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Useful Steel Data


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ASTM International: Formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

ASTM International standards are the tools of customer satisfaction and competitiveness.

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Click here for a list and general information on some of the material grades we carry in stock. If you don't find the info you are seeking, please call us and we will be happy to help.

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Disclaimer: The content of this page is for general information only and is not to be used for engineering or design. The content of this material specification page was compiled from available public sources and authorities on material properties. Although we believe the information to be correct, Metal Stock, Inc. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the material specifications and only presents this data as general information for our customers.

AISI A2 tool steel is a 5% chromium medium alloy cold work tool steel possessing sufficient hardenability to be air hardened to 60 Rc surface hardness level with good depth of hardening. This widely used tool steel has low distortion in heat treatment, good machinability, good toughness for severe service, high abrasion resistance, and deep hardening properties in large sections. A2 has a fully spheroidized structure and has exceptionally low inclusion levels. A2 is available in de-carb free rounds, flats and squares, as well as drill rod and ground flat stock.

AISI A2 conforms to ASTM A681, DIN 1.2363, SAE J437, J438

General Information about AISI A2:


AISI A2's typical applications are blanking, forming, and trim dies, stamping dies, coining dies, thread roller dies, knurls, knurling tools, mandrels, master hobs, cold forming tools, spindles, shear blades, slitter blades, molds, punches, block and ring gauges, punch plates, reamers, brick mold liners, forming rolls, etc.



Heating for forging must be done slowly and uniformly. Soak through at 1900-2000F and reheat as often as necessary, stopping work when the temperature drops below 1650F. After forging, cool slowly in lime, mica, dry ashes or furnace. A2 should always be annealed after forging.


Heat slowly to 1550-1600F, hold until entire mass is heated through, and cool slowly in the furnace (40F per hour) to about 1000F, after which cooling rate may be increased. Suitable precautions must be taken to prevent excessive carburization or decarburization.


When desirable to relieve the strains of machining, heat slowly to 1050-1250F, allow to equalize, and then cool in still air (Strain Relieving).


Preheat slowly to 1350-1450F and hold at this temperature until part is uniformly heated.


After thorough preheating, heat to 1750-1800F. Hold the work piece at the hardening temperature until it is completely and uniformly heated.


A2 is an air hardening steel and will develop full hardness on cooling in still air. To avoid scaling of the work piece surface, controlled atmosphere or vacuum furnaces are recommended. If these types of furnaces are not available, salt baths or wrapping the part in stainless steel foil will provide a degree of surface protection in the hardening process, Parts should be allowed to cool to 150F, or to where they can be held in the bare hand, and then temper immediately.


The tempering temperature may be varied according to the desired hardness. If maximum hardness is desired, tempering should be in the range of 300-400F, but if a lower hardness is acceptable, tempering at 950F will give the optimum combination of hardness and toughness. The Rockwell C hardness obtained on specimens 1 inch square when quenched in air from 1775F and tempered at various temperatures, held for 4 hours, are as follows:

300 62
400 60
500 58
600 56
700 56
800 56
900 56
1000 55
1100 50
1200 43
1300 34


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