Understanding Tool Steel Grades and Metallurgy in Gastonia, NC

For those who are new to the world of metallurgy in Gastonia, NC, it can be helpful to understand the different types of metal involved. Tool steel is a type of carbon alloy steel that is often used when making tools using heat treatment. Tool steel is known for being strong, and for having a high resistance and ability to maintain a shape. Another thing that makes tool steel so popular is that it is available in many different forms, or grades, of steel. Read on to learn about the six different tool steel grades we use for metallurgy in Gastonia. NC:

  • Water hardening: Also known as W-Grade, water hardening tool steel is a high carbon steel. This steel is relatively affordable for production purposes, but it cannot withstand high temperatures the way other tool steel grades can. It is also fairly easy to chip or break, and needs to be quenched with water, which can cause additional wear and damage.
  • Air hardening: A-Grade steel is considered one of the most versatile tool steel grades. It has a high resistance to heat distortion, thanks to a high amount of chromium content. Its high levels of resistance also means air hardening tool steel can stand up to machining. Air hardening tool steel is often used when making coins and woodworking knives, and is used for embossing.
  • D type: This tool steel has high amounts of carbon and chromium, making it an air hardening steel. D-Grade tool steels were designed to provide both high levels of resistance as well as the ease of air hardening. It is typically used for forging dies, embossing, cold forming, paper cutting and wire drawing.
  • Oil hardening: Think of O-Grade steel as a sort of general purpose tool steel. Its strong durability and resistance to warping and chipping makes it ideal for virtually any purpose, making it a highly popular choice for metallurgy in Gastonia, NC. It is most often used for die blanking, cold forming, cold trimming and thread cutting.
  • Shock resisting types: The name says it all: shock resistant tool steel, also known as S-Grade, is specifically designed to resist shock that can come from high or low temperatures. Its combination of toughness and resistance make it the perfect choice for cold and hot shearing, chiseling, cold and hot swaging, chuck jaws, clutch parts, gripping and hot trimming.
  • Hot-working: Also commonly referred to as H-Grade, this tool steel type is specifically well-suited to cutting materials at very hot temperatures. These tool steels have extra strength and resistance, meaning they can hold up to high heats that other tool steels might not work well in. Hot-working steel is often used for zinc and aluminum cores, die castings, hot forging, hot gripping, hot swaging and hot shear knives.

Whatever type of tool steel is needed for your project, the experts in metallurgy in Gastonia, NC at J.F. Heat Treating Inc. have the experience, resources and understanding to do a seamless and high quality job. Get in touch today for more information.

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