The world’s first additive manufactured gear cutting hob show peak performance in the toughest test at Volvo


VBN Components AB 2013-08-19

The world’s first additive manufactured gear cutting hob show peak performance in the toughest test at Volvo.

The world’s first additive manufactured gear cutting hob has successfully been tested of Volvo Construction Equipment at their Eskilstuna production unit.

The two Swedish companies VBN Components AB (additive manufacturing of metal components) and Primateria AB (surface treatment of tools) has manufactured a gear cutting hob in the very hard, wear resistant and patented steel Vibenite®60. The complex shaped gear cutting hob has been made through additive manufacturing, also known as free forming. This means that the tool has been made directly from metal powder without traditional forging, drilling and milling. The gear hob has been tested in the production line at construction equipment manufacturer, for production of gear wheels to the vehicle transmission. The additive manufacturing technique will enable desired changes in gear hob design, such as complex cooling media channels and lower components weight, but the traditional design was used in this test.

All produced gear wheels has now been quality approved and the cutting hob milling the same time as traditional gear hobs when they have to be reground, but the difference is that Vibenite®60 hob did not shown any measurable wear at this stage. The large benefit with this is that Volvo most probably now has a tool life that is 2-3 times longer compared to traditional gear tools. This means less down time in production and therefore both cost savings and improved productivity for Volvo.

VBN Components AB has developed free forming of wear resistant materials (Vibenite®) using so called additive manufacturing machines. The additive manufacturing technique is predicted to revolutionize the manufacturing industry and has been called “the third industrial revolution”. This technology has until today been used for manufacturing of expensive components in, for example, Titanium alloys in the aircraft and medicine sectors. VBN Components AB has now shown that this technique suits well for wear resistant steel grades, which open the door for the additive manufacturing into ordinary workshop industry.

Primateria AB has through their special surface treating technology (Primasurf®) and their surface coating technique (Primacoat®) optimised the surfaces and the function of the gear hob after the additive manufacturing. The combination of the VBN Components material Vibenite®60 and the surface tehniques of Primateria has shown to be a world class direct hit!

For more information, please contact:

Ulrik Beste, PhD
CEO, VBN Components AB
Uppsala, Sweden
+46 (0)70-235 86 26

Mats Larsson, PhD
CEO, Primateria AB
Uppsala, Sweden
+46 (0)70-376 43 52

Magnus Andersson
Gear Technician
Volvo Construction Equipment
+46 (0)16-5415994

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