TIG or Laser - Both Work for Multi-layer Pipe

Maillefer proposes both aluminum butt welding techniques in its offering. Ultimately, it’s the customer’s local conditions and particular situation that helps make the choice.

Maillefer proposes both aluminum butt welding techniques in its offering. Ultimately, it’s the customer’s local conditions and particular situation that helps lean towards one technology over another. The costs of the upfront investment, the utilities, the consumables available locally, and access to knowledgeable resources play a decisive role.


Weighing-in the decision

Each decision of whether to invest in Laser or TIG is unique. Beyond the subjective choice, there is one of costs, both the upfront capital costs and the operating costs over time. Each situation is different. Some of the questions we take into account when consulting with customers are:

  • What are the costs of consumables in my area of the world?
  • How sizeable is the capital investment and how long is the amortization period?
  • How much expertise and resources are needed to operate the equipment and maintain it?
  • What effect does this technology have on my electrical and utility costs?
  • How can this all this equipment fit in my factory, where every square meter counts?

The list goes on but reveals that there are no readymade answers. A certain effort is needed to study what can work best under specific conditions. That’s where Maillefer helps make the difference.


When Laser is the choice

We made some comparative calculations regarding the overall costs of selecting Laser over TIG. The given conditions reveal that a crossover, where Laser would be more advantageous, takes place after a few years of operation. Admittedly, Laser’s acquisition cost at the beginning is more than TIG. However, it proves to be less costly to operate over time, as illustrated in the chart below.

The crossover point is customer specific since local conditions effect the costs to operate (electricity, consumables, inert gas, hours per day, etc.)


Crossing point of TIG and Laser costs over time


There are essentially three well-respected OEMs that provide quality laser welding equipment used for making plastic-aluminum composite pipe. They are proposed by leading providers of plastic extrusion systems for this specific application. At Maillefer, we claim to have the unique capability and flexibility to work with all three.



Decades working with multi-layer composite

Over the decades, Maillefer has provided nearly 100 systems for producing hybrid plastic and aluminum five-layer composite pipe. Its innovations have inspired many. The multi-layer constructions are well established for radiant heating and passive cooling in building constructions worldwide. Meanwhile, recent innovations are finding new opportunities wherever an effective replacement for metallic pipe is considered, like in natural gas distribution.

Any given answer can change under changing conditions. Choosing one butt welding technique over another has consequences. Maillefer helps customers make the optimum choice. By calling upon an experienced provider, you get qualified input and establish a partnership of long-standing.


Christoph Radermacher
Product Manager, Heating & Plumbing Pipe



Topics: multilayer, technology, composite, pipe & tube, aluminium, Laser welding, welding, TIG Welding

Optimized Head for Multi-layer EVOH Pipe

Tags: Solutions, Product quality, Maillefer, Performance, Upgrade Solutions, Value Corner, Novelties & Launches, Extrusion, Innovation, Pipe & tube manufacturing

Demand continues for multi-layer PE (i.e. PEX or PE-RT) pipe as an alternative to all metal pipe from the housing construction market. Yet, as ...

Read more

Stay in the Game with Enhanced Calibration

Tags: Performance solutions, Uppgrade solutions, Maillefer Services, Product quality, Maillefer, Performance, Production Capacity, Value Corner, Novelties & Launches, Extrusion, Innovation, Pipe & tube manufacturing

What opportunities lie ahead for single layer PEX or multi-layer composite pipes? Within our portfolio of extrusion lines, we include a series of ...

Read more

State-of-the-Art Multi-layer for Heating & ...

Tags: Uppgrade solutions, Solutions, Maillefer, Performance, Production Capacity, Extrusion, Innovation, Pipe & tube manufacturing

The new generation multi-layer crosshead for co-extruding today’s EVOH, PE-RT and PEX materials has arrived. Its nested distributor design results in ...

Read more