Metal 3D Printing Company 6K Additive Acquires Global Metal Powders


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6K Additive, the Pittsburgh-based manufacturer of metal powders for additive manufacturing (AM), has acquired Global Metal Powders (GMP), a supplier of metal powders based in the Pittsburgh suburb of New Castle, PA. The cost of the acquisition was undisclosed.

With its signature UniMelt process, 6K Additive has the unique ability to produce metal AM powders from scrap, enabling circular economies and optimizing the potential to leverage metal AM for decarbonization. The acquisition of GMP makes sense from multiple angles: in addition to the proximity of its production facility to 6K Additive’s headquarters, GMP also has its own proprietary recycling process, allowing 6K to diversify the ways in which it can deliver on its core business model.

Along those lines, the overlap between both companies’ respective materials portfolios further reinforces the rationale behind the deal. GMP’s existing 16,000 square foot production facility in New Castle will continue to operate under the 6K umbrella.

In a press release about 6K Additive’s acquisition of GMP, Frank Roberts, president of 6K Additive, said, “As the market for sustainably produced powder continues to grow, 6K Additive is the only one equipped to meet the manufacturing volumes demanded by customers for sustainably produced powder, specifically titanium and refractory metals. Adding the operational horsepower that GMP brings to our organization allows us to not only keep pace with the high demand we are seeing for our powders but also further close the recycling loop, which leads to a lower overall part cost for our customers.”

The founder and principal of GMP, Henry Brougham, said, “We are excited to be part of the 6K Additive team and look forward to helping expand their market-leading organization with our proprietary technology. Combining both organizations’ years of experience and knowledge, we will propel the company’s processing and feedstock preparation to new heights.”

Given that GMP’s expertise also lies in refractory metals, the deal should be a boon to 6K’s growing foothold into the defense, aerospace, and space markets.

One potential application is in space 3D printing. On November 16, 2023, at 2 PM Eastern, 6K Additive and Agile Space are co-presenting a webinar on about the use of 6K’s Ni625 (also known as Inconel 625) powder for Agile’s A2200 engine. The A2200 will be used on a Lunar lander vehicle. Agile’s Chief Engineer, Charlie Garcia, and its AM Engineer, Dustin Crouse Sr., will join 6K Additive’s Chief Commercial Officer, Nick Pflugh, to explain why Ni625 was the right material for the A2200. Individuals interested in participating in the webinar can register here.

Regardless of the particular application, moreover, refractory metals in general are at the center of much of the US government’s activity related to AM materials qualification. This seems to at least partially explain the recent five-year contract that the US Army Development Command (DEVCOM) awarded to 6K Additive.

Adding GMP’s capacity bolsters 6K’s ability to follow through on these existing projects, while also putting the company in perfect position to attract more business of a similar kind. It’s looking like it will already be difficult for other areas of the US to catch up with the progress Pittsburgh is making in transforming itself into an advanced manufacturing hub for metal products.

Images courtesy of 6K Additive

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