Metallic supplies with exceptional properties. This has been the main target of Swedish firm VBN Elements for the reason that very begin. In the midst of the monetary disaster in 2008, VBN noticed the chance to show the metal enterprise the wrong way up by utilizing additive manufacturing of excessive energy, carbide-rich supplies. Right now they current a spread of patented alloys with distinctive efficiency.
The Vibenite® supplies
VBN Elements nurtures the Swedish heritage throughout the metallic business by constantly creating new and improved supplies branded Vibenite®. Sweden was one of many first nations on the planet to provide industrial metal with purity as a key issue. VBN takes this to the subsequent stage by 3D printing supplies distinctive of their composition, providing distinctive put on resistance. Their properties are achieved by a patented additive manufacturing course of by means of which metallic supplies with 100% density may be produced. Small sized uniformly distributed carbides in a particular matrix are the rationale for the supplies’ efficiency. They’re all produced from a base of gasoline atomized metallic powder and are subsequently categorized as powder metallurgy supplies.
Vibenite® expertise permits the consumer to modify to a extra put on resistant materials than what may be produced with conventional manufacturing. When 3D printing, most manufacturing and transportation steps are eradicated, materials utilization optimized, and environmental affect considerably decreased. Each efficiency and life-time of elements enhance with Vibenite®. These properties are simply examined by merely printing a full-quality prototype and working it! Higher materials properties are usually not heard of within the 3D printing enterprise at this time, the place sometimes tough geometries are promoted.
Vibenite® 290, the world’s hardest metal
Right now there are 5 several types of Vibenite® supplies, with a hardness vary from 58-72 HRC (600-1100 HV). Amongst them we discover the world’s hardest metal, Vibenite® 290 with 25% carbide content material. Its hardness of 72 HRC means it may by no means be processed historically. It was lately put by means of two abrasion exams to measure put on towards rock, in collaboration with Robit Plc. The outcomes spoke for themselves; Vibenite® 290 confirmed solely 50% of the wear and tear charge in comparison with reference materials H500 (51 HRC) within the first take a look at, and 25% of the wear and tear charge within the second. H500 is usually utilized in most of these abrasion lab-tests.
Vibenite® 480 – a brand new kind of cemented carbide
Lately, VBN Elements introduced that they’ll print cemented carbide. One of these materials has beforehand been thought of “unimaginable” to print, because of excessive carbide content material. Vibenite® 480 accommodates an astonishing ~65% of carbides, which actually beats al the chances. There isn’t a mixing, drying, urgent or sintering wanted, as within the conventional course of. It has a long-term warmth resistance of 750°C, is corrosion resistant and magnetic. Vibenite® 480 is niched each in the direction of purposes the place metal is often used, however the place changing it with laborious metallic would enhance manufacturing effectivity, and in addition in the direction of laborious metallic purposes with advanced geometry. Because it combines the perfect of two materials worlds – powder metallurgy high-speed metal and cemented carbide, it’s known as “hybrid carbide”.
Milestones and future tasks
These materials improvements have raised numerous consideration. Already in 2013, VBN Elements was awarded with Sweden’s largest and most necessary innovation prize, SKAPA, established in honor of Alfred Nobel. In that very same 12 months, Swedish metal big Uddeholms AB contested VBN’s first patent concerning excessive purity in excessive carbon content material supplies. It took 5 years earlier than the battle was lastly settled, in favor of VBN Elements, on the European Patent Workplace (EPO) in Munich. Not lengthy thereafter, simply earlier than Christmas of 2018, a multi-million license settlement was signed with a world engineering group. It implies an unique license inside a particular area of interest of high-strength elements, which is saved confidential for now.
VBN Elements is the one firm 3D printing alloys with excessive carbon content material, leading to laborious and put on resistant distinctive supplies. The extraordinarily excessive cleanliness of Vibenite® alloys offers very excessive fatigue resistance. Following this path, VBN will proceed creating new metallic alloys and novel methods to print these. The probabilities are huge, from “Vibenite® Combo” which suggests printing Vibenite® upon different present elements, to “Vibenite® Grado” which might give totally different properties in several elements of the part.
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