6K Additive Launches Refractory Metal Powders

Production scale of high-value materials such as tungsten and rhenium enables advanced application capabilities in aerospace, defense, and medical industries, company says.

Production scale of high-value materials such as tungsten and rhenium enables advanced application capabilities in aerospace, defense, and medical industries, company says.

Quadrus Corporation uses 6K for making spherical tungsten-rhenium used to produce a non-eroding throat insert for a solid rocket motor nozzle. Image courtesy of 6K.


6K Additive, a division of 6K, a company in the production of sustainable advanced materials for additive manufacturing and energy storage, offers commercial availability of refractory metal powders for additive manufacturing. Materials such as tungsten, rhenium, tungsten/rhenium and niobium-based powders used for defense, aerospace and medical industries are materials for high-temperature, high-strength applications.  

“The leading defense organizations are not only looking for refractory materials like tungsten and rhenium, they are looking for it at production scale,” says Frank Roberts, 6K Additive president. “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 spheroidized the full spectrum of refractory powders including tantalum, niobium and molybdenum and we are ready to help organizations advance their applications with these materials.”

In 2020 6K Additive completed the construction of a 45,000-square-foot powder production facility in Burgettstown, PA. 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.

The UniMelt system is a microwave production-scale plasma system, with a 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 refractory materials. 

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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