World’s first premium nickel alloy metal powder for additive manufacturing derived from sustainable sources

6K, the world’s leading developer of microwave plasma technology for the production of advanced materials used in additive manufacturing, lithium ion batteries and other industrial markets, today announced the debut of its new Onyx In718 premium powder for additive manufacturing. The company is exhibiting Onyx In718 and over fifteen other metal alloys, ceramic powders and parts at FormNext in Frankfurt, November 19-22, 2019 , Stand E22 in Hall 12.

“Our mission is to provide a better business case for designers and users of additive manufacturing parts, and higher performance powders are a critical piece of that mission,” commented Dr. Aaron Bent, 6K CEO. “Nickel alloy 718, which is critical for aerospace and industrial markets, is the perfect alloy to showcase the unique capability and powerfulness of the 6K powder production process. We are demonstrating powders and parts derived from both subtractive manufacturing certified turnings and powders rejuvenated after Laser-Powder Bed processing.”

These powders are not only higher performing, but created from a vastly more sustainable process (less energy/waste) than traditional powder processes, as well as enabling a new “point of origin” for used powders and parts, necessary for a cost-effective and highly efficient closed loop supply chain.

Enabled by feedstock sources from reclaimed alloys, combined with the UniMelt microwave plasma system, 6K has the ability to produce powders that exceed competitive technologies, providing higher sphericity, zero porosity, elimination of satellites, and high flowability and tap density. It is the first in the Onyx series of premium powders that have higher performance and can be made from certified chemistry sustainable sources.

“6K powders offer a unique and powerful value proposition for the additive manufacturing customer and 3D printing companies,” said Dr. Youping Gao, CEO of Castheon, a leading US-based additive manufacturing research and comprehensive advanced manufacturing solution provider. “Using 6K’s Onyx powders, we are achieving higher strengths and elongation than I have seen before. It is also possible to achieve isotropic grain structure after heat treatment, resulting in near isotropic properties (XY and Z directions), which is very exciting.”

The Onyx In718 material highlights the first two proof points of 6K’s strategy to offer additive manufacturing powders derived from sustainable sources. One developed from certified chemistry machined turnings, and the second from rejuvenated used additive manufacturing powder. 6K will extend this in the future to use feedstock created from additive manufacturing support structures, non-conforming 3D printed parts post-print, and other inputs.

Through its metals reclaimation technology, 6K can specifically target the powder size distribution to the additive manufacturing process of need, including L-PBF, EBM, DED, Binder-jetting or MIM, therefore enabling almost 100% UniMelt process yield, as much as three to four times higher than gas atomization. 6K will be commissioning a new state-of-the-art additive manufacturing powder manufacturing plant in Pittsburgh, USA in Q1/2020 and is currently partnering with customers to pre-qualify and sample Onyx In718 in anticipation of commercial availability in Q2/2020. 6K Additive will follow by launching Ti-AlV64 in Q3/2020.


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