6K Additive Partners With Z3DLab

Partnership entails manufacture of high-performance titanium powders for medical and aerospace applications in additive manufacturing.

Partnership entails manufacture of high-performance titanium powders for medical and aerospace applications in additive manufacturing.

6K Additive, a division of 6K Inc. and company vested in sustainable material production for additive manufacturing, has set up a partnership with France-based Z3DLab for the production of its advanced ZTi alloys range. The partnership is intended to drive new advanced additive manufacturing materials for applications in the medical implant market with additional material developments for the aerospace industry in the future, the companies report.

6K Additive will process Z3DLab’s ZTi alloys through its UniMelt technology to produce spherical, dense powders to be used for additive manufacturing.

Z3DLab’s ZTi Powders include materials for powder bed fusion (PBF) and directed energy deposition (DED) systems with formulations intended to improve on the ductility, wear resistance and heat oxidation relative to Ti64. The ZTi-Med alloys range includes ZTM14N, a biocompatible titanium ternary alloy designed to maintain a strength-ductility ratio with elasticity of ZTM14N, an innovation within AM materials.

The low elastic modulus of 38 GPa matches the elastic modulus range of human bone (~5-30 GPa) making this powder an ideal material for medical implants, according to the companies.

“Our ZTM14N material is unique for the medical implant industry and has tremendous growth opportunity in the space,” says Dr. Madjid Djemai, president of Z3DLab. “6K Additive’s UniMelt delivers the required high yields of highly spheroidized powder that enables us to cost-effectively deliver our material to the market. This partnership benefits not only 6K Additive and Z3DLab but also the customers we serve.”

“As a company dedicated to sustainability, we believe that the future of AM lies in high-performance alloys that can make lighter, stronger components with longer lifespans,” says Francois Bonjour, European sales director for 6K Additive. “Our UniMelt production scale powder manufacturing platform can process a near-infinite range of alloys thanks to its microwave plasma energy source and unparalleled controllability.”

A key benefit of 6K’s UniMelt process is the ability to use scrap, revert or used powder as feedstock, eliminating the need for virgin material extraction while simultaneously improving the quality of the final powder compared to traditional atomization methods. Z3DLab’s high-performance alloys can be reprocessed in the same way.

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

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