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Tooling Technology

Matrix HighSpeed Steels
Economical Alternative to Powders
If fracturing, chipping and microchipping plague your tooling, consider using a new breed of tool steel.

Applications for Matrix High-Speed Steels
Applications Punch MDS1 MDS3 MDS7 MDS9

owder metallurgy offers significant advantages over traditionally melted cold-work and high-speed steels. The ability to produce highly alloyed steels free of segregation, with uniform grain structure and carbide distribution, allows powdered-steel producers to make claims about their steels’ high performance. If your problems revolve around pure abrasive wear, many of these claims prove true.


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Trimming die Bending/drawing die Shear blades Blanking die Slitter knife Roll Woodwork knife Heading die Rolling die Warm-forming die

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Looking Beyond Abrasive Wear
In the Japanese tooling industry, it has long been accepted that abrasive wear is not always the cause of premature tool failure. Often, fracturing, chipping and microchipping—popping of individual or groups of carbides from a cutting surface—are the culprits. Japanese end-users sought a lower-cost material that could address all toughness Tom Schade is vice president of International Mold Steel, Florence, KY; tel. 800/625-6653;

Japan, these steels are not classified by AISI or JIS standards. Each producer markets its variation under a trade name. Nachi has the MDS series, MDS1, MDS3, MDS7 (matrix high-speed) and MDS9 (high-toughness cold-work). Daido has MH85, MH88 (matrix

and fatigue problems, so the Japanese specialty-steel industry searched for a class of wrought alloys to do just that. The research efforts of NachiFujikoshi Corp, Daido Steel Ltd and others resulted in a new series of matrix high-speed steels. As is common in

Developers already had shown with the high-toughness cold-work materials that reducing the size and quantity of carbides had www. (C) Austenitizing 1100-1150 1080-1160 1100-1180 1020-1050 Tempering 560-640 540-600 540-600 180-200 500-560 Standard hardness (HRC) 56-58 60-64 62-66 58-62 60-64 Carbide Size and Quantity Limit Effectiveness Consider D2. and the large carbide particles also compromise machinability and grindability. M2 and D2 150 MDS1 Charpy impact value (J/cm2) Specimen: 5 x 10 x 5mm (no-notch) Deflective Strength of MDS Series. 3 Charpy Impact Value Charpy impact value (J/cm2) 100 80 60 40 20 0 MDS1 59HRC MDS3 62HRC MDS7 64HRC PM HSS 60HRC MDS1 MDS3 MDS7 MDS9 DC53 Transverse Rupture Strength Transverse rupture strength (KN/mm2) 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 MDS1 60HRC MDS3 62HRC MDS7 64HRC PM HSS 62HRC Fig. In the 1980s. improvements in impact and fatigue strength. they could produce super-tough fine-grained cold-work die steels with advantages over D2. 1 Fig. 2 speed) and DC53 (high-toughness coldwork die steel). Thirty-percent improvement in machinability and grindability.metalformingmagazine. The Japanese specialty-steel industry then shifted its focus to overcoming the inherent low-fracture resistance of high-speed and powdered steels. Japanese researchers realized that by lowering alloying elements and increased hot-working grain refinement. Table 1—Heattreatment Characteristics of MDS Series Grade Heattreatment temp. 4 49 METALFORMING / MAY 2004 . and higher hardenability at high draw temperatures caused the Japanese tool industry to gravitate to these steels throughout the 1990s. a low-cost high-hardenability cold-work die steel. not the solution. M2 and D2 6 MDS1 Bending strength (kN/mm2) 5 MDS9 M2 4 MDS3 MDS7 100 MDS3 50 MDS9 M2 D2 0 MDS7 3 D2 2 55 60 Hardness (HRC) 65 55 60 Hardness (HRC) 65 Fig. Large carbide particles and lack of toughness can limit the life of tools made from D2 in certain applications.Charpy Impact Value of MDS Series. The premise behind development of matrix high-speed steels: Carbides were the problem.

6 Wear Resistance Compared to Powdered-Metal High-Speed Steel (PM HSS) 3 Abrasiveness (mm3/(m * kg)) 2 1 0 MDS1 58HRC MDS3 63HRC MDS7 65HRC PM HSS 62HRC Fig. 1 shows the Charpy impact value of the MDS series and Fig. 50 METALFORMING / MAY 2004 1 0 MDS1 58 MDS3 63 MDS7 MDS9 65 62 Hardness (HRC) M2 65 D2 62 Fig. reducing the quantity of carbides. the value is higher for matrix high-speed steel than for M2 or D2. With matrix high-speed steels. Fig. The trade off is reduced abrasive wear when compared to M2 or powdered steels. Table 1 shows austenitizing and temper temperature ranges as well as expected hardness ranges for MDS steels Wear Resistance—Cold-work die steels offer a wide hardness range. 5 compares the grinding ratio (test-piece weight reduction divided by grinding-wheel weight reduction) as the indicator of grindability—a higher ratio indicates improved grindability.86 0. 7 www. Fig. Matrix high-speed formulations contain steels with differing wear-resistance levels. Machinability—Benefits due to fine grain structure and reduced carbides in matrix high-speed steels include improved machinability and grinding after heattreatment. 3 Cutting depth: 0. The end result offers high toughness and fracture resistance. 6. the hardness for one is HRC 58. Additional benefits include improved machinability and grindability.05 mm Peripheral speed: 2000 rpm 2 Characteristics Defined Toughness—Matrix high-speed tool steel exhibits high toughness and fracture resistance due to the special characteristics of its microstructure. where a lower wear ratio indicates superior wear resistance. When the Charpy impact value is compared at the same hardness. Fig. For example.Tooling Technology Grindability Grindability (weight loss of specimen/weight loss of grinding wheel) benefits. The results of this control can be seen in Fig. For example. These levels are controlled by the quantity of the matrix. Matrix high-speed steels do not lose HRC points. 5 Wear Resistance 10-3 Friction speed (m/sec) 2.metalformingmagazine. Heattreatment—Matrix high-speed steels are less sensitive than other high-speed steels to the slower cooling rate of vacuum heattreat furnaces. Reduced machining and grinding costs significantly reduce tool costs. and HRC 62-64 for another. extending from HRC 58 to HRC 65. alloy elements are resubjected to a solid-solution treatment with a base (matrix).46 Wear ratio (mm3/(m * kg)) 10-4 10-5 MDS1 MDS3 MDS7 MDS9 58 63 65 62 Hardness (HCR) M2 65 D2 62 Fig. 7 compares abrasive wear resistance to high-vanadium (10) powderedMF metal high-speed steel. Figs. 2 shows its deflective .. This underscores the retention of the matrix steel’s wear resistance and improved fracture resistance. the center hardness of an M2 100-mm bar loses three points of HRC as a result of slower vacuum-furnace cooling. 3 and 4 show similar results when the matrix formula is compared to high-vanadium (10) powdered high-speed steel. The same can be said for deflective strength.