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Tool Steel Guide


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A2 Tool Steel

A2 tool steel is an air hardening, cold work, chromium alloy die steel that is preferable to O1 tool steel in applications requiring greater size stability, machinability and safer hardening. The wear resistance properties and cost place A2 between that of O1 and D2 tool steel making it a good all purpose grade for many applications. The increased wear resistance and lower distortion make A2 tool steel particularly useful in longer production runs on either light or heavy gauge stock. Applications include: blanking dies, forming dies, trimming dies, stamping dies, coining dies, drawing dies, extrusion dies, punches, shear and slitter blades, gauges, knurling tools, rolls, mandrels and machine parts. Common trade names include Air-True, Windsor, Airkool, AL4, Select B, Thyrodur 2363, Airque, Sagamore, Cromo-Loy, EZ-DIE, A-H5.

Chemical Composition:

Carbon: 0.90/1.05
Chromium: 4.90/5.30
Molybdenum: 0.90/1.10
Manganese: 0.40/0.60
Vanadium: 0.15/0.20
Silicon: 0.20/0.35
Phosphorus: 0.025 max
Sulfur: 0.005 max
Temp. °F
Normalizing
no
Annealing 1550-1600
Hardening 1700-1800
Tempering 350-1000
Rockwell C
57-62
Tempering Data
Temper °F Rockwell C
400 60-62
500 59-61
600 58-60
700 57-59
800 56-58
1000 54-56
1100 48-50














D2 Tool Steel

D2 tool steel is an air-hardening, cold work, high carbon, high chrome tool steel with exceptionally high wear resistance properties. D2 tool steel properties combine minimal distortion in heat treatment, high toughness and wear resistance at the expense of grindability and machinability compared to other grades. Its deep hardening ability helps it to resist chipping and cracking. These characteristics along with price make D2 tool steel a high performance choice for applications requiring maximum dimensional stability in heat treatment, toughess, and wear resistance for longer life in long run, high production die applications. These applications include knife blades, thread rolling dies, lamination dies, blanking dies, forming dies, trimming dies, stamping dies, coining dies, drawing dies, extrusion dies, punches, punch plates, shear and slitter blades, gauges, knurling tools, rolls, mandrels and machine parts. Common trade names include Ontario, Aristocrat, Superior No 3, High-Chrome, Olympic FM, Airdi 150, Ohio Die, Ultra Die 3, CCM, AL3, CNS-1, Atmodie, 610, FNS.

Chemical Composition:

Carbon: 1.50/1.60
Chromium: 11.50/12.00
Molybdenum: 0.70/0.80
Manganese: 0.20/0.40
Vanadium: 0.80/1.00
Silicon: 0.20/0.60
Phosphorus: 0.025 max
Sulfur: 0.015 max
Temp. °F
Normalizing
no
Annealing 1600-1650
Hardening 1800-1875
Tempering 400-1000
Rockwell C
54-61
Tempering Data
Temper °F Rockwell C
400 60-62
500 58-60
600 57-59
700 57-59
800 56-58
1000 54-56
1100 48-50














H13 Tool Steel

H13 tool steel is air-hardening, hot work 5% chrome tool steel. It combines excellent shock and abrasion resistance with good red hardness making it ideal for use in die casting. Most commonly used in plastic molds and die casting, its ability to withstand rapid cooling from high working temperatures also make it a prime choice for use in extrusion dies. While designed to be a versatile hot work grade, H13 tool steel has been useful in cold work applications as well, particularly when extra toughness is desired but wear resistance is not important. Other applications include: trimming dies, extrusion dies, forging dies, die casting, forming punches, hot shear blades and mold dies. Common trade names include Dievac, Viscount, Thyrotherm 2344, Cromo-High V, Firechrome 44, Hotform V, VAD13, Potomac M, Thermold H 13, VDC, Hot Form V, Dica B Vanadium, Nu-Die V, Firedie 13, 883.

Chemical Composition:

Carbon: 0.35/0.45
Chromium: 4.75/5.50
Molybdenum: 1.10/1.75
Manganese: 0.20/0.50
Vanadium: 0.80/1.20
Silicon: 0.80/1.20
Phosphorus: 0.030 max
Sulfur: 0.030 max
Temp. °F
Normalizing
no
Annealing 1550-1650
Hardening 1825-1900
Tempering 1000-1200
Rockwell C
38-53
Tempering Data
Temper °F Rockwell C
1000 48-50
1050 50-52
1100 47-49
1150 46-48
1200 43-45














O1 Tool Steel

O1 tool steel is an oil hardening, cold work general purpose steel with easy machining properties and low hardening temperatures compared to other grades. O1 provides good wear resistance and toughness sufficient for standard tool and die applications making it a suitable choice for tooling with good tool life and econimcal production. In situations that require greater size stability during hardening, A2 should be considered. Some common applications include: bending dies, trimmer dies, perforators, broaches, blanking dies, forming dies, gages, cutting dies, bushings, forming rolls, knives, drawing dies, and embossing dies. Common trade names include Badger, Ketos, Truform, Keystone, Oilcraft, Presco, Colonial No. 6, Thyrodur 2510, Wando, Kiski, EXL-Die, BTR, Saratoga, Teenax, Keewatin.

Chemical Composition:

Carbon: 0.90/1.00
Chromium: 0.40/0.50
Tungsten: 0.40/0.60
Manganese: 1.00/1.20
Vanadium: 0.15/0.30
Silicon: 0.40/0.50
Phosphorus: 0.030 max
Sulfur: 0.030 max
Temp. °F
Normalizing
1600
Annealing 1400-1450
Hardening 1450-1500
Tempering 300-1000
Rockwell C
44-64
Tempering Data
Temper °F Rockwell C
300 62-64
400 60-62
500 57-59
600 55-57
700 52-55
800 48-51
1000 44-48














M2 Tool Steel

M2 tool steel is the most commonly used grade of the high speed category. It is a molybdenum tungsten grade with excellent toughness, wear resistance and red hardness, making it preferable in applications where it is exposed to high heat condition from high machining speeds. M2 tool steel is generally suitable for use in applications specified for T1 high speed steel. Some applications include: drill bits, reamers, taps, gear cutters, lathe tools, broaches, boring tools, forming rolls, inserts, punches, milling cutters and end mills. Common trade names include Mustang, Double Six, Vasco M2, REX M2, Micro-Melt M2, Speedstar, Thyrapid 3343, TRM-2, Cheyenne, Sixix, Molite 2, Motung 652, Braemow, 66 HS, DBL-2, Molva-T.

Chemical Composition:

Carbon: 0.85/0.95
Chromium: 4.00
Molybdenum: 5.00
Tungsten: 5.50/6.50
Manganese: 1.30
Vanadium: 2.00
Silicon: 0.20/0.40
Phosphorus: 0.030 max
Sulfur: 0.030 max
Temp. °F
Normalizing
no
Annealing 1600-1650
Hardening 2175-2250
Tempering 1000-1150
Rockwell C
60-66
Tempering Data
Temper °F Rockwell C
1000 64-66
1050 64-65
1100 62-64
1150 60-62














M42 Tool Steel

M42 tool steel is a molybdenum high speed tool steel with 8-10% cobalt added for increased hardness and hot hardness that is superior to other high speed grades. This results in a sharper cutting edge that lasts longer, even when being used to machine high-hardness and hard-to-machine alloys in heavy duty and high production applications. M42 tool steel can be heat treated to a hardness greater than any other high speed steel and achieves the highest level of red hardness making it ideal stainless steels or any other hard to machine grades. This material has been hardened to 65-67 Rc. Typical uses include milling cutters, broaches, taps, drill bits, reamers, punches, saws, knives, and thread rolling dies. Common trade names include Braemax, CPM REX M42, Cyclops M42, Dynamax, Exocut, HS-100, Hypercut, Molite M42, Super Star, VEW S500, Uddeholm 442, Vasco Hypercut.

Chemical Composition:

Carbon: 1.10
Chromium: 3.50/4.25
Molybdenum: 9.00/10.00
Tungsten: 5.50/6.50
Manganese: 0.15/0.35
Vanadium: 0.95/1.35
Silicon: 0.15/0.65
Cobalt: 8.00/10.00
Nickel: 0.30 max
Temp. °F
Normalizing
no
Annealing 1600-1650
Hardening 2125-2175
Tempering 950-1100
Rockwell C
65-70
Tempering Data
Temper °F Rockwell C
1000 68-70
1050 66-68
1100 63-65
1150 60-62














S7 Tool Steel

S7 tool steel is a shock resisting grade with superior impact properties combined with high toughness, machinability and size stability during heat treating. Air hardening and versatile enough for use in both cold and hot work tooling make S7 suitable for a wide range of applications that require shock resistance, size stability and machinability where temperatures of the tool will not exceed 1000°F. Typical applications include: plastic molding dies, riveting diesk, forming dies, chisels, punches, blanking dies, die casting, master hobs, shear blades, engraving dies, moll points, drills, notching dies, bending dies. Common trade names include Bearcat, Supershock 7, Hi-Shock, Super 7 MQ, Simoch, Arapaho, Shock-Die, Cyclops ST.

Chemical Composition:

Carbon: 0.45/0.55
Chromium: 3.10/3.40
Molybdenum: 1.30/1.60
Manganese: 0.50/0.70
Vanadium: 0.20/0.30
Silicon: 0.20/0.40
Phosphorus: 0.025 max
Sulfur: 0.030 max
Temp. °F
Normalizing
no
Annealing 1500-1550
Hardening 1700-1750
Tempering 400-1200
Rockwell C
40-58
Tempering Data
Temper °F Rockwell C
400 56-58
500 54-56
600 53-55
700 52-54
800 52-54
900 51-53
1000 49-52
1100 46-48
1200 40-42














W1 Tool Steel

W1 tool steel is a water hardening grade and one of the oldest grades of tool steel around. Despite the advances of the air and oil hardening grades, W1 maintains its usefulness in applications that require a softer core, high hardness and machinability, along with a relatively low cost. W1 is shallow hardening, possesses great toughness and is one of the easiest grades to grind and machine. With its high carbon content it can often be used without further heat treatment methods. Common applications include: drills, knives, collets, pipe cutters, forming dies, gauges, embossing dies, draw punches, bushings, forming rolls, wood augers. Common trade names include Watercrat, 11 Special, H-9 Double Header, Lion, Ajax, Colonial No. 14, Washington, XXX, Pompon Special, Blue Label, Crescent Special.

Chemical Composition:

Carbon: 0.95/1.05
Chromium: 0.15
Tungsten: 0.15 max
Manganese: 0.30/0.40
Molybdenum: 0.10 max
Vanadium: 0.10 max
Silicon: 0.10/0.25
Phosphorus: 0.025 max
Sulfur: 0.025 max
Temp. °F
Normalizing
no
Annealing 1375-1400
Hardening 1425-1475
Tempering 350-650
Rockwell C
50-65
Tempering Data
Temper °F Rockwell C
300 63-64
400 62-64
500 58-59
600 54-56
700 50-51
800 46-47















A6 Tool Steel

A6 tool steel is an air-hardening, cold work grade which combines the advantages of a low hardening temperature range similar to that of oil hardening grades along with deeper hardening properties comparable to air hardening grades. A6 tool steel experiences minimal distortion compared to other air hardening grades or the oil hardening grades. Typical applications include: forming dies, blanking dies, punches, tools, shear blades, spindles, coining dies, gages, mandrels. Common trade names include Jess-Air, Diecrat, LO-AIR, VEGA, Apache, Orbit.

Chemical Composition:

Carbon: 0.65/0.75
Chromium: 0.90/1.20
Molybdenum: 0.90/1.40
Manganese: 1.80/2.50
Silicon: 1.50
Phosphorus: 0.030 max
Sulfur: 0.030 max
Temp. °F
Normalizing
no
Annealing 1350-1375
Hardening 1525-1600
Tempering 300-800
Rockwell C
51-60
Tempering Data
Temper °F Rockwell C
300 59-60
400 57-59
500 56-57
600 55-56
700 52-54
800 51-53














Values shown are considered typical and for informational purposes only. Actual material values may deviate from those values shown.

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