VBN Components launches new cemented carbide for metal Additive Manufacturing

December 4, 2018

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.


December 4, 2018

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Download PDF

Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • Metal powders in Additive Manufacturing: An exploration of sustainable production, usage and recycling
  • Inside Wayland Additive: How innovation in electron beam PBF is opening new markets for AM
  • An end-to-end production case study: Leveraging data-driven machine learning and autonomous process control in AM
  • Consolidation, competition, and the cost of certification: Insight from New York’s AM Strategies 2024
  • Scandium’s impact on the Additive Manufacturing of aluminium alloys
  • AM for medical implants: An analysis of the impact of powder reuse in Powder Bed Fusion

The world of metal AM to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of Metal AM magazine, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our twice weekly newsletter.

Sign up

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 as free PDFs or view in your browser.

Browse the archive

Looking for AM machines, metal powders or part manufacturing services?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our comprehensive advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of Metal AM magazine.

  • AM machines
  • Process monitoring & calibration
  • Heat treatment & sintering
  • HIP systems & services
  • Pre- & post-processing technology
  • Powders, powder production and analysis
  • Part manufacturers
  • Consulting, training & market data
View online
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap