6K Additive, a division of 6K, North Andover, Massachusetts, USA, has announced a strategic Additive Manufacturing powder supply agreement and recycling partnership with Incodema3D, Freeville, New York.
Following increased demand and larger volume orders, predominantly from aerospace and defence customers, Incodema3D sought to secure a domestic Additive Manufacturing metals powder supply that met strict quality standards, as well as a solution for recycling its used powder and parts. 6K Additive, through its UniMelt plasma microwave powder production system, is able to provide high volumes of domestically manufactured powder and a route to sustainably recycle Incodema3D’s used metals through its Powder Buy Back programme.
“We are talking to clients now about projects for 2023 that will require ten tons of metal powder per month,” stated Kevin Engel, Director, Additive Manufacturing and metrology operations. “When you’re going through that volume of powder, recycling becomes imperative, and sustainability is key to our business. By recycling our used powder with 6K Additive we have been able to drive down our contribution costs for material by 15% already. Add to it the quality standards both Incodema3D and our customers demand sets a high bar for any one supplier. 6K Additive overachieved on this front.”
6K Additive’s mission is to provide a solution for global decarbonisation in producing performance Additive Manufacturing materials critical to production in markets such as aerospace, medical and industrial applications. Recently, the company released results from a Life Cycle Analysis, the results of which showed a 91% reduction in energy use and a 91.5% reduction in carbon emissions when using the 6K UniMelt process.
Incodema3D undertook its own pre-qualification of 6K Additive’s nickel alloy 625 (Ni625), a high-strength, corrosion-resistant alloy that is popular with many of its customers. Internal qualification samples measured tensile strength, microstructure, density, and chemical composition and benchmarked the results against existing suppliers and their strategic customer’s requirements. 6K Additive’s Ni625 was said to have surpassed every measure used in the assessment, including tensile strength (greater than 125 ksi), yield strength (greater than 85 ksi), and elongation at break (greater than 30%).
“We tested five samples and each one returned density results of 99.9%, which far exceeds the minimum requirement. Anything over 99.5% density in Additive Manufacturing is a good part,” continued Engel.