Heat treatment of new tool steels without critical raw materials
Since 2011, European Commission is periodically updating the list of critical raw materials from the viewpoint of availability and economical importance. On this list, there are metals, which are crucial for a series of tool steels (vanadium, tungsten and cobalt), and chromium was also listed for a period of time. Therefore, the substitution of these elements is one of the research trends supported by EU. This work deals with the heat treatment of two newly proposed tool steels alloyed by titanium or by a combination of titanium and chromium. Both materials were produced by powder metallurgy. It was found that the steel alloyed by titanium keeps high hardness after tempering up 400 °C. The steel alloyed by a combination of titanium and chromium can be processed to secondary hardness, but the hardness increase is low. It can be expected that after optimization of the production technology and the contents of alloying elements, the properties comparable with current tool materials can be achieved.