We are continuing with Part 6 of our tool-steel presentation and continuing with the discussion of alloying elements. Please also be aware that tool steels (in one sense) can still be considered as alloy steels, only with a different identification method. The “book” continues on tool steels and their heat treatment. We will finish the additive alloying elements in this blog and then move on to “better things.”
This alloying element is not usually observed in large percentages and
is more often found in the super-alloy, special high-speed steels groups.
It will increase both the hot hardness and the hot impact toughness.
There is a slight tendency to reduce the steel's hardenability (this does
not mean resulting final hardness). It can also produce some resistance to the
reduction of the hardness of martensite on the tempering procedure, but it is
It will improve a high-speed steel's hot-cutting ability, which means
that the frictional temperatures generated from high-speed machining will not
reduce the steel's surface hardness. Because it will reduce the hardenability,
it will be necessary to increase the carbon content. It is usually found in steels such as T15 and
Footnote to the
addition of Vanadium
It should be both noted and considered that when
tempering in the range of 930-1110°F (500-600℃) with tool
steels that contain carbide-forming elements (like those mentioned in this
series with vanadium), tempering will cause the primary formation of
finely dispersed, alloy-rich carbides and will assist in the secondary-hardening
It is necessary to exercise great care in temperature control and
observation of the recommended hardening (austenitizing) temperature because
overheating will dissolve any excess carbides.
Tool Steels (part 6)
By David Pye
David Pye is the owner and operator of Pye Metallurgical International Consulting, Saint Anne's on Sea, Lancashire, U.K. He has 25 years of practical experience in captive and commercial heat treatment, metallurgical laboratory operation and industrial furnace sales. He also has teaching experience on a very wide range of heat-treatment and metallurgical subjects.
He can be reached at email@example.com.
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