The EIT RawMaterials consortium, Berlin, Germany, has financed a collaboration between Swedish-based companies VBN Components and LKAB Wassara to use VBN’s unique wear resistant materials for the Additive Manufacturing of water-powered drilling equipment. The aim of the project is to facilitate more rapid product development for LKAB Wassara.
VBN’s range of wear resistant metal AM materials, titled Vibenite®, consists of Vibenite 150, a multipurpose material with hardness range from approximately 55-63 HRC, Vibenite 280, a material well suited to cutting applications with a hardness range from approximately 63-70 HRC, and Vibenite 350, a stainless material with high hardness and high chromium content.
According to VBN, the collaboration with LKAB Wassara has so far produced part of a thin walled DTH (Down-the-Hole) Hammer using metal Additive Manufacturing, with further testing necessary to verify the tool’s properties. If necessary, the design will be optimised, material-wise and geometrically, before further development.
“Our expertise in material properties combined with the flexibility of 3D-printing, allows us to easily adjust the production process according to our clients’ needs,” stated Martin Nilsson, CEO of VBN Components. “We combine the excellence of LKAB Wassara with our own know-how to develop new methods within water-powered drilling.”