An Overview of Tool Steel and Its Accompanying Applications

July 8, 2021

Tools that are intended to generate products must be made from durable and long-lasting materials. After all, business owners want to make their production as profitable as possible without sacrificing quality.

One material that is often used to create tools is a tool steel. Tool steels are generally carbon and alloy steels that are processed to generate cutters, reamers, bits, and other industrial tools. These carbon and alloy steels are typically melted in furnaces before processing them to acquire properties needed for the aforementioned tools and components.

Basic Features of Tool Steels

The presence of carbon and alloy steels in creating tool steels allows them to obtain features that make them great for industrial applications. Tool steels are generally strong and durable as they can withstand damaging elements during their usage. They can also resist wear, softening, and other effects of extreme temperatures. Even corrosion does not damage the tool steels right away, especially if they are integrated with chromium, vanadium, molybdenum, or tungsten.

To further improve their strength and hardness, tool steels can undergo heat treatment processes. The addition of cobalt or nickel can likewise improve their performance when exposed to high temperatures.

Available Tool Steel Grades

There are tons of tool steel grades available for various applications. The classifications of tool steels are based on their accompanying properties and composition.

  • Air Hardening: Tool steels that belong to this category have good machinability and respectable versatility. They are also tough and wear-resistant, thanks to the addition of chromium element. This type of tool steels can be used for tools that are intended for blanking, coining, embossing, cold forming, cold swaging, lamination, and others.
  • D Type: D type tool steels are primarily comprised of carbon and chromium. The combination of these elements makes these tool steels abrasion-resistant and durable. They are known to last for a long time, which makes them suitable for forging dies, burnishing tools, blanking, coining, embossing, wire drawing, cold trimming, and generating more industrial tools.
  • Hot-Working: Hot-working tool steels can cut materials at high temperatures. Their accompanying strength and hardness make them suitable for applications that have elevated temperatures. Even though they have less carbon, they have other alloy elements that make them great for hot extrusion for aluminium and magnesium, hot forging, and hot trimming.
  • Oil Hardening: Tool steels that are part of this classification often have good abrasion resistance and toughness. These properties make them great for generating cutting tools, drills, knives, and forks.
  • Shock Resisting Type: As their name implies, tool steels under this type can easily resist shock at any temperatures. Their low carbon content allows them to obtain toughness. However, they have low abrasion resistance. Cold/hot shear, chisel cold/hot working, cold/hot gripper, and cold/hot swaging are only some of the applications of these tool steels.
  • Water Hardening: Tool steels that are water quenched belong to this classification. Some properties of water hardened tool steels include low cost and high hardness. They are also brittle, making them vulnerable to warping and cracking. Tool steels under this category can be used for cutting tools, knives, reamers, and cutlery.

If you need to obtain products out of tool steels, you can contact us at Gunna Engineering.

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