Foresight Management carries out independent life cycle assessment of 6K Additive's UniMelt


6K Additive

6K Additive has announced an independent life cycle assessment of its UniMelt process ‘significantly reduces environmental impact’ in the ‘key areas of energy usage and global warming.’

The life cycle assessment was carried out by sustainability and energy firm Foresight Management. Foresight Management uses primary and secondary data, as well as professional GaBi software, to provide data that details the environmental impact of sourcing, refining and processing.

During the life cycle assessment, Foresight Management evaluated the environmental credentials of nickel and titanium powders, with the UniMelt process proving its ability to process materials using less energy.

6K Additive has come to market with its UniMelt microwave production-scale plasma – which is capable of processing materials like nickel 718/625, titanium64 grade 5/23, copper 18450/GRCop, stainless steel 316/17-4 and refractory metals – with a focus on sustainability. The company’s offering is based on the conversion of machined millings, turnings and other recycled feedstock sources into premium additive manufacturing metal powders. Having had the lifecycle of materials assessed by Foresight Management, 6K Additive is now even more confident its metal additive manufacturing offering will help its customers lower their carbon footprint.  

“This assessment goes a long way in revealing how the UniMelt process exceeds traditional metal powder processing in environmentally important ways, while also pointing to the inefficiencies of atomisation that currently plague AM material production,” commented 6K Additive President Frank Roberts. “Sustainability is at the core of who we are at 6K Additive and providing our customers with quantifiable numbers related to the environment helps them move closer to zero carbon manufacturing with AM.”

“This is a cradle-to-end user assessment of the UniMelt technology,” added Brad Van Valkenburg, Sustainability Manager at Foresight. “We studied all known industrial processes from raw material acquisition and processing up through manufacturing and customer distribution. This assessment focused on nickel and titanium powders, both of which saw significant advantages when made using UniMelt process. The nickel results showed the UniMelt required 91% less energy and reduced carbon emissions by 92% and the titanium results showed the UniMelt required at minimum, 74% less energy and reduced carbon emissions by 78%.”

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