With so many tool steel grades available, how do you chose the correct tool steel grade for your application and what tool steel properties are required for your tool to be successful?
Before we can select the correct tool steel, first we must define what tool steel is. Tool steel is an iron-based alloy that is melted and processed to provide the properties necessary to shape other metals or materials into a useful component.
Tools are subjected to extremely high-pressure loads and are commonly applied rapidly. The tools must withstand these loads without breaking and without undergoing excessive wear or deformation. No single tool material will provide the maximum wear resistance, hardness, toughness, and resistance to softening at elevated temperatures. The selection of the proper tool material for a given application is often a trade-off. Sometimes more than one grade will provide sufficient results but another grade may provide an optimal combination of properties.
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