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.

At first inspection, we see that the tool is no longer within tolerance. To properly determine the cause of the wear, we must first look at the location of the wear. Is the wear on the top of the tool or on the side of the tool? Is the tool material missing or is it scarred?

There are two types of wear that commonly occur on tools. There is abrasive wear and adhesive wear, sometimes known as galling. Let’s take a look at both types of wear.

Abrasive wear removes the wear resistant carbide particles from the steel matrix. These carbide particles disappear from the work surface of the tool. Typically, abrasive wear evidence looks like it has been eroded. Abrasive wear will round over the edge of the tool or leave a pocket on the face of the tool.

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