Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies and Microbor Technology to Launch Production of CBN Cutting Tools

RUSNANO Supervisory Council has approved RUSNANO's participation in a project that would launch a commercial production of cutting tools using the cubic boron nitride nanopowder (CBN) which is the second hardest known material after diamond. The project products are necessary for rough and final cutting, primarily used in heavy engineering and automotive, mining, and construction.

The Project cost will total 930 million rubles. To implement the project, Microbor Technology, the applicant, is expected to contribute its existing business and 35 million rubles in cash; RUSNANO will invest 234 million rubles into the equity of the newly established project company. In addition, RUSNANO will provide a loan of 461 million rubles to the project company within the next three years.

The Project objective is to set up the complete production cycle ranging from CBN nanopowder synthesis to CBN cutting tools manufacturing. Only the leading vendors (Sandvik, Kennametal, Iscar) specialize in CBN cutting tools. Among them, only Sandvik (the world leader) maintains a complete production cycle for tools manufacturing using micron-sized CBN particles. However, to date there is no commercial CBN tools production in the world that uses micron-sized CBN particles.

The advanced physical properties of the CBN tools (microhardness, wear and heat resistance) result in much better performance while reducing cost of using them by up to 60%.

The project products will be delivered both to domestic and international markets. The first tools are expected to reach the market in Q3 2010.

“CBN tools are top-end in today’s tool technology. The project’s success will make it possible to increase productivity, an extremely important issue for Russia's engineering industry. We will make every effort to inspire the project company to go international. Given the tool's performance properties, this goal is well within reach," says Alexander Kondrashov, RUSNANO Managing Director.

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