The world’s hardest skate blades, 3D Printed with Vibenite® materials

VBN Components recently worked with materials expert Niko Ojala on the production of ice hockey skate blades.

VBN Components is a Sweden-based company that specializes in the production of extremely abrasion- and heat-resistant metal components and tools for industrial applications. The company has recently been adopted into the Swedish Scaleups programme which helps companies to accelerate their growth.

Marketed under the Vibenite® brand, the producer’s portfolio includes five main metal alloys that are not possible to manufacture in traditional ways. 

As part of this project, the team produced these skate blades using metal additive manufacturing technology. Although we did not know which type of metal AM technology was utilized, we know from materials expert Niko Ojala that the team used Vibenite 350 steel alloy. Speaking about the importance of this material in this production, the materials specialist said:  

They are made from Vibenite 350 steel alloy to offer some added corrosion protection and to have hardness about 50% higher than conventional skate blades have. Both should give more “sharp life” to the blades”.

In addition to be corrosion resistant, the Vibenite 350 steel alloy also delivers high wear resistance and toughness properties. Other characteristics include hardness of ∼60 HRC (680-700 HV) and high chromium content. (Fe/Cr-based).

This application is a brand new one for VBN Components which is used to 3D print industrial applications. It also confirms the company’s capabilities to reinvent itself and their products’ potential in exploring new applications.

During a conversation with 3D ADEPT Media, Ulrik Beste, CTO at VBN Components explained that: “the traditional needs of forging and rolling bars and heavy machining limit the traditional materials. But with 3D printing, you can alloy in a different way and achieve higher performance”, hence the endless number of applications.

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