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Metav 2020 / VBN Components Redefining wear resistance

| Editor: Steffen Donath

Swedish VBN Components will be visiting Metav in March. At their booth you can have a close look at their products from the field of metal 3D printing.

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Gear hob in Vibenite 280 reduces production cost by 30-40 %.
Gear hob in Vibenite 280 reduces production cost by 30-40 %.
(Source: VBN Components)

Metal 3D printing has many advantages. It is far more environmentally friendly than traditional industry, and it makes product development almost as fast as you can come up with a new design, the company states. More complex shapes are possible, followed by new functions for industrial components.

Vibenite materials are offered with a hardness between 58–72 HRC. Very fine and well-dispersed carbides make them both tougher and multiple times more wear resistant than traditional alloys. Components and tools are printed according to customer designs and may contain up to 65 vol% of carbides, depending on which Vibenite material the customer has chosen. For multiple properties in the same component, one Vibenite material can be printed upon another, or upon a traditional material, which is called Vibenite Combo.

Since December 2018 VBN offers the cemented carbide Vibenite 480, that combines the toughness of powder metallurgical high-speed steels (PM-HSS) with the heat resistance of cemented carbides. The carbides (65 vol%) are fine and well-dispersed, giving a structure with higher toughness than traditional cemented carbides. Long-term hot hardness has been measured to 750 °C for this corrosion resistant material with a hardness of ~66 HRC.

“Many organisations with great resources are aiming at developing 3D printed cemented carbide that can actually be used for industrial components, but VBN Components is the only one that has actually succeeded,” says Dr Ulrik Beste, Chief Technical Officer.

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Today there are five materials in the Vibenite portfolio. They are all based on metal powder produced through large scale, industrial gas atomisation, minimising both costs and environmental impact. In 2017 the material Vibenite 290 attracted great attention. It has a carbide content of 25 vol% and its hardness of ~72 HRC gave it the name “the world’s hardest steel”. The alloy’s unique properties make it suitable for any type of application where wear resistance and hot hardness are important, for instance cutting tools.

Vibenite 350, a corrosion resistant material with a hardness of ~60 HRC is ideally suited to plastic processing tools as well as pump impellers or valves, where there is a requirement for both complex shapes and high performance. The toughest material of the portfolio, Vibenite 150, is ideal for tool holders, cold work applications or plastic materials processing tools. Like all Vibenite materials, it can be used to increase wear resistance in your current applications.

For cutting applications like gear hobs, broaches or shaper cutters, Vibenite 280 is a suitable choice. It has proven to raise production capacity for industrial tools, for instance in gear box production, where production cost was reduced by 30–40 % by changing to Vibenite gear hobs, VBN Components explains. Extreme erosive resistance has also been noted in other type of customer applications.

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