What is K-TIG

The Overview

A high energy density variant of GTAW, K-TIG (Keyhole TIG) is a high speed, single pass, full penetration welding technology that welds up to 100 times faster than TIG welding (in materials up to 16mm in thickness), and typically operates at twice the speed of plasma welding.

K-TIG works across a wide range of applications, and is particularly well suited to lower conductivity materials such as stainless steels, nickel alloys, titanium alloys and most corrosion resistant and exotic materials.

It easily handles longitudinal and circumferential welds on pipe, plate, spooling, vessel, tank and other materials. On circumferential joints, it has no difficulty in closing out the keyhole after the overlap and sloping out to leave a high quality finish to the weld. Plus, the system welds effortlessly in 1G and 2G welding positions, can easily weld pipe diameters down to 3 inches, and is perfect for:

  • Titanium at 3mm to 16mm (1/8 to 5/8 inch)
  • Stainless steel at 3mm to 13mm (1/8 to 1/2 inch)
  • Alloys at 3mm to 9mm (1/8 to 11/32 inch)

K-TIG’s incredibly fast welding times result in dramatic reductions in labor costs, welding cycle times, rework and repair costs, gas and power usage. Large single pass welds significantly reduce, or eliminate, grinding and reworking. The K-TIG process eliminates the need for wire and edge bevelling, and requires a square butt joint but can weld into all standard GTAW preparations—there’s no root gap required.

 Learn about K-TIG in action with the TITAN Case Study

The Process

Keyhole TIG is a highly productive GTAW variant. The process was originally developed at the Australian Government’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), in conjunction with the Cooperative Research Centre for Welded Structures. 

K-TIG welding is a new productivity benchmark. It sets an entirely new bar for what can be achieved with an arc welding system. The speed, penetration, quality and overall savings generated by the process are extraordinary. 
Attila Szabo, Principal Joining Engineer, GE

The System

The K-TIG System has been specifically engineered to deliver the Keyhole GTAW process in a robust, intelligent and extremely simple to operate system. K-TIG welding systems are produced in Adelaide, South Australia.

The complete K-TIG system includes the following pieces of equipment:

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