Low-alloy special purpose steel is a grade of tool steel characterized by its proportion of iron to other elements, the kind of elements in its composition, and its treatment during the manufacturing process. The three ASTM established grades of low-alloy special purpose steel are L2, L3, and L6.This grade originally contained L1, L4, L5 and L7 as well as three F grades (F1, F2, and F3) but because of falling demand only grades L2 and L6 remain in production.
Tool steel refers to a variety of carbon and alloy steels that are particularly well-suited to be made into tools. Their suitability comes from their distinctive hardness, resistance to abrasion and deformation, and their ability to hold a cutting edge at elevated temperatures. As a result, tool steels are suited for use in the shaping of other materials.
|Grade||%C||%Cr||%Mn||%Mo||%P||%S||%Si||%V||Other||Rockwell hardness (C)|
|L2||0.45-1.0||0.7-1.2||0.1-0.9||0.25 max||0.030 max||0.030 max||0.1-0.5||0.1-0.3||S=0.06-0.15 if specified for machining; Ni+Cu<=0.75||45-63|
|L3||0.95-1.10||1.3-1.7||0.25-0.8||--||0.030 max||0.030 max||0.1-0.5||0.1-0.3||S=0.06-0.15 if specified for machining; Ni+Cu<=0.75|
|L6||0.65-0.75||0.6-1.2||0.25-0.8||0.50 max||0.030 max||0.030 max||0.1-0.5||--||Ni=1.25-2.0;S=0.06-0.15 if specified for machining; Ni+Cu<=0.75||45-62|
L2 grade steel comes in medium-carbon (0.45%-0.65%) and high-carbon (0.65%-1.1%) formats.
L6 is the most commonly encountered and most frequently made variety of these steels. It is known for its high wear resistance and its toughness.
Applications for the L-series of tool steels have included precision gauges, bearings, rollers, cold-heading dies, swaging dies, feed fingers, spindles, jigs, shears, punches, and drills. They are also used for machining arbors, cams, chucks, and collets.
An alloy is a combination of metals and of a metal or another element. Alloys are defined by a metallic bonding character. An alloy may be a solid solution of metal elements or a mixture of metallic phases. Intermetallic compounds are alloys with a defined stoichiometry and crystal structure. Zintl phases are also sometimes considered alloys depending on bond types.
A metal is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appearance, and conducts electricity and heat relatively well. Metals are typically malleable or ductile. A metal may be a chemical element such as iron, or an alloy such as stainless steel.
Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon, and sometimes other elements. Because of its high tensile strength and low cost, it is a major component used in buildings, infrastructure, tools, ships, automobiles, machines, appliances, and weapons.
In metallurgy, stainless steel, also known as inox steel or inox from French inoxydable (inoxidizable), is a steel alloy, with a minimum of 10.5% chromium content by mass and a maximum of 1.2% carbon by mass.
Titanium is a chemical element with the symbol Ti and atomic number 22. It is a lustrous transition metal with a silver color, low density, and high strength. Titanium is resistant to corrosion in sea water, aqua regia, and chlorine.
Cast iron is a group of iron-carbon alloys with a carbon content greater than 2%. Its usefulness derives from its relatively low melting temperature. The alloy constituents affect its colour when fractured: white cast iron has carbide impurities which allow cracks to pass straight through, grey cast iron has graphite flakes which deflect a passing crack and initiate countless new cracks as the material breaks, and ductile cast iron has spherical graphite "nodules" which stop the crack from further progressing.
Carbon steel is a steel with carbon content up to 2.1% by weight. The definition of carbon steel from the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) states:
High-speed steel is a subset of tool steels, commonly used as cutting tool material.
Maraging steels are steels that are known for possessing superior strength and toughness without losing ductility. Aging refers to the extended heat-treatment process. These steels are a special class of low-carbon ultra-high-strength steels that derive their strength not from carbon, but from precipitation of intermetallic compounds. The principal alloying element is 15 to 25 wt.% nickel. Secondary alloying elements, which include cobalt, molybdenum and titanium, are added to produce intermetallic precipitates. Original development was carried out on 20 and 25 wt.% Ni steels to which small additions of Al, Ti, and Nb were made; a rise in the price of cobalt in the late 1970s led to the development of cobalt-free maraging steels.
Tempering is a process of heat treating, which is used to increase the toughness of iron-based alloys. Tempering is usually performed after hardening, to reduce some of the excess hardness, and is done by heating the metal to some temperature below the critical point for a certain period of time, then allowing it to cool in still air. The exact temperature determines the amount of hardness removed, and depends on both the specific composition of the alloy and on the desired properties in the finished product. For instance, very hard tools are often tempered at low temperatures, while springs are tempered at much higher temperatures.
The equivalent carbon content concept is used on ferrous materials, typically steel and cast iron, to determine various properties of the alloy when more than just carbon is used as an alloyant, which is typical. The idea is to convert the percentage of alloying elements other than carbon to the equivalent carbon percentage, because the iron-carbon phases are better understood than other iron-alloy phases. Most commonly this concept is used in welding, but it is also used when heat treating and casting cast iron.
The weldability, also known as joinability, of a material refers to its ability to be welded. Many metals and thermoplastics can be welded, but some are easier to weld than others. A material's weldability is used to determine the welding process and to compare the final weld quality to other materials.
Gray iron, or grey cast iron, is a type of cast iron that has a graphitic microstructure. It is named after the gray color of the fracture it forms, which is due to the presence of graphite. It is the most common cast iron and the most widely used cast material based on weight.
The SAE steel grades system is a standard alloy numbering systems for steel grades maintained by SAE International.
Alloy steel is steel that is alloyed with a variety of elements in total amounts between 1.0% and 50% by weight to improve its mechanical properties. Alloy steels are broken down into two groups: low alloy steels and high alloy steels. The difference between the two is disputed. Smith and Hashemi define the difference at 4.0%, while Degarmo, et al., define it at 8.0%. Most commonly, the phrase "alloy steel" refers to low-alloy steels.
At atmospheric pressure, three allotropic forms of iron exist: alpha iron (α), gamma iron (γ), and delta iron (δ). At very high pressure, a fourth form exists, called epsilon iron (ε) hexaferrum. Some controversial experimental evidence exists for another high-pressure form that is stable at very high pressures and temperatures.
Mangalloy, also called manganese steel or Hadfield steel, is an alloy steel containing an average of around 13% manganese. Mangalloy is known for its high impact strength and resistance to abrasion once in its work-hardened state.