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What are the important characteristics of various tool steels and what is the criterion for their selection.

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Since plain carbon steels are cheapest and easiest to fabricate; first attempt should be to select the material from this category. The next choice should be for oil-or air-hardening steels which have better wear resistance than plain carbon steel but toughness is not good. These offer maximum safety in hardening and minimum dimensional change after heat treatment. These are preferred for dies with adjacent thin and thick sections, sharp corners, or numerous holes. These are, however, not suited for elevated temperature use. For red hardness, and wear plus shock resistance, hot-work steel must be used. For withstanding cold battering conditions the shock-resisting steels are preferred. For red hardness and high abrasion resistance with some shock resistance, high speed steel is the choice.

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