6K Additive, a division of 6K, a manufacturer of additive manufacturing engineering materials and lithium-ion batteries manufactured using UniMelt plasma technology, has announced a strategic metal powder supply and recycling partnership with Incodema3D. The contract is the result of an increased number of orders for 3D prints made of metals, mainly from clients from the aviation and defense industries, which are carried out by Incodema3D. 6K Additive – thanks to its UniMelt plasma microwave powder production system, it is able to supply large amounts of material and to sustainably recycle Incodema3D used metals under the Powder Buy Back program.

Incodema3D’s Director of Additive Manufacturing and Metrology, Kevin Engel, explains: “We are now talking to customers about projects for 2023 that will require ten tonnes of metal powder per month. When you are dealing with this amount of material, recycling becomes a necessity and sustainability is the key to our business. By recycling our used powder with 6K additive, we were able to reduce our material share costs by as much as 15%.

6K Additive’s mission is to provide a solution for global decarbonization in the production of high-performance additive manufacturing materials that are critical to manufacturing in markets such as aerospace, medicine and industry. The company recently published the results of an LCA study by Foresight Management comparing the environmental impact of 6K’s UniMelt microwave plasma technology with current atomization technologies to produce metal powders. The results showed a 91% reduction in energy consumption and a 91.5% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions using the 6K UniMelt process.

Incodema3D has undertaken its own prequalification of 6K Additive 625 (Ni625) Nickel, a high strength and corrosion resistant alloy popular in many of its customers’ applications. Internal qualification samples measured tensile strength, microstructure, density and chemical composition, and compared the results with existing suppliers and the requirements of their strategic customers. The addition of 6K Ni625 exceeded all measures used in the evaluation, including tensile strength (over 125 ksi), yield strength (over 85 ksi) and elongation at break (over 30%).

It was also important for Incodema3D to provide a scalable domestic material supplier. As 6K additive is used for upcycling and waste from domestic sources, they are not exposed to disruptions in the supply chain. For defense customers, a shorter national supply chain is also preferred from a security and traceability point of view.

In addition to Ni625, the 6K additive enables the production of a full set of metal 3D printing powders including Ni718, Ti64 low oxygen (500-700 ppm), 316 / 17-4 stainless steel, 18150 copper and GRCOP, refractory powders including tungsten , tantalum and rhenium.

Source: 6K press materials

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