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  • Producing super hard steel thanks to 3D printing technology


    The steel manufacturing process is highly resistant to corrosion and rust, withstands a shortened 750 ° C temperature, because it is literally "printed" thanks to 3D printing technology.

    VBN Components is based in the city of Uppsala, 70km north of Sweden's Stockholm capital, and has printed a superhard steel called Vibenite 480. It has spent years researching it to find out. how to produce alloy containing a lot of carbides by 3D printing technology.

    High heat resistance, variety of shapes

    This steel is highly resistant to corrosion and rust while resistant to heat levels up to 750oC. In addition to outstanding durability compared to conventional steel, the production of Vibenite 480 steel is also shortened by its time "printed" literally thanks to 3D printing technology.

    Vibenite 480 steel can be used as a replacement for traditional steel with a more geometric diversity.

    To achieve the aforementioned durability, VBN Components takes advantage of the durability of metal powders and the heat-resistant properties of cemented carbides.

    “We pursue 3D printing technology. When you have this technology, you no longer need rolling and pressing. You do not need to care about steel processing. In the meantime, you can continue to create many high quality alloys with many materials possessing superior properties. That's exactly what we have done, constantly creating different types of alloys. Because you only need the right powders and 3D printers you can then press them and "me" them, explains Ulrik Beste, chief technology officer and co-founder of VBN components.

    Specifically, the new steel contains about 65% of carbide. This element makes it more durable than other common hard metals. As a result, it is suitable for making raw materials to produce complex details. According to VBN, their Vibenite 480 steel can be used to replace traditional steel with more geometric diversity.

    Shorten production time, save costs

    The company also said that success in using non-traditional technology is 3D printing that opens the future for the steel industry without the need of three steel production processes including: creating molten steel flow, casting materials. and rolled steel. This not only saves costs, but also reduces labor risks and protects the environment by more than 90% compared to traditional manufacturing methods.

    This steel is considered to be super durable with high corrosion resistance and can withstand heat up to 750oC.

    “This technology will change the entire steel production process today. This is really a turning point of production technology. Of course this does not mean you can cast any steel block of any size you desire, but what we are approaching will change your view of metal. ” Mr. Ulrik Best said.

    “We are laying the groundwork for new applications, including new drawings, new designs and new materials. Of course, designers still need to study new knowledge in this industry to fully understand its potential, ”Mr. Ulrik Best added.

    In particular, the new material is suitable for applications where the metal requirements are not corroded, and resistant to high temperatures such as tools used in hot pressing, molding, and carpentry. Producing rock drills is another application where 480 Vibenite steel can have martial arts ground.

    This is not the first time the Swedish company has expressed its ambition to produce ultra-durable steel. In 2017, VBN Components launched a steel called Vibenite 290. It was the hardest steel and was resistant to corrosion and the highest temperature at the time. (TH / Khampha)