KBM Advanced Materials, LLC, Fairfield, Ohio, USA, has reported that its RocketPowder GRCop-42 alloy powder has been qualified to run on Velo3D’s Sapphire family of metal Additive Manufacturing machines. Furthermore, KBM stated that parts produced using the company’s RocketPowder were found to have superior thermal conductivity to those additively manufactured in GRCop-42 powders from alternative sources.
GRCop-42 is a copper, niobium and chromium alloy originally developed and produced by NASA. The material is well suited for space and hypersonic applications due to its high heat transfer and increased strength versus pure copper. Having noticed an uptick in requests for GRCop-42, KBM invested in developing its own exclusive supply chain for this hard-to-source speciality powder.
RocketPowder GRCop-42 reportedly took over nine months to perfect, becoming KBM’s first in-house powder offering.
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“We formed a unique technical and production partnership to develop this specialty alloy,” stated Kevin Kemper, KBM’s CEO. “Meeting specifications was a challenge, but we were confident we had a repeatable and reliable process. Having our GRCop-42 added to Velo3D’s list of qualified materials ensures all our customers that we are producing the highest quality powder for their production needs.”
Velo3D was one of the first Additive Manufacturing companies to work with GRCop-42. The company noticed that this material took more energy to melt, with heat dissipating faster, and therefore undertook efforts to rework process parameters to achieve maximum material properties. As a result of this extensive process, Velo3D has only qualified three companies from which to source this material, with KBM’s RocketPowder GRCop-42 reputedly standing out for its thermal conductivity after Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP).
KBM’s RocketPowder GRCop-42 is available for distribution to customers across the world. For US customers, all final processing takes place in-house, ensuring a traceable, domestic, supply chain of GRCop-42.