6K Debuts Onyx In718 Additive Manufacturing Metal Powder at Formnext

Premium nickel alloy metal powder for additive manufacturing derived from sustainable sources.

Premium nickel alloy metal powder for additive manufacturing  derived from sustainable sources.

Rocket nozzle produced by Castheon using Onyx In718 premium powder. Image courtesy of 6K.

6K, developer of microwave plasma technology for the production of advanced materials used in additive manufacturing, lithium ion batteries and other industrial markets, is debuting its new Onyx In718 premium powder for additive manufacturing. The company is exhibiting Onyx In718 and over 15 other metal alloys, ceramic powders and parts at Formnext in Frankfurt, Germany, November 19-22, 2019, Stand E22 in Hall 12.

“Nickel alloy 718, which is critical for aerospace and industrial markets, is the perfect alloy to showcase the unique capability and powerfulness of the 6K powder production process,” says Dr. Aaron Bent, 6K CEO. “We are demonstrating powders and parts derived from both subtractive manufacturing certified turnings and powders rejuvenated after laser powder bed processing.”

These powders are created from a more sustainable process (less energy/waste) than traditional powder processes, according to the company. as well as enable a new “point of origin” for used powders and parts.  

Enabled by feedstock sources from reclaimed alloys, combined with the UniMelt microwave plasma system, 6K has the ability to produce powders that provide high sphericity, zero porosity, elimination of satellites, and high flowability and tap density. It is the first in the Onyx series of premium powders that have higher performance and can be made from certified chemistry sustainable sources.

The Onyx In718 material highlights the first two proof points of 6K’s strategy to offer additive manufacturing powders derived from sustainable sources. One developed from certified chemistry machined turnings, and the second from rejuvenated used additive manufacturing powder. 6K will extend this in the future to use feedstock created from additive manufacturing support structures, non-conforming 3D printed parts post-print, and other inputs.

Through its metals reclaimation technology, 6K can specifically target the powder size distribution to the additive manufacturing process of need, including L-PBF, EBM, DED, Binder-jetting or MIM, therefore enabling almost 100% UniMelt process yield, as much as three to four times higher than gas atomization. 6K will be commissioning a new additive manufacturing powder manufacturing plant in Pittsburgh, PA, in Q1/2020 and is currently partnering with customers to prequalify and sample Onyx In718 in anticipation of commercial availability in Q2/2020. 6K Additive will follow by launching Ti-AlV64 in Q3/2020.

About 6K and 6K Additive

6K represents 6,000 degrees. It is the temperature of operation of UniMelt (5778K to be exact), a microwave production-scale plasma, and is also the temperature of the surface of the sun.

6K says it uses advanced plasma processing and industrial systems to create materials that are enabling the next-generation of commercial and consumer products. The company’s continuous UniMelt  process allows for complete and unprecedented control of the entire materials engineering process, to produce materials at exact specifications.

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

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