Tool steel in CNC machining – learn about its properties

You can talk for a long time about how a properly selected processing method affects the final properties of the product and its quality. However, first of all, it is worth focusing on what is the basis for planning and implementing a given project, i.e. the raw material. Metalworking requires the CNC machine operator to have a thorough knowledge of the properties of specific raw materials. Therefore, it is worth taking a look at one of the commonly used materials, which is tool steel. What is worth knowing about it?

Tool steel – what is its use in industry?

The main feature of tool steel is its strength and resistance to various factors. Among other things, it is resistant to high temperature, impact strength, abrasion, deformation, wear and intensive use. It owes its properties mainly to the high carbon content. It is also worth knowing that we distinguish several types of this raw material, each of which will have a slightly different application. Alloy tool steel is mainly used for the production of elements that are involved in heat treatment processes. Therefore, it is used to create matrices, anvils, dies and stamps. The alloy steel for cold work, i.e. the one with a slightly lower carbon content, will, in turn, work well in the production of wood saws, punches, reamers, taps and dies. The most durable type of tool steel will be quick-drying steel. It is used for the production of cutting elements such as saws or knives, but also tools often used in CNC machining e.g. cutters, drills and turning knives. When deciding on a specific grade of tool steel, it is worth being aware of its composition and analyzing this choice in terms of how we imagine the parameters of the final product of the treatment.

Tool steel in CNC machining

Tool steel in CNC machining is used not only as a material for specific components, but also as a raw material from which the main tools for machine tools are made. It is from it that drills and cutters are finally made. But how to make such devices from this extremely resistant raw material? When treating tool steel, it is worth paying attention to its type. Alloy steel should be cut with carbide tipped tools that contain titanium and titanium carbides. If the steel is unalloyed, it can be additionally assisted in the cutting process by subjecting it to heat treatment. However, in the case of heat-resistant steel, we should reduce the cutting rate and increase the feed, which will make our work much easier.

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