Tool Steel Properties and Selection

Has A-11 PM replaced D-2 as the standard wear resistant tool steel?

D-2 has been the standard wear resistant tool steel for many manufacturing industries since the 1970's. New developments in technology have provided benefits to the tool steel industry.

Tool Steel Terminology
Common steel terms are explained. We examine terms relating to processing, alloying, properties, strengths and heat treating of tool steel.

Alloying Elements
Introduction to common alloying elements such as carbon, manganese, vanadium, tungsten and silicon including their symbols, density and atomic weight and melting point.

Properties of Tool Steels
Hardness, wear resistance, toughness and red hardness are explained. Machinability, grindability and polishability are also examined.

What is Tool Steel
An introduction to tool steel and its unique properties. The role of carbon and its alloying elements are defined.

Conventional Tool Steel Production

A look at the production of conventional tool steels. The wrought steelmaking process is defined including the introduction of the equipment used in this process.

PM Tool Steel Production
The Powder Metal steelmaking process is examined. A look at the powder metal steelmaking process is examined and compared to the conventional wrought steelmaking process.

Tool Steel Selection
The process of proper selection of a tool steel is explained. An analysis of the properties used to select the proper tool steel for a particular forming operation.

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Choosing the Correct Tool Steel
Selection of tool steel by comparison. Tool steels are sometimes compared to others. This method provides a toolmaker with a baseline for comparison or selection of the proper grade.

Avoiding Tool Failure
A look at the common modes of failure of tool steels and how to avoid tool failure.

Bar Finishes for Tool Steels
Tool steels have various types of bar finishes. The type of finish chosen is determined by many factors. Check out the common bar finishes.

Calculating Weight of Tool Steel
Learn how to properly calculate the weight of tool steel. Calculating the weight is a very useful tool for engineers, machinist and buyers of tool steel.

Tool Steel Wear Resistance
Is tool steel wear resistance more important than hardness? In cold forming operations, production tools wear out and need to be redressed or replaced, but do we understand why? Is it because of a lack of wear resistance or lack of hardness? Sometimes it is difficult to determine.