Alloy selection FAQ

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between conventional high speed steels and ASP® high speed steels?
The ASP® process is a powder metallurgy rapid-solidification process, specifically designed to allow the production of high alloy content grades without the alloy segregation normally associated with slow solidification rates in ingot metallurgy. The ASP® process results in a microstructure with a uniform dispersion of very small carbides. This microstructure gives the ASP® grades improved toughness and grindability compared to conventionally produced versions of similar grades. The freedom from alloy segregation and carbide banding also gives the ASP® grades improved isotropy. This means the properties are more consistent between the longitudinal and transverse directions. The ASP® process also permits the design of higher alloy content grades, offering higher abrasion resistance, attainable hardness, and temper resistance (red hardness).


Which grades offer the best toughness, the best wear resistance or the highest hardness?
Refer to the alloy comparator for a listing of all our grades, with relative rankings of their properties. One of the benefits of the ASP® grades is that it may be possible to achieve improvements in one property without the trade-off for a lower level of some other property (for instance, wear resistance for toughness) that is commonly encountered in conventionally produced grades.


Which ASP® grade should I use?
The selection of an appropriate grade for any application depends on a number of factors. The most important is the failure mode encountered with the existing grade. Determine whether failures occur by abrasion (inadequate wear resistance), by cracking or chipping (inadequate toughness), or by deformation (inadequate hardness including possibly hot hardness). Compare the relevant property level of the existing grade against the property levels of ASP® grades in the same property category. Look for a grade which offers a substantial improvement in the relevant property, with the least reduction in other properties. If several grades offer suitable technical characteristics, other features such as grindability, heat treating, availability, or cost should be considered. The most important step is to make sure the properties are the best match for the tool's operating requirements or failure modes.


Can I get some technical help with the ASP® grades?
Erasteel provides a variety of technical services for its customers. Many of the common issues encountered by users of high alloy steels have been addressed in technical brochures about various topics available on our web site to registered customers. In addition, Erasteel offers technical advice for specific customer questions from our experienced technical support staff.

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