6K Additive launches refractory metal powders for AM

September 8, 2021

Quadrus Corporation used 6K’s services to make spherical tungsten-rhenium used to produce a non-eroding throat insert for a solid rocket motor nozzle (Courtesy 6K Additive/Quadrus Corporation)

6K Additive, a division of 6K, headquartered in North Andover, Massachusetts, USA, has announced the commercial availability of refractory metal powders for Additive Manufacturing. Materials such as tungsten, rhenium, tungsten/rhenium and niobium-based powders used for defence, aerospace and medical industries are sought after materials for high-temperature, high-strength applications.

Frank Roberts, 6K Additive president, stated, “The leading defence organisations are not only looking for refractory materials like tungsten and rhenium, they are looking for it at production scale. The uniqueness of 6K’s UniMelt® microwave plasma process, combined with the expertise of our operations team, has allowed us to manufacture production scale volumes for many of the refractory powders like tungsten and tungsten/rhenium. We have spheroidised the full spectrum of refractory powders including tantalum, niobium and molybdenum and we are ready to help organisations advance their applications with these materials.”

The UniMelt system is reported to be the world’s only microwave production-scale plasma system, with a highly uniform and precise plasma zone with zero contamination and high throughput production capabilities. 6K Additive currently produces, as commercially available powders, Ti6Al4V (Grade 5 and Grade 23), SS316L and nickel superalloys Ni718 and Ni625, along with the announced refractory materials.

In 2020, 6K Additive completed the construction of a 4180 m2 powder production facility in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, USA. The facility currently has two UniMelt microwave plasma systems commissioned with two additional systems scheduled for installation in Q4 of 2021. The company will also begin construction to expand the powder manufacturing building in Q4, 2021 to add space for six additional systems. Installation of the additional systems will begin in Q1 of 2022.

“We have a focus on propulsion applications that require high-temperature, high-strength materials used in modern rocket nozzle applications,” commented Joe Sims, Director of the Quadrus Advanced Manufacturing Division. “Our tungsten/rhenium powder spheroidised by 6K processed exceptionally well in our selective laser melting machines. Having a reliable, trusted supply chain partner like 6K Additive for refractory materials is critical to our business and to our defence customers. Our powder quality requirements are extremely high, and 6K Additive easily cleared that hurdle for us.”

www.6kinc.com/6k-additive

Latest Industry News

Download the latest issue of PM Review

Our latest issue is now available to download in PDF format, free of charge.

As well as an extensive Powder Metallurgy industry news section, this 124-page issue includes the following exclusive articles and reports:

  • PowderMet2021: A cautious return to normality for North America’s PM industry
  • A ‘hidden champion’ of PM: Celebrating a century of innovation and success at Plansee
  • An industry old-timer’s view on the question of vehicle electrification, misleading messaging and the status of PM
  • Diversity, sustainability, efficiency: How two of Japan’s Powder Metallurgy SMEs are thriving in a challenging landscape
  • Designing AC motors for the electric vehicle revolution? Forget laminations, think Soft Magnetic Composites
  • A route to the sustainable production of battery materials with 6K’s plasma technology
  • More information

Industry News

E-newsletter

Sign up to our free e-newsletter, sent weekly to industry professionals around the world. We'll also let you know each time a new issue of PM Review magazine is available.

Subscribe for a FREE digital magazine

PM Review is the leading international magazine for the Powder Metallurgy industry.
Published four times a year, it is available as a free download or through a print subscription

Connect with us

Powder Metallurgy: The original net-shape production process

Powder Metallurgy components are relied upon by a wide variety of manufacturing industries, from automotive to power tools, household appliances, chemical engineering, filtration and more.

The main reason for the technology’s success is its cost-effectiveness at producing high volumes of net-shape components, combined with its ability to allow the manufacture of products that, because of the production processes, simply cannot be manufactured by other methods.

To discover more about how the technology has revolutionised component production, browse our Introduction to Powder Metallurgy.

Latest industry news

Copy link