Various categories of tool steel are available in the market – hot work steel, cold work steel, high speed, air hardening, water hardening, P-type, etc. There are, in fact, subcategories as well. All of these can be extremely overwhelming for anyone who is new in the business or even if they have been in the industry for a long. Each kind of tool steel expertise in each kind of work. A massive challenge in the industry is to form and design the tool steel to make certain materials while keeping the die cost low. Choosing tool steel is a thorough process, well-researched and well-thought. The key here is to know the areas which can have possible errors and try to strengthen those areas.
- Adhesive wear – In case the sheet material and taken steel are quite incompatible with one another or have metallurgical similar qualities, cold welding or micro-welding are not viable options. Constant loss of tool material might finally lead to noticeable wear of the tool surface. This issue is very common in the case of stainless steel. For instance, D2 is a particularly high carbon, high chromium tool steel which is an essential material in forming two categories of stainless steel. Now, stainless steel has high nickel and chromium content. Once the chromium of tool steel interacts with the chromium of stainless, adhesive bonding is instantly formed. Thus, tool steel suppliers advise selecting different tool steel or have that tool steel with a carbide coating. The kind of tool steel you choose will also determine whether or not it interferes with the cutting or forming procedure.
- Abrasive issues – While forming or cutting certain materials, tool steels often get eroded due to the elements of the material it cut. The surface of tool steel is prone to abrasion when cutting high carbon materials. This is due to the hard particle oxide in high carbon materials. To form harder, tougher materials, tool steels having high wear resistance properties are required.
- Cracking – This generally occurs as a regular anomaly which means that the die portion either needs a replacement or repair. Cracks, most commonly happen because of machining techniques or improper grinding. Generally speaking, the usually available equipment is not suitable enough for repairing the tool steel cracks. Tool steel portions that have gone through heavy machining with pointed inside corners, as well as radio, are more susceptible to cracking. Tool steel suppliers, therefore, suggest proper maintenance of tool steel over the years.
- Plastic deformation – when the productivity strength of tool steel exceeds, that is, tool steel is used beyond its usual time or productivity period, plastic deformation occurs. This can also be the consequence of the excessive application of force or lack of robustness of the tool steel.
- Chipping – It can be seen when there is excessive cracking in one particular area. The cracks, being unable to bear the load turn into tiny pieces and fall off. Point chipping is one of the most common issues with piercing.
The best possible way to trust good material would be, to never compromise with quality. Although price is an important consideration, you will have to discern whether or not it is worthy of the material, its durability, quality, properties, application, market demand, etc. The coating on tool steels helps in a number of places.