6K Additive, a division of 6K Inc. and a leader in the sustainable production of materials for additive manufacturing, has been awarded a 5-year Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) from Army Contracting Command in support of US Army Development Command (DEVCOM) for strategic high-performance metal powders following a competitive source selection.
The BPA supports increased weapons research and development initiatives at DEVCOM and helps meet additional demand for the manufacturing of prototypes and small-quantity manufacturing for Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP). The BPA can be utilized by entities at Picatinny Arsenal in NJ, Benet Labs in NY, Adelphi Laboratories in MD, and Rock Island Arsenal in IL. 6K Additive’s metal powders will be produced utilizing the company’s proprietary UniMelt microwave plasma platform, which underpins 6K’s capability to source, process, and reclaim scrap components, shop scrap, and used powders for conversion into aerospace-grade metal powders.
“My experience from my service in the Army provides me with a unique perspective of the agreement. Clearly, there is a benefit to 6K Additive, but, more importantly, this agreement provides the US Army DEVCOM with access to critical materials for additive manufacturing derived from feedstock right here in the US. This agreement further establishes 6K Additive as a trusted partner for powder and as a source for reprocessing retired components from military aircraft and vehicles delivering a closed-loop, secure material supply to the US Army,” said Lieutenant Colonel Peter J. Stambersky, USA Retired and Director of Federal Affairs at 6K.
6K’s UniMelt plasma production system is uniquely capable of converting high-value metal scraps of numerous forms into high-performance metal powders for additive manufacturing, metal injection molding, and other powder metallurgy production techniques. By doing so, they provide, for the first time, access to a vast domestic supply of strategically important metals and alloys such as nickel and titanium from machine shops and boneyards, as well as refractory powders such as C103, tungsten, and others that are critical to the mission of the modern warfighter. The patented 6K Additive process cleans, prepares, and spheroidizes scrap alloys into high-quality powders with performance superior to atomization technologies. This process will provide the US military with a secure, traceable domestic supply of critical materials while eliminating unexpected performance anomalies due to questionable sourcing from foreign supply.
The US DoD will benefit in several ways through working with 6K Additive – some of which include reducing the risk of dependence on foreign supply, a closed-loop enhanced security, getting advanced systems to the field more quickly, and managing costs while maximizing quality.