Tool steel forms nearly everything in your life. As you read this article, take a look around you. Chances are that tool steel was involved in the production of the device that you are using to read this article, your clothing, food, desk, sports equipment and especially the automobile that you drove to work.
What is tool steel and what makes it different that other types of steel?
Tool Steel is a specific type of high quality steel made specifically for the production of tools and tooling components. Tool steels are produced in electric melt furnaces and stringent quality standards are upheld to produce the necessary quality. Tool steels are formulated to withstand high pressures and abrasive materials.
Typically tool steels are used for shearing, cutting, stamping, and forming of metals and plastics. Example applications include compacting of powder metal into a gear form, slitting of steel coils into strips, stamping of computer parts from metal sheets, extrusion of plastic or vinyl into window frames and formation of cutting tools from high-speed tool steels.
Tool steels are supplied in the annealed or soft condition, so that they may be machined and fabricated into a tooling component. These steels are designed to be used in the hardened condition, so after they have been fabricated into a tool, they must be heat treated to obtain the desired properties.
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