6K Additive, a division of 6K Inc headquartered in Andover, Massachusetts, USA, and Metal Powder Works (MPW), based in Clinton, Pennsylvania, USA, announced today at Formnext the signing of a memorandum of understanding and strategic partnership to produce pure copper and copper alloys, leading to strategically important powders such as copper nickel, and bronze alloy powders for Additive Manufacturing.
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The high-yield production achievable with both Metal Powder Works’ DirectPowder™ Process and 6K Additive’s UniMelt® microwave plasma is expected to bring economical advantages, faster time to market, and sustainable production from both feedstock creation and the production of these materials.
“The market for copper is eager for a scalable solution that can not only deliver high-quality material, but one that can bring simplicity to the supply chain with a very sustainable process,” stated Frank Roberts, president of 6K Additive.
“The synergies between our two organisations ensures customers can source their material sustainably, reliably and with the quality that meets their stringent specifications.”
Metal Powder Works CEO and founder John Barnes added, “This partnership is a win for both 6K Additive and Metal Powder Works, but most importantly for our customers who are looking to utilise copper for a variety of applications such as heat sinks, battery components, particularly for the rapidly growing EV market, and critical parts for the marine industry. This alliance with 6K opens up MPW’s technology to provide more materials to the AM market.”
MPW’s DirectPowder process can reportedly produce powders tailored to the manufacturing process through its patented process that provides consistent powder size and shape. Its current powder portfolio includes high-strength aluminium and highly conductive copper powders. The company stated that new alloys are actively in development through its recently launched MPW Developer Network.
Barnes told Metal AM magazine that the partnership will both support the production of hard-to-atomise materials as well as offer a faster path to increasing the availability in powder. There are more than 2,000 approved AMS specifications for barstock, as opposed to sixteen AMS specifications for powder.
6K Additive produces its AM powder from sustainable sources and offers a full suite of premium powder, including nickel, titanium, copper, stainless steel, aluminium alloys, and refractory metals such as tungsten, niobium, and rhenium. The UniMelt is a microwave production-scale plasma system reported to offer a highly uniform and precise plasma zone, zero contamination and high throughput production capabilities.
To find out more, visit 6k Additive in Hall 12.0, C22, and Metal Powder Works in Hall 12.1, F139.