1 Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Technical University of Denmark2 Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark
On designing a tool steel, its composition and heat treatment parameters are chosen to provide a hardened and tempered martensitic matrix in which carbides are evenly distributed. In this condition the matrix has an optimum combination of hardness andtoughness, the primary carbides provide resistance against abrasive wear and secondary carbides (if any) increase the resistance against plastic deformation. Tool steels are alloyed with carbide forming elements (Typically: vanadium, tungsten, molybdenumand chromium) furthermore some steel types contains cobalt. Addition of alloying elements serves primarily two purpose (i) to improve the hardenabillity and (ii) to provide harder and thermally more stable carbides than cementite. Assuming proper heattreatment, the properties of a tool steel depends on the which alloying elements are added and their respective concentrations.