VBN Components launches new cemented carbide for metal Additive Manufacturing

December 4, 2018

VBN Components launches new cemented carbide for metal Additive Manufacturing

Drill bits in Vibenite 480, produced in collaboration with Epiroc (Courtesy VBN Components)


VBN Components AB, Uppsala, Sweden, has launched a new cemented carbide for metal Additive Manufacturing, the hard metal Vibenite® 480. The alloy is said to be corrosion resistant as well as extremely heat and wear resistant, and its suitability for metal AM is expected to enable the manufacturing of industrial tools and components in complex shapes, while reducing the environmental impact of their production.

Ulrik Beste, PhD Materials Science and Tribology and CTO of VBN Components, stated, “It is a particular kind of joy for me, as a material developer, to introduce such ground-breaking news within the area of hard metals. We turn the page in the book of Swedish material history.” Vibenite 480 is based on metal powder produced through large-scale industrial gas atomisation, and combines the toughness of Powder Metallurgy high speed steels (PM-HSS) with the heat resistance of cemented carbides. To reflect this combination, the new group of materials is named hybrid carbides.

The material has a carbide content of ~65%, making it tougher than regular hard metals and therefore suitable for the production of more complex details. According to VBN, the material is aimed at applications where steel would normally be used, but where a switch to hard metal could increase production efficiency and geometrical complexity. This could mean that metal cutting tools which today are manufactured by machining steel bars could be replaced by the hybrid carbide and run with higher speed, thanks to higher heat resistance.

In addition to enabling the production of more complex shapes, Vibenite 480 is said to allow the production of much larger objects in a single piece than is possible using conventional hard metal manufacturing techniques. This adds to the number of possible usage areas and offers new opportunities for the production of prototypes.

“We have learned an enormous amount on how to 3D print alloys with high carbide content and we see that there’s so much more to do within this area,” stated Martin Nilsson, CEO of VBN Components. “We have opened a new window of opportunity where a number of new materials can be invented.”

The material is well-adapted for products with extreme demands on wear and heat resistance, such as tools for thermoforming, die casting, cutting and woodworking. Rock drilling is another application where VBN Components has reportedly already begun a collaboration with Swedish company Epiroc.


Download the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Our latest issue is now available to view online or download in PDF format.

As well as an extensive AM industry news section, this 184-page issue includes articles and reports on:

  • Cheaper powders, faster build speeds and no thermal stresses? How AM is going supersonic at SPEE3D
  • Current perspectives on metal AM: Hype, volume manufacturing and the geographies of production
  • AM Ventures: An insider’s perspective on venture capital for start-ups in Additive Manufacturing
  • Binder Jetting and beyond: Optimising the use of metal powders for Additive Manufacturing
  • From lightweighting and material efficiency to energy consumption: Where are we on AM’s sustainability journey?
  • AM’s industrial impact celebrated as Sweden hosts ASMET’s fourth Metal Additive Manufacturing Conference
  • Euro PM2019: Effects of humidity and storage conditions on Additive Manufacturing powder quality
  • > More information

Latest news


    Sign up to our e-newsletter, sent weekly to AM professionals and end-users around the world. We'll also let you know each time a new issue of Metal AM magazine is available.

    Discover our magazine archive…

    The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:
    • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
    • Articles on technology and application trends
    • Information on materials developments
    • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
    • International industry news
    All past issues are available to download in PDF format, in either single page format or as double-page “spreads” for viewing on large monitors. All downloads are free of charge. Go to archive...

    Connect with us

    Visit our social media channels and sign up to our e-newsletter