KBM Advanced Materials, LLC, Fairfield, Ohio, USA, has launched a NASA standard GRCop-42 copper alloy powder. Referred to as ‘RocketPowder’ by the company, the alloy is made from copper, niobium and chromium and is ideally suited for space and hypersonic applications due to its high heat transfer and increased strength when compared to pure copper.
KBM is a distributor of metal powders across the Additive Manufacturing and advanced manufacturing industries, but reports it noted a significant challenge when sourcing GRCop-42 for its customers. As a result, KBM formed a unique technical and production partnership through which a new, stable, repeatable process was developed for this specialty alloy.
The process reportedly took over nine months to perfect, but is intended to ensure that customers will have reliable access to GRCop-42 for their own production needs. KBM said it expects to deliver multiple tons of RocketPowder per month, which will be processed, tested and packaged in Ohio. By taking this final processing in-house, KBM said it is creating a traceable, domestic supply chain of GRCop-42.
“Our customers were continually asking for GRCop-42, to the point that we said if we can’t source it, we’ll find a partner and invest in developing a production process ourselves,” stated Kevin Kemper, KBM CEO. “This wasn’t an easy task as meeting specifications was a challenge, but we are confident we have a repeatable and reliable process, and the right production partner, to provide quality powder for the highly critical needs of our space and hypersonic customers.”
The GRCop-42 alloy has reportedly been shipped to a major advanced manufacturing OEM who is currently qualifying the powder.