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What Is High Speed Steel

High speed steel (HSS) is a tool steel with high hardness, high wear resistance and high heat resistance. And people also call it air hardening steel. Which can hardening when it cooling in the air during the quenching. There are two kinds of materials as its main part. Such as metal carbide and steel substrate. The metal carbide including tungsten carbide, molybdenum carbide and vanadium carbide. They will make material get better strength and wear resistance. And the steel substrate, which is distributed at the carbide around. It will influence material properties. Make it get better toughness and the ability to absorb shock and prevent chipping. The red hardness of high-speed steel is high. And has great wear resistance, good process performance. Even the strength and toughness are best during all types of steel. So it is used to make the complex blade and metal cutting tools with good impact resistant ability. And it also is great material for cold worked mold base, high-temperature springs and etc.

High Speed Steel Composition

High-speed steel is made from W, Mo, Cr, Co, V, and etc elements. And HSS is high alloy steel with high carbon content. Its carbon content is about 0.7%-1.65%. And the alloy content is about 10%-25%. High-speed steel is widely used in all kinds of processing cutting tools. The tools usually are a large size and the environment during the work is high cutting speed, heavy load and high working temperature. It also is used to make cold and hot work mold base with the request of high wear resistance. According to the GBT9943-2008, classify HSS under three types by material performance. For example low alloy high speed steel (HSS-L), normal high speed steel (HSS), high-performance high speed steel (HSS-E).

High Speed Steel Grade Equivalent Chart

China American Japan Germany
W18Cr4V T1 SKH2 1.3355
W18Cr4VCo5 T4 SKH3 1.3255
W18Cr4V2Co8 T5 SKH4 1.3265
W12Cr4V5Co5 T15 SKH10 1.3202
W6Mo5Cr4V3Co8 M3:2+Co SKH40 1.3244
W2Mo8Cr4V M1 SKH50 1.3327
W6Mo5Cr4V2 M2 SKH51 1.3343
W6Mo5Cr4V3 W6Mo6Cr4V2 M3:1 SKH52 1.3350
CW6Mo5Cr4V3 M3:2 SKH53 1.3344
W6Mo5Cr4V4 M4 SKH54 1.3351
W2Mo9Cr4V2 M7 SKH58 1.3348
W6Mo5Cr4V2Co5 M35 SKH55 1.3243
W6Mo5Cr4V2Co8 M36 SKH56 1.3294
W2Mo9Cr4VCo8 M42 SKH59 1.3247
W10Mo4Cr4V3Co10 M48 SKH57 1.3207

High Speed Steel Properties and Application


It has great hot hardness. And it is easy to grinding and processing. The quenching superheat sensitivity is small, and the heat resistance is higher than alloy steel. And it also has good toughness and machinability at 600℃. But its carbide is bigger. The strength and toughness will down by the material size increases. Only suited to make normal knife tools. It is not a good material to make large size knife tools and thin blades. It is widely to make all kinds of cutting tools with medium hardness. Such as turning tools, milling cutters, broaching tools and etc. And also be made cold work mold bases, the fittings that work at high temperatures environment and etc.
W18Cr4V-Co5 It is cobalt high speed steel. It has good hardness in the high temperature. The wear resistance and quenching hardness are high. The hardness of the surface can reach 64-66HRC. It is great material of all kinds of cutting tools for high-speed cutting with high hardness. Such as hobbing cutter, turning tools, milling cutters and the processing cutting tools for the automatic machine tool.

It also is cobalt high speed steel. Its hot hardness and wear resistance are all better than W18Cr4VCo5. But the toughness is lower. Quenching hardness is reached to 64-66HRC (the hardness of surface). People always use it to make hobbing cutter, turning tools, milling cutters and etc.

It is cobalt high speed steel with a high content of carbon and vanadium. It has great wear resistance and hardness. And it has good temper resistance and hot hardness. So its service life is longer than other high speed steel. It is the perfect choice for the material which is difficult to processing. Such as high strength steel, medium strength steel, cold rolled steel, alloy steel and etc. It also is usually used to make cutter gear, threading tool and cold work mold base. But is not able to use to make complex cutting tools which with high degree of accuracy.


It has great hot hardness and toughness. After quenching, the hardness of the surface can up to 64-66HRC. It is molybdenum high speed steel with low tungsten content. The cost is lower than W18Cr4V. And it is one of the most popular of high speed steel. It is usually used to make drill bit, screw tap, screw die and etc.
CW6Mo5-Cr4V2 After quenching, its hardness of the surface, thermal stability, wear resistance are all better than W6Mo5Cr4-V2. But its strength and impact ductility is lower than W6Mo5Cr4-V2. People usually use it to make the knife with high machinability. Such as broaching tool, reamer bit and etc.

Its carbide is little and distributes rectangularly. Also has good plasticity and toughness. And the wear resistance is better than W6M05Cr4V2. But the grindability is bad and easy to oxidative decarburization. It is not a good choice for making high-precision complex cutting tools. It can be used to make all kinds of generic cutting tools. Such as turning tool, milling cutter and etc.
CW6Mo5-Cr4V3 It is Mo-series high speed steel with high carbon and high vanadium. On the base of W6M05Cr4-V3 to improve its average carbon content from 1.05% to 1.20%. And also improve the vanadium content to make its wear resistance get better.

All High Speed Steel Chemical Composition

W18Cr4VT10.70-0.8017.5-19.0Max 0.303.80-4.401.00-1.400.20-0.400.10-0.40Max 0.030Max 0.030
W9Mo3Cr4V0.77-0.878.50-9.502.70-3.303.80-4.401.30-1.700.20-0.400.20-0.40Max 0.030Max 0.030
W6Mo5Cr4V2M2 (Regular C)0.80-0.905.50-6.754.50-5.503.80-4.401.75-2.200.20-0.450.15-0.40Max 0.030Max 0.030
CW6Mo5Cr4V2M2 (High C)0.95-1.055.50-6.754.50-5.503.80-4.401.75-2.200.20-0.450.15-0.40Max 0.030Max 0.030
W2Mo9Cr4V2M70.97-1.051.40-2.108.20-9.203.50-4.001.75-2.250.20-0.550.15-0.40Max 0.030Max 0.030
9W18Cr4V0.90-1.0017.5-19.0Max 0.303.80-4.401.00-1.40Max 0.40Max 0.40Max 0.030Max 0.030
W14Cr4VMnRE0.80-0.9013.2-15.0Max 0.303.50-4.001.40-1.70Max 0.500.35-0.55Max 0.030Max 0.030RE: 0.07
W12Cr4V4Mo1.20-1.4011.5-13.00.90-1.203.80-4.403.80-4.40Max 0.40Max 0.40Max 0.030Max 0.030
W6Mo5Cr4V3M3(class a)1.00-1.105.00-6.754.75-6.753.75-4.502.25-2.750.20-0.450.15-0.40Max 0.030Max 0.030
CW6Mo5Cr4V3M3(class b)1.15-1.255.00-6.754.75-6.753.75-4.502.75-3.250.20-0.450.15-0.40Max 0.030Max 0.030
W6Mo5Cr4V2Co5M350.80-0.905.50-6.504.50-5.503.75-4.501.75-2.254.50-5.500.20-0.450.15-0.40Max 0.030Max 0.030
W7Mo4Cr4V2Co5M411.05-1.156.25-7.003.25-4.753.75-4.501.75-2.254.75-5.750.15-0.500.20-0.60Max 0.030Max 0.030
0.70-0.8017.5-19.00.40-1.003.75-4.500.80-1.204.25-5.750.20-0.400.10-0.40Max 0.030Max 0.030
8W18Cr4V2Co80.75-0.6517.5-19.00.50-1.253.75-5.001.80-2.407.00-9.500.20-0.400.20-0.40Max 0.030Max 0.030
W12Cr4V5Co5T151.50-1.6011.75-13.00Max 1.003.75-5.004.50-5.254.75-5.250.15-0.400.15-0.40Max 0.030Max 0.030
W6Mo5Cr4V2AI1.05-1.205.50-6.754.50-5.508.80-4.401.75-2.200.20-0.600.15-0.40Max 0.030Max 0.030AI: 0.80-1.20
W2Mo9Cr4VCo8M421.05-1.151.15-1.859.00-10.003.50-4.250.95-1.357.75-8.750.15-0.650.15-0.40Max 0.030Max 0.030
W7Mo4Cr4V21.05-1.156.25-7.003.25-4.258.75-4.501.75-2.254.75-5.750.15-0.500.20-0.60Max 0.030Max 0.030
W10Mo4Cr4V3AI1.30-1.459.00-10.503.50-4.503.80-4.502.70-3.20Max 0.50Max 0.50Max 0.030Max 0.030AI: 0.70-1.20
W6Mo5Cr4V5Si1.55-1.655.50-6.505.00-6.008.80-4.404.20-5.201.00-1.40Max 0.40Max 0.030Max 0.030Nb: 0.2-0.5
AI: 0.3-0.7
W12Mo3Cr4V3Co5Si1.20-1.3011.50-13.502.80-3.403.80-4.402.80-3.404.70-5.100.80-1.20Max 0.40Max 0.030Max 0.030

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