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378. Carbon steels and Alloy steels

Carbon steels are used extensively in custom molds. Carbon steels are those steels which ony contain iron and carbon, and small amounts of other alloying elements. Carbon steels are the most common and least expensive type of steels used for tools. The three principal types of carbon steels used for tooling are low carbon, medium carbon, and high carbon steels, Low carbon steel. As the carbon content is increased in carbon steel, the strength, toughness, and hardness also increase when the metal is heat treated.

Low carbon steels are soft, tough steels that are easily machined and welded. Due to thrie low carbon content, these steels cannot be hardened except by case hardening.Low carbon steels are well suited for the following applications: tool bodies, handles, die shoes, and similar situations where strength and wear resistance are not required.

Medium carbon steels are used where greater strength and toughness are required. Since medium carbon steels have a higher carbon content they can be heat treated to make parts such as studs, pins, axles, and nuts. Steels in this group are more expensive as well as more difficult to machine and weld than low carbon steels.

Hiht carbon steels are the most hardenable type of carbon steel and are used frequently for parts where wear resistance is an important factor. Other applications where high carbon steels are well suited inclued drill bushings, locators, and wear pads. Since the carbon content of these steels in so high, parts made from high carbon steel are normally difficult to machine and weld.

Alloy steels
They are basically material with additional elements added to alter the characteristics and bring about a predictable chang in the mechanical properties of then alloyed metal. They are not normally used for most tools due to their increased cost, but some have found favor for special applications. The alloying elements used most often in steel are manganese, nickel molybdenum, and chromium.

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