Click here to watch Tutorial Videos >

Custom Engineered Metal Alloy Powders for AM

6K, a developer of microwave plasma technology for the production of advanced materials used in additive manufacturing (AM), lithium ion batteries and other industrial markets, can design and produce High Entropy Alloy (HEA) spherical powders. "By partnering with Castheon, a U.S.-based AM research and comprehensive advanced manufacturing solution provider, the two companies have 3D printed the world's first metal alloy HEA part on a laser powder bed fusion printer," said a spokesperson.

"This HEA1000 demonstrator is an example of the power of 6K UniMelt plasma production technology," said Dr. Aaron Bent, 6K CEO. "We are fulfilling our desire to allow AM designers to `Build Boldly' by providing access to designer alloys not previously possible with today's melt alloy or atomization processes. Our technology finally provides a scalable and cost-effective way to access non-eutectic parts in volume, and we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg."

HEA1000 is an experimental HEA spherical powder for use in commercial consolidation processes such as AM, HIP or powder forging. "HEAs are opening limitless possibilities for having a perfect blend of elements to tailor properties, such as high strength coupled with superior elongation, higher strength-to-weight ratios or stable properties over a wider range of temperatures," said the spokesperson. "To date, introducing HEAs into production volume applications has been virtually impossible due to alloy manufacturing limitations and the scale available from melt processes. The availability of Onyx HEA expands the options for higher performance parts in aero engines, airframes, industrial and medical applications, among others.

In a recent deomonstration, 6K chose a challenging iron-based alloy with near identical ratios of Cr, Cu, Co and Ni. "This composition family has been studied significantly, but has never been made in spherical powder form nor laser printed," said the spokesperson.

6K partnered with Castheon, a one of a kind print house of specialty alloys. "We have 3D printed many exotic alloys for aerospace propulsion parts, which are considered non-printable," stated Dr. Youping Gao, CEO of Castheon. "Yet, this is the first time we have printed a custom HEA alloy that has elements with extreme melting temperatures. No one today but 6K has provided Cr and Cu in the same alloy with almost equal concentrations for AM, and it is simply not possible with melt eutectic alloying."

"Through its metals reclamation technology, 6K can specifically target the powder size distribution to the AM 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," said the spokesperson.

6K is commissioning a new state-of-the-art AM powder manufacturing plant in Pittsburgh and will launch Ti-AlV64 in Q3 2020.

For more information contact:

6K, Inc.

25 Commerce Way

North Andover, MA 01845


Castheon, Inc.

< back