High-speed steels are high-alloyed tool steels for machining applications. They can retain the required installed hardness of around 60-67 HRC at working temperatures of up to almost 600°C and can therefore satisfy increased machining demands for a longer period of use without any reduction in cutting ability and cutting stability.
Their working properties are essentially based on the hot-hardness of the matrix in the hardened and tempered state with embedded, hard carbides such as those formed by chromium, molybdenum, vanadium and tungsten with carbon which have favourable effects on tool wear. High-speed steels are characterised by:
  • high hardness
  • a high level of wear resistance
  • good tempering properties and hardness at temperature (red hardness), and
  • adequate toughness

By appropriately controlling the content of alloying elements, certain properties can be determined or emphasised. Appropriate heat treatment, operational strength and a design that takes into account the stress to which the tool will be exposed are essential to ensure that the tool will have the required service life.

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