Alro Steel was established in 1948 by Al and Robert Glick and has grown to include Alro Plastics, Alro Industrial Supply and Alro Metals Outlet.

 Tool Steel

Tool Steel

Tool steel is a carbon and alloy steel that has ideal characteristics including high hardness, abrasion resistance, a good ability to retain its shape, even in higher temperatures. 
Tool steel is commonly used in injection molding where resistance to abrasion is an important criterion. Its toughness also gives it non-deforming properties, allowing it to hold a cutting edge at various temperatures. Depending on the grade of tool steel it is also a popular choice for the manufacture of hand tools, cutting tools, and more.

Properties of Tool Steel 

Tool steel is generally used in a heat-treated state. Many high carbon tool steels are also more resistant to corrosion due to their higher ratios of elements such as vanadium and niobium. Because of this, tool steel is often used for high-strength or wear-resistant applications. 

Tool steel grades are made specifically for different applications so it's good practice when selecting a grade to ask yourself a few questions first. For example:
•    Is a keen cutting edge necessary, as in stamping dies?
•    Must it withstand impact loading and service conditions encountered with hand tools such as axes, pickaxes, and quarrying implements?
•    What is the expected edge temperature for use?

Edge temperature under expected use is an important factor of both composition and required heat treatment. Higher carbon grades are typically used for such applications as stamping dies, metal cutting tools, etc.

Tool Steel Grades from Alro Steel

Grade selection is dependent on factors including budget, working temperature, and required characteristics for the application. Alro stocks the following grades of tool steel:
  • A2 tool steel:  a versatile, air-hardening tool steel — good toughness and stability
  • D2 tool steel: wear resistant but not as tough as lower alloyed steels — very sensitive to heat treatment
  • O1 tool steel: cold work and low-alloy steel — more forgiving
  • S7 tool steel: air or oil hardening tool steel — known for high-impact toughness
  • DC53 tool steel: a general purpose, cold work die and mold steel — strength and toughness is like that of high-speed steels

Tool steel grades are made specifically for different applications so it's good practice when selecting a grade to ask yourself a few questions first. For example - is a keen cutting edge necessary, as in stamping dies, must it withstand impact loading and service conditions encountered with hand tools such as axes, pickaxes, and quarrying implements. Edge temperature under expected use is an important factor of both composition and required heat treatment. Higher carbon grades are typically used for such applications as stamping dies, metal cutting tools, etc.

How Is Tool Steel Manufactured?

With a carbon content between 0.7% and 1.5%, tool steels are manufactured under carefully controlled conditions to produce the required quality. The manganese content is often kept low to minimize the possibility of cracking during water quenching. However, proper heat treating of these steels is important for adequate performance, and there are many suppliers who provide tooling blanks intended for oil quenching.
There are several processes that can be done to manufacture tool steel. These include: primary melting, electroslag melting, primary breakdown, rolling, hot and cold drawing, continuous casting, powder metallurgy, and osprey process. Often, tool steel is made from primarily scrap metal that is melted and then shaped into the desired tool.

To learn more about our tool steel selection or to request a quote, contact Alro Steel today.




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TOOL STEEL