6K secures $51M to drive advanced battery material development and global expansion of Additive Manufacturing Powders

6K has just received an investment of $51M in Series C financing round led by Volta Energy Technologies. The latter was joined by new investors (Catalus Capital and S Cap/Prithvi Ventures), and existing investors (Anzu Partners, Launch Capital, Material Impact, and RKS Ventures).

The financing round will help drive several developments across its main divisions: 6K ADDITIVE, 6K ENERGY and 6K FUTURE MATERIALS. As you can see by their name, each of these divisions highlights the focus they address in the industry.

The materials producer is one of its kind in the industry – who does his best to walk the walk when it comes to production of sustainable powders. If you are a regular reader of 3D ADEPT, you are probably already familiar with 6K ADDITIVE’s activities. A part of this investment will serve in the AM powders production’s expansion: an additional 600 tons/year as well as sales and distribution in Europe and Asia.

Its energy-dedicated division will receive $25M of this fund for its Battery Development Center of Excellence. The company plans to add 33,000 sq ft of product development space and double its 6K Energy team. The Center will be fully capable of pilot production with UniMelt capacity equivalent of 400 MWh. 6K is currently sampling customers, and developing products across NMC cathode, LFP, silicon-dominant anode, lithium, solid-state electrolyte, and recycled cathode materials.

Furthermore, to meet companies’ demand across the performance materials spectrum, 6K FUTURE MATERIALS will invest in the identification and development of performance and electronic materials that can be produced cost-effectively and sustainably with its UniMelt plasma production system. 6K has established an advanced R&D team for the development of performance materials including those for applications ranging from semiconductors to electronic packaging to bio-ceramics to name just a few.

This round of capital is a validation of 6K’s model to replace wasteful legacy production technologies with the UniMelt® platform, enter scaled production, meet customer needs, move toward profitability, and transform industries,” commented Aaron Bent, CEO of 6K. “We are joined by world-class investors who are aligned with our vision to transform the way performance materials are produced. And in doing so, we are teaming to solve critical needs of the US and the planet, addressing climate change, supply chain security, and reducing the demand on our fragile and limited resources.”

The UniMelt plasma production system at the heart of 6K’s mission

6K’s mission is to provide a solution for global decarbonization in the production of performance materials, critical to manufacturing and production infrastructure.

As a reminder, the UniMelt plasma production system is the high volume production process that enables the company to make things happen. The machine can produce advanced performance materials in as little as two seconds versus two-three days. The UniMelt system displaces costly and wasteful legacy manufacturing approaches with a lower-cost, smaller footprint production technology, providing a path to meeting the cost demands the market requires.  6K’s UniMelt platform offers multifaceted sustainability benefits like no other material production platform in the world. As an example, if a legacy battery cathode production plant was replaced with 6K’s UniMelt platform, 100% of solid waste and wastewater would be eliminated, energy usage and greenhouse gas generation would be reduced by up to 70%, and water usage would be decreased by 90%.

The UniMelt production process can produce products as varied as batteries materials for electric vehicles, semiconductor materials, 3D printing powders, phosphors, advanced ceramics, and electronic materials, and much more.

Zander Arkin, Volta’s Chief Investment Officer, joins as a 6K Board Director, alongside Board luminaries such as Congressman Joe Kennedy III and Mark Little, previously CTO at GE. “Our investment strategy focuses on technologies that bring a positive impact to the environment and contribute to the rapid adoption of electric vehicles and renewable energy on the grid,” said Mr. Arkin. “Not only does 6K and its UniMelt platform align perfectly to our investment strategy, but the company is well poised to impact advanced material manufacturing for electric vehicle batteries with a solution that changes the dynamic of sustainability in the supply chain for battery materials.”

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