TIG can readily weld pipe diameters down to 3 inches. The tie-in on pipes with diameters smaller than 3 inches become challenging as the weld is completed within seconds and the tie-in (joining the beginning and end of the weld) must be performed over very hot material. Essentially K-TIG is too fast for very small diameter pipes.
We’re proud to say, the K-TIG technology has been adopted by some of the world's most advanced and innovative fabricators. Our customers range from multinationals like GE to industry specialists such as Bilfinger and Aibel.
We activity partner with the world’s pre-eminent advanced manufacturing development centres such as the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC) in the UK, the Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC) in Australia and GE Global Research Centre in the US.
What is it like to be a K-TIG customer? Check out some case studies here.
A K-TIG welding system is delivered as a fully integrated welding cell comprised of the K-TIG 1000 controller, torch, power supply, water cooler, wire feeder and torch mount with compensating slide.
The only additional requirement is some form of automation to provide consistent torch travel speed - this can be almostalmost any kind of welding automation including rotators, positioners, turntables, seamers, carriages, robots, column and booms and many others. During commissioning, the K-TIG controller will be integrated with your automation equipment.
Customers with applications in K-TIG’s ideal thickness range and materials can reduce their welding costs by in excess of 90%.
Switching from GTAW to K-TIG
Relative to conventional TIG/GTAW welding, productivity gains and overall savings of more than 70% are typical, and savings in excess of 90% are common.
Switching from Plasma to K-TIG
Relative to Plasma Arc Welding (PAW), productivity gains of more than 50% are typical.
How are the savings achieved?
Incredibly fast welding times result in dramatic reductions in gas and power usage. Large single pass welds significantly reduce, or eliminate, grinding and reworking. Often edge bevelling is eliminated in favour of simple square butt preparations.
K-TIG can calculate your savings and productivity gains, offering:
On request, K-TIG will generate a K-TIG Savings Assessment at no cost for potential customers with applications which are within K-TIG’s normal thickness ranges
Customers with applications in corrosion resistant materials in an ideal thickness range generally save in excess of 90% relative to their current welding costs
Request a K-TIG Savings Assessment to calculate the specific savings on your application.
Download a case study to review examples of customer savings.
K-TIG is a GTAW variant, not a new welding process. K-TIG is code permissible in any application in which TIG/GTAW is allowable.
K-TIG is one of a large number of GTAW modes/variants as defined by ASME.
ASME doesn’t distinguish between GTAW and it’s variants (ASME under ASME QW-256 (Essential, Supplementary Essential and Non-Essential Variables for GTAW)). GTAW and its variants are all considered the same process under ASME.
Autogenous welding is an acceptable industry welding mode for many applications and can be qualified to rules of ASME Section IX, QW-256 for K-GTAW. Welding Procedure Specifications can be qualified for KTIG welds both with and without the addition of a wire consumable.
Wire can be added to any K-TIG weld. Typically the amount of wire added is nominal, 1-10% of what would normally be used for a conventional melt-in GTAW weld.
Procedure development for a K-TIG weld typically takes hours, not days or weeks. The Keyhole TIG process is simple and can be used in broad operating windows.
K-TIG welds are extremely consistent. Once the procedure has been established, it can be saved to the controller. That ensures high quality, repeatable welds that are fully compliant with an approved procedure. K-TIG welding eliminates variations in weld speed, quality, and welder fatigue.
The running costs of K-TIG welding systems are extremely low. K-TIG’s high speed welding significantly reduces arc-on costs, like gas and power, and system consumables are negligible.
There is no requirement for filler material with the K-TIG system. If wire is desirable, usually 1-10% of previous wire volume will be used.
K-TIG electrodes aren’t consumed in the weld pool. In most applications electrode life is extremely long. Sharpening at the commencement of each shift is usually adequate. A single packet of 5 K-TIG electrodes will last most fabricators 6 months or more.
K-TIG consumes as little as 1/20th of the gas and power consumed by conventional TIG/GTAW for the same weld, dramatically reducing the carbon footprint of our customers.
If the travel speed is consistent, your existing welding automation equipment can generally be used (and integrated) with the K-TIG system.
During commissioning, the K-TIG controller can be integrated with your automation equipment. The K-TIG system can be integrated very simply, or extensively so the entire welding sequence is reduced to a push-button solution.
It is necessary to use the K-TIG power unit due to the high level of integration which is required between the controller and the power unit. It is not possible to connect the K-TIG controller to other power supplies.
The cost of a K-TIG system is higher than a conventional melt-in TIG/GTAW machine, but the return on investment (ROI) is much faster, typically only several months due to the dramatic productivity gains and cost reductions K-TIG delivers.
The cost of a complete system is typically in the range of AUD$119,000 to AUD$135,000 depending on local taxes and customs duties.
A complete K-TIG welding cell is comprised of:
ROI (return on investment) on a K-TIG system is typically several months because of the dramatic cost reductions.
If you are a fabricator welding corrosion resistant materials, K-TIG will review your application and provide you with a Weld Savings Assessment, at no cost. These assessments are compiled individually by our team and will be emailed to you personally. Our team will be available to you for any follow-up questions you may have regarding your assessment.
See the K-TIG Savings Assessment.
K-TIG offers a Performance Guarantee for eligible applications.
If you’re a fabricator welding corrosion resistant materials, you’re a prime candidate for our Performance Guarantee.
Learn more about our Performance Guarantee.
Book a live demonstration to see what K-TIG could do for your company.