6K, a developer of microwave plasma technology for the production of advanced materials headquartered in North Andover, Massachusetts, USA, reports that its business division, 6K Additive, has commissioned the first two commercial UniMelt® systems for its new 3,716 m2 (40,000 ft2) manufacturing plant in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, USA.
6K is reportedly proceeding through internal product qualification and third-party Additive Manufacturing, and will begin customer sampling in August for its Onyx In718 material followed shortly by Onyx Ti64, whichit announced and demonstrated at Formnext 2019.
According to the company, its process has the ability to convert certified chemistry machined millings, turnings and other recycled feedstock sources into premium AM-ready metal powders. 6K recently became a member of MESA’s association for sustainable manufacturing and is going through the process of certification as a sustainable manufacturing factory for its new plant.
“The commissioning of the first commercial UniMelt systems is the culmination of terrific work by experts in manufacturing, process and materials at both 6K Additive and our parent company 6K,” stated Frank Roberts, president of 6K Additive. “Customers and strategic partners have been eager to sample and use our Onyx powders and we’re ready to deliver.”
“Accompanying the new UniMelt systems, the new facility encompasses automated manufacturing equipment and industry-leading safety and health systems that confirm our organisation is hitting our production goals while ensuring the utmost in safety for our employees.”
The UniMelt system is a microwave production-scale plasma, with a highly uniform and precise plasma zone with zero contamination, and capable of high-throughput production of advanced materials including Onyx In718 and Onyx Ti64 AM powders.
The company’s UniMelt technology can also reportedly spheroidise ferrous alloys like SS17-4PH, SS316, other nickel superalloys including Inconel 625, HX, cobalt-base alloys like CoCr, refractory metals like Mo, W, Re, reactive alloys such as Ti-6-4, TiAl, Al alloys as well as high-temperature ceramics such as MY and YSZ.
The new facility is said to be near 100% completion and has significant expansion capabilities available to it on the company’s 45-acre site. The company plans to commission further UniMelt systems throughout 2021 to meet the demand for its premium AM powders.