High-speed steel (HSS or HS) is a subset of tool steels, commonly used in tool
bits and cutting tools.

It is often used in power-saw blades and drill bits. It is superior to the older
high-carbon steel tools used extensively through the 1940s in that it can
withstand higher temperatures without losing its temper (hardness).

This property allows HSS to cut faster than high carbon steel, hence the
name high-speed steel. At room temperature, in their generally recommended
heat treatment, HSS grades generally display high hardness (above Rockwell
hardness 60) and abrasion resistance (generally linked
to tungsten and vanadium content often used in HSS) compared with
common carbon and tool steels.


 The main use of high-speed steels continues to be in the manufacture of
various cutting tools:
 drills, taps, milling cutters, tool bits, gear cutters, saw blades, planer and
jointer blades, router bits, etc., although usage for punches and dies is
 High speed steels also found a market in fine hand tools where their
relatively good toughness at high hardness, coupled with high abrasion
resistance, made them suitable for low speed applications requiring a
durable keen (sharp) edge, such as files, chisels, hand plane blades, and
high quality kitchen, pocket knives, and swords.

 High speed steel tools are the most popular for use in woodturning. This guarantees high tool life and low maintenance. hot hardness and toughness which prevent breakage of cutting edges. and ensures a reproducible production process. HIGH SPEED STEEL High speed steels are used for machine tools such as drills. The characteristic properties of all high speed steel grades include:  High working hardness  High wear resistance  Excellent toughness  Compressive strength  High retention of hardness and red hardness  Strength to prevent breakage on the cutting edge . and HSS holds its edge far longer than high carbon steel tools can. They are the mainstay in this demanding market segment. hobs and broaching tools and in some cold forming applications. as the speed of movement of the work past the edge is relatively high for handheld tools. Our high performance powder metallurgical high speed steels are a specialty. The properties required here are wear resistance. taps.

CHROMIUM: Promotes deep hardening. COBALT: Improves red hardness and retention of hardness of the matrix. we are able to offer the most suitable high speed steel grade for virtually all kinds of application. in particular mass production. VANADIUM: Forms special carbides of supreme hardness. increases wear resistance. Since it is possible to achieve specific properties by careful adjustment of these alloying elements. . is responsible for the basic matrix hardness. TUNGSTEN AND MOLYBDENUM: Improves red hardness. retention of hardness and high temperature strength of the matrix. produces readily soluble carbides. retention of hardness and high temperature strength of the matrix. Influence of alloying elements on the steel properties: CARBON: Forms carbides. increase high temperature wear resistance. ALUMINIUM: Improves retention of hardness and red hardness. form special carbides of great hardness. Almost all tools employed for this purpose are made from high speed steels. The characteristic properties of all high speed steels grades include.For modern industrial production. machining is one of the most important shaping and forming processes.

60% maximum.60% maximum. and steels with higher carbon content are harder and stronger.65% maximum. with 1. silicon. with low maximum percentages. These elements are manganese. with a 0. GRADES OF CARBON & ALLOY STEEL WE SUPPLY There are four types of carbon steel based on the amount of carbon present in the alloy. and copper. and they become more difficult to machine and weld. but less ductile. with a 0. Below are the properties of the grades of carbon steel we supply: . Lower carbon steels are softer and more easily formed.CARBON & ALLOY STEEL Carbon steel is an alloy consisting of iron and carbon. Other elements may be present in quantities too small to affect its properties. Several other elements are allowed in carbon steel.

with long-wearing properties.Low Carbon Steel Composition of 0. Its high carbon content makes it an extremely strong material. . While not as hard as higher-carbon steels.4% manganese.55%-0.65% manganese. with 0. Due to its brittleness. It is very strong and holds shape memory well. this grade requires special handling.30%-0.25% carbon and up to 0. it is a low-cost material that is easy to shape.29%-0.1% carbon.60%-1.96%-2.90% manganese.05%-0. Also known as mild steel. Very High Carbon Steel Composition of 0. High Carbon Steel Composition of 0. Medium Carbon Steel Composition of 0. Medium carbon steel is ductile and strong.95% carbon. with 0. making it ideal for springs and wire. carburizing can increase its surface hardness.54% carbon.

or wolframates. but these have been phased out in many countries. have a very high tensile strength. or wolframic acid from the hydrated oxide (WO3) and its salts are called tungstates. lustrous metal that tarnishes in air.  It is made by mixing tungsten powder and carbon powder and heating to 2200°C. even of a very small diameter. silvery-white metal.TUNGSTEN IMAGE EXPLANATION The symbol used reflects the once common use of the element in light bulbs. silvery-white. and at temperatures over 1650 oC also has the highest tensile strength. such as arc-welding electrodes and heating elements in high-temperature furnaces. Pure tungsten is ductile. dense. It forms tungstic acid (H2WO4). APPEARANCE A shiny.  This is because they are not very energy efficient. mining and petroleum industries.  Calcium and magnesium tungstates are widely used in fluorescent lighting. they produce much more heat than light. In powder form tungsten is gray in color. including a new ‘painless’ dental drill which spins at ultra-high speeds.  Tungsten and its alloys are used in many high-temperature applications. Tungsten is a very hard. . forming a protective oxide coating. The metal has the highest melting point of all metals. USES  Tungsten was used extensively for the filaments of old-style incandescent light bulbs.  Tungsten has the highest melting point of all metals and is alloyed with other metals to strengthen them. and tungsten wires.  Tungsten carbide is immensely hard and is very important to the metal- working.  It makes excellent cutting and drilling tools. Tungsten is highly resistant to corrosion.

 High speed steel (which can cut material at higher speeds than carbon steel). rhenium and niobium. contains up to 18% tungsten. It is also used for jewelry because of its hardness and wear resistance.  Cemented carbide and high speed steel tools  Television sets. hydrochloric acid. mainly in the form of catalysts. ductile metal with good structural strength.  Tungsten mill products are tungsten metal products such as lighting filaments.  Tungsten carbide (WC or W2C) is extremely hard and is used to make drills.  Other applications include chemical uses. etc.Tungsten is one of the five major refractory metals (metals with very high resistance to heat and wear). and salt water. The other refactory metals are molybdenum. .  Magnetrons for microwave ovens VANADIUM CHARACTERISTICS: Vanadium is a bright white.  Tungsten is used for high-temperature applications such as welding. Vanadium is resistant to attack by alkalis. wire. soft. USES:  Tungsten and its alloys are widely used for filaments in older style (not energy saving) electric bulbs and electronic tubes  It is used for making heavy metal alloys because of its hardness. which has hardness close to diamond. electrical and electronic contacts. The metal oxidizes in air at around 660 °C to the pentoxide (V2O5). sulfuric acid. rods. APPLICATIONS  Hard metal is the most important usage of tungsten. tantalum. Its main constituent is tungsten monocarbide (WC).

High-speed steels are also steel but with large additions of refractory metals – tungsten. especially with steel.  It is used for the production of rust resistant.  Due to its low fission neutron cross section vanadium is also used in nuclear applications.  Vanadium foil is used in cladding titanium to steel. vanadium and. Vanadium steel alloys are used in gears. spring and high speed tool steels.USES:  The main use of vanadium is in alloys. but possibly the newest and the best ones do. axles and crankshafts. It is also added to steels to stabilise carbides. a steel additive.  Vanadium pen oxide is used in ceramics and as a catalyst.  Vanadium pentoxide as a catalyst in the ceramics industry  As a mordent in the printing and dyeing of fabrics  In the manufacture of aniline black COBALT HIGH SPEED STEEL Not all high-speed steels contain cobalt.  It is usually added in the form of ferrovanadium. APPLICATIONS  The most important use of vanadium is as an additive for steel. a vanadium-iron alloy. toughness.  Vanadium foil is also used to bond titanium to steel. A small amount of vanadium adds strength.  Titanium-aluminium-vanadium alloy is used in jet engines and for high- speed aircraft. cobalt.  Vanadium-gallium tape is used in superconducting magnets. molybdenum. . chromium. and heat resistance. with approximately 80% of vanadium going into ferrovanadium. in specialised cases.

To this end. WHY IS COBALT IN HIGH-SPEED STEELS A good question as it doesn’t form carbides. with cobalt enhancing high temperature strength. Casting produces segregation by its very nature and further work and heat do little to change it. complex heat treatment schedules have been devised. high temperature strength. Three current methods of manufacture have evolved: i) air melt cast and work. Structure is of paramount importance in tools steels and the aim is to get a very fine distribution of carbides. The newer ASP alloys made by method (iii) are superior to other grades and the best of these contain high levels of cobalt (8-10%). namely “carbon”. The rest of the process is to stick these little ingots back together into a pore- free. ii) vacuum melt cast and work. Atomising a homogeneous molten metal gives such rapid cooling that each “mini-ingot” (powder particle) is homogeneous unlike its large cast brethren. . So. wear resistance to tempering. with all the alloying additions except cobalt which has other functions. forms “carbides” in carbon steels with just iron and in high-speed steels. in essence. iii) atomise – cold isostatic press – sinter – hot isostatic press and work. often with two or even three tempering stages. homogeneous form. The reasons that have brought cobalt to prominence in these latest alloys are the same as they always were.The other element in steel. The benefit of the powder route is in the structure. a high speed steel is a steel containing large amounts of refractory carbides which proved hardness.

These coatings increase cutting life by large factors (4 or 5 times) and do so even after regrinding. Tempering will precipitate the ultrafine carbides still in solution and maximum hardness will be attained. Thus. the great leap forward came when Schroeter and Osram produced a . Although mixtures of WC and MoC did get used for cutting. however. This is important as it means that during cutting. Up until World War I. Here. cobalt-containing tool steels are capable of retaining strength to higher temperatures – They cut faster for longer. plus the retained high temperature phase austenite plus carbides peppered throughout the structure. the structure is stable up to higher temperatures. put on by plasma or vapour deposition.Cobalt dissolves in iron (ferrite and austenite) and strengthens it whilst at the same time imparting high temperature strength (temperature on cutting surfaces can be 850°C) During solution heat treatment (to dissolve the carbides). cobalt helps to resist grain growth so that higher solution temperatures can be used which ensures a higher percentage of carbides being dissolved. He didn’t but WC resulted. in that it delays their coalescence. Tools. cutting tools were made from high carbon steels and cutting speeds of 25 ft/min were the norm. 1896 saw the start of tungsten carbide manufacture when Moissan in France melted/fused tungsten and carbon together to make diamonds. COBALT IN CEMENTED CARBIDES The ability to cut metal faster and faster is to a great extent at the heart of the economic growth in the 20th Century. are not longer as simple as they were. The surface can be modified by coating – with TiN or TiC for example. Steels are quenched after solution annealing and the structure is then very hard martensite. cobalt plays another important role.

Although nickel has also been used as a binder. 150 ft/min cutting speeds were commonplace. cobalt reigns supreme. e) On cooling. The need for a binder is paramount as carbide alone is brittle and has little impact strength. . This pulls the sintered part together by surface tension and eliminates voids. d) It must dissolve WC – Cobalt forms a eutectic with WC at 1275°C/1350°C and at that temperature dissolves 10% WC. Osram was cut off by a blockade from its sources of diamonds for dies and the carbide route was the alternative they developed. Why should this be? There are several criteria which govern the performance of a binder for carbides: a) It must have a high melting point – Cobalt: 1493°C b) It must have high temperature strength – Cobalt does c) It must form a liquid phase with WC at a suitable temperature – Cobalt does at 1275°C. which was the most successful binding material.carbide material consisting of crushed tungsten carbide in cobalt. f) The binding agent should be capable of being ground very finely to mix with the hard carbide particles – cobalt can be produced very finely and grinds down to << 1µ. Iron was the first choice but it was cobalt for reasons which only became clear subsequently. The cutting properties however were quickly exploited and by the 1920’s. giving hardness combined with toughness. The actual driving force however was not for cutting tools but as wire drawing dies. WC should reprecipitate in the bond – in cobalt it does.

it retains the more ductile cubic form at room temperature. However. only fulfil some. abrasion-resistant cemented carbides for cutting tools and stainless steels. hysteresis motors and electrical instrumentation. it reverts to the close packed form which is brittle although in the carbide product. APPLICATIONS  Co is used in a series of magnetic steels. and steel. then an intermetallic layer that is a mix of aluminium.  In order of decreasing tonnage usage. Fe. It is an important constituent of the 18 % Ni managing steels and several other ultrahigh strength steels and is added to one grade of austenitic stainless steel. . primary applications of Co are in non-ferrous (super)alloys. high speed tool steels. and finally a steel core. It is this fact that has kept it irreplaceable in carbides. like Ni. b) On grinding.  The addition of Co to cold work die steels (as in steels with 3 % Co) increases hardness and promotes greater wear resistance than grades where it is not used. ultrahigh strength alloy steels.. magnets.  Co bearing high speed steels have a somewhat greater tendency to decarburization and are more sensitive to cracking when exposed to abrupt temperature changes. c) Cobalt fulfils all the needs of a binder whilst others. It is found in both Mo and tungsten (W) grades of tool steels.  Magnetic steels containing from 9 % to 40 % Co have been used for compass needles. their increasing popularity is due to their excellent red hardness property. silicon. ALUMINIUM  The basic structure of aluminized steel is a thin aluminium oxide layer outside.  Cobalt is added to high speed steels to improve hot hardness. etc.  They are also somewhat more brittle than non Co grades.

PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF ALUMINIUM DENSITY OF ALUMINIUM Aluminium has a density around one third that of steel or copper making it one of the lightest commercially available metals. copper and magnesium can increase the strength properties of aluminium and produce an alloy with properties tailored to particular applications. aluminized steel has a greater electrostatic surface. The resultant high strength to weight ratio makes it an important structural material allowing increased payloads or fuel savings for transport industries in particular. especially during exposure to salts that affect most other metals. silicon.251 °F).548 °F). .  However. and can therefore reflect heat better.  These thin layers also keep pit corrosion from occurring. At temperatures up to 842 °C (1. then the steel may oxidize and corrosion may occur.[3] Aluminized steel has the ability to maintain its strength at temperatures up to 677 °C (1.  Aluminized steel is highly resistant to corrosion because of the thin layers of aluminium and silicon. if the aluminium layer is disrupted and the steel is exposed. aluminized steel reflects up to 80% of heat projected onto it. despite the good corrosion resistance of aluminized steel. However. which keep the underlying steel from oxidizing. STRENGTH OF ALUMINIUM Pure aluminium doesn’t have a high tensile strength. Although stainless steel is the stronger of the two. the addition of alloying elements like manganese.  Both Type 1 and Type 2 show excellent high reflectivity characteristics.

The same properties of reflectivity makes aluminium ideal as an insulating . Visible light reflectivity of around 80% means it is widely used in light fixtures. It has the advantage over steel in that its’ tensile strength increases with decreasing temperature while retaining its toughness. aluminium is an excellent reflector of radiant energy. Combined with it being non-toxic this property means aluminium is used extensively in cooking utensils and kitchenware. CORROSION RESISTANCE OF ALUMINIUM When exposed to air. It is fairly resistant to most acids but less resistant to alkalis. THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY OF ALUMINIUM The thermal conductivity of aluminium is about three times greater than that of steel. aluminium has an electrical conductivity high enough for use as an electrical conductor. Steel on the other hand becomes brittle at low temperatures. This layer has excellent resistance to corrosion.Aluminium is well suited to cold environments. This makes aluminium an important material for both cooling and heating applications such as heat-exchangers. it is only one third the weight and can therefore conduct twice as much electricity when compared with copper of the same weight. REFLECTIVITY OF ALUMINIUM From UV to infra-red. Although the conductivity of the commonly used conducting alloy (1350) is only around 62% of annealed copper. ELECTRICAL CONDUCTIVITY OF ALUMINIUM Along with copper. a layer of aluminium oxide forms almost instantaneously on the surface of aluminium.

PROPERTIES FOR ALUMINIUM.2 Boiling Point (°C) 2480 Mean Specific Heat (0-100°C) (cal/g.69 Density (g/cm3) 2.98 Valency 3 Crystal Structure FCC Melting Point (°C) 660.°C) 0. Property Value Atomic Number 13 Atomic Weight (g/mol) 26. while insulating against heat loss in winter.57 Co-Efficient of Linear Expansion (0-100°C) (x10-6/°C) 23.material to protect against the sun’s rays in summer.34 MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF ALUMINIUM .cm) 2.3 Poisson Ratio 0. °C) 0.6898 Modulus of Elasticity (GPa) 68.5 Electrical Resistivity at 20°C (Ω.219 Thermal Conductivity (0-100°C) (cal/cms.

 Aluminium is one of the lightest engineering metals. drawing. cold working and heat-treating can all be utilised to tailor the properties of aluminium. extruding.  By utilising various combinations of its advantageous properties such as strength. lightness.  It is widely used for foil and conductor cables. aluminium is being employed in an ever-increasing number of applications. ductile. machining and other mechanical processes. and corrosion resistant and has a high electrical conductivity. . This allows aluminium to be formed by rolling.  The tensile strength of pure aluminium is around 90 MPa but this can be increased to over 690 MPa for some heat-treatable alloys.  Alloying. APPLICATIONS OF ALUMINIUM  Pure aluminium is soft.  Aluminium can be severely deformed without failure. corrosion resistance. but alloying with other elements is necessary to provide the higher strengths needed for other applications. It can also be cast to a high tolerance. recyclability and formability. having a strength to weight ratio superior to steel.

the waste effluent is toxic so alternatives are being investigated.  Chromium compounds are used as industrial catalysts and pigments (in bright green. were once very common. I  t is also possible to chromium plate plastics.  About 90% of all leather is tanned using chrome. such as bumpers.  Rubies get their red colour from chromium. and glass treated with chromium has an emerald green colour. red and orange colours).  However. yellow.  Chromium plating can be used to give a polished mirror finish to steel  Chromium-plated car and lorry parts. to manufacture stainless steel (named as it won’t rust) and to produce several alloys. . This array of products ranges from structural materials through to thin packaging foil CHROMIUM USES  Chromium is used to harden steel. which are often used in bathroom fittings.