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High speed steel

High speed steel

High speed steel - alloy steel, designed mainly for the production of metal-cutting tools, operating at high speeds.

Speed ​​steel should have a high fracture resistance, hardness (cold and hot) and red hardness.
High fracture resistance and hardness in the cold and have a carbon tool steel. Alloying high speed steels with tungsten, molybdenum, vanadium and cobalt provides hot hardness and red hardness to steel.

Hot hardness

At normal temperature hardness of carbon steel even higher than hardness of high speed steel. However, in the process of cutting tools we recive intense heat. Up to 80% of released heat goes into heating tool. Due to increased temperature edge reduces its hardness.

After heating up to 200 °C the hardness of carbon steel drop rapidly. For this steel is not allowed cutting mode, where tool steel is heated up to 200 °C. In high-speed steel high hardness saved up to 500 - 600 °C. High speed steel tool is more efficient than carbon steel tool.

Collapse strength

Collapse strength of high speed steel usually defined as resistance to flexural prismatic, not notched specimens under static (slow) and dynamic (fast) loading. Higher the resistance, more the force can withstand the working part of the tool and more feed and depth of cut can be applied. It increases the productivity of the cutting process.

Principles of alloying high speed steels

In order to stably maintain hardness steel, it must be alloyed with such elements that might block the coagulation of carbides (chromium, tungsten, molybdenum, vanadium), which occurs at temperatures above 500 ° C.

Thus, the red hardness is created by alloying steel carbide-forming elements (tungsten, molybdenum, chromium, vanadium).

Chemical composition of high speed steel
T1 0.65–0.80 3.75–4.00 - 17.25–18.75 0.9–1.3 - 0.1–0.4 0.2–0.4
M2 0.95 4.2 5.0 6.0 2.0 - - -
M7 1.00 3.8 8.7 1.6 2.0 - - -
M35 0.94 4.1 5.0 6.0 2.0 5.0 - -
M42 1.10 3.8 9.5 1.5 1.2 8.0 - -

Manufacturing and processing of high-speed steels

High speed steel produced as in classical way (casting steel ingots, rolling and forging) and by powder metallurgy (spraying jets of liquid steel with nitrogen). The quality of high-speed steel is largely determined by the degree of its processing.

Chemical composition of high speed steel by GOST
Р0М2Ф31,10 - 1,253,8 - 4,6-2,3 - 2,92,6 - 3,3-
Р6М50,82 - 0,903,8 - 4,45,5 - 6,54,8 - 5,31,7 - 2,1<0,50
Р6М5Ф2К80,95 - 1,053,8 - 4,45,5 - 6,64,6 - 5,21,8 - 2,47,5 - 8,5
Р90,85 - 0,953,8 - 4,48,5 - 10,0<1,02,0 - 2,6-
Р180,73 - 0,833,8 - 4,417,0 - 18,5<1,01,0 - 1,4<0,50


Using high-speed steel has decreased significantly due to the high incidence of hard metal. High-speed steel manufactured as tools (taps, drills, mills small diameter) turning chisels with replaceable carbide tipped and almost completely replaced by high-speed steel cutting tools. Basic recommendations:

  • P9 recommend for tool with simple form (Cutters, reamers, core drills).
  • P18 for fittings and complex instruments (with tungsten)
  • Cobalt high speed steel (R9K5, R9K10) used for machining of difficult-to-corrosion-resistant and heat-resistant steels and alloys, in intermittent cutting, vibration, lack of refrigeration.
  • Vanadium high speed steel (R9F5, R14F4) recommended for hard processed materials for cutting tool (broaches, reamers, shavers). 
  • Tungsten-molybdenum steel (R9M4, R6M3) use tools that work in roughing, manufacture of broaches, shaping cutters, shaving cutter, milling cutters.
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