Sweden’s VBN Components, which manufactures extremely wear-resistant materials, installed a new heat-treatment machine to improve production and significantly shorten delivery times. The URQ-HIP (uniform rapid quenching-hot isostatic pressing), which offers both heat treatment and rapid quenching, will allow the company to manufacture pore-free materials and develop alloys with higher hardness and toughness. In addition to the direct minimization of unnecessary heating, the machine has been equipped with a recycling system for the process gas, which reduces its environmental impact.

VBN Components is known what it says is “the world’s hardest steel,” Vibenite 290, and what it says is “the world's first 3D-printed cemented carbide,” Vibenite 480. Since its inception in 2008, the company has focused on hard, additively manufactured alloys with unique properties. Additive manufacturing is often associated with faster lead times for both development and production, and now VBN has shortened the production chain even further.