New BPA helps the US Army ensure national security while allowing weapons development from domestic feedstock of critical materials from 6K Additive’s UniMelt® production process

6K Additive, a division of 6K Inc. and leader in the sustainable production of materials for additive manufacturing, today announced the award of a 5-year Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) from Army Contracting Command in support of US Army Development Command (DEVCOM) for strategic high-performance metal powders following a competitive source selection. The BPA supports increased weapons research and development initiatives at DEVCOM and helps meet additional demand for manufacturing of prototypes and small quantity manufacturing for Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP). The BPA can be utilized by entities at Picatinny Arsenal in NJ, Benet Labs in NY, Adelphi Laboratories in MD, and Rock Island Arsenal in IL. 6K Additive’s metal powders will be produced utilizing the company’s proprietary UniMelt® microwave plasma platform, which underpins 6K’s capability to source, process, and reclaim scrap components, shop scrap, and used powders for conversion into aerospace-grade metal powders.

Lieutenant Colonel Peter J. Stambersky, USA Retired and Director of Federal Affairs at 6K, said, “My experience from my service in the Army provides me with a unique perspective of the agreement. Clearly, there is a benefit to 6K Additive, but, more importantly, this agreement provides the US Army DEVCOM with access to critical materials for additive manufacturing derived from feedstock right here in the US. This agreement further establishes 6K Additive as a trusted partner for powder and as a source for reprocessing retired components from military aircraft and vehicles delivering a closed-loop, secure material supply to the US Army.”

6K’s UniMelt® plasma production system is uniquely capable of converting high-value metal scrap of numerous forms into high performance metal powders for additive manufacturing, metal injection molding, and other powder metallurgy production techniques. By doing so, they provide, for the first time, access to a vast domestic supply of strategically important metals and alloys such as nickel and titanium from machine shops and boneyards, as well as refractory powders such as C103, tungsten, and others that are critical to the mission of the modern warfighter. The patented 6K Additive process cleans, prepares, and spheroidizes scrap alloys into high-quality powders with performance superior to atomization technologies. This process will provide the US military with a secure, traceable domestic supply of critical materials while eliminating unexpected performance anomalies due to questionable sourcing from foreign supply.

The US DoD will benefit in several ways through working with 6K Additive:

Reducing the risk of dependence on foreign supply

As there is constrained domestic availability of strategic metals such as superalloys, the ability to utilize materials from the nation’s boneyards and machine shops, such as end of life components, shop scrap, or used powders and convert them into high-quality materials, provides the US military with a secure domestic supply of critical metals.

A closed-loop enhanced security

Of crucial concern is the quality and consistency of foreign-sourced materials. Recycling previously qualified DoD parts, shop scrap, and used powders creates a closed loop for material with the quality being known and traceable. Unexpected performance anomalies due to questionable sourcing can be prevented.

Advanced systems faster to the field

High quality recycled materials will help the DoD develop and adopt advanced additive manufacturing, metal injection molding, and powder forging processes more quickly, allowing them to create parts with novel functionality, reduce engineering cycles and accelerate “make-to-fly” cycles. This translates to enhanced lethality with reduced costs.

Managing costs while maximizing quality

Using already certified scrap as raw material dramatically reduces the material cost of goods for manufactured parts and ensures they meet the desired specification.

www.6kinc.com

 


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