D2 Tool Steel Properties

D2 Tool Steel is a very versatile high carbon, air hardening, high chromium tool steel which is characterized more with a pretty high and attainable hardness and various large chromium rich alloy carbides which are present in the microstructures. These carbides help in providing excellent results with good resistance to wear from sliding contact especially with other materials like metals and abrasive materials. Other steels may have improved toughness or resistance against wear, but D2 is very effective when it comes to a great combination of wear resistance, tool performance, toughness, affordability and many other aspects which make this a perfect tool steel to have. It is also available as an Electroslag-Remelted (ESR) product. The process of remelting helps the steel to become even more improved regarding homogeneity, carbide size refinement and all other associated improvements in the fatigue properties and chemical properties of the steel.

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Physical properties of D2 Steel

Physical aspects of D2 steel are narrated below:

  • Density: 0.278 lb/in3 (7695 kg/m3)
  • Specific Gravity: 7.70
  • Modulus of Elasticity: 30 x 106 psi (207GPa)
  • Machinability: 50-60% of a 1% carbon steel

Applications of D2 Tool Steel

Typical applications for D2 Steel are given below.

  • Stamping or Forming Dies
  • Punches
  • Forming Rolls
  • Knives, slitters, shear blades
  • Tools
  • Scrap choppers
  • Tire shredders

Properties of D2 Tool Steel

Let’s have a look at some general properties of D2

1. Forging

You can observe this property by heating the steel slowly and evenly to 700 Celsius and then more rapidly to at least 900-1040 degree Celsius. Now discontinue forging the D2 Steel below 925 degree Celsius. Again reheat the steel as often as required to keep the proper forging temperature and then after forging cool down the steel slowly. This is not particularly annealing process; when the forging is done, and steel is cold, it should be annealed as described below in the annealing section.

2. Annealing

Provide uniform heating to the steel up to 843-871 degree Celsius and now slowly cool the furnace at the rate which is not more than 10-degree Celsius per hour. After the annealing process is done, you can check the hardness of 240 Brinell maximum which can be achieved by this process.

3. Hardening

The D2 steel has an extremely sensitive reaction to overheating especially during hardening because you have to be careful about overheating. Start slowly with the preheat process of 750-780 degree Celsius and let it soak. Now continue heating until the final hardening temperature 1000-1030 degree Celsius is achieved and now allow the component to equalize. Quench the element into oil or let it cool in air.

4. Tempering

For this, you have to heat the steel uniformly throughout and take it up to the desired temperature and let it hold for at least 25 minutes per cm of thickness. Do your maths and be noted that the D2 steel can be double tempered at approximately 15-degree Celsius below the temperature of its initial tempering and after that let it intermediate cooling to the room temperature.


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