Which steel is harder?
The hardness of steel can vary depending on its composition and heat treatment method. Here are some common types of steel, along with their hardness characteristics:
1. Tool Steel: Tool steel is a type of steel specially designed for applications such as cutting, stamping, mold making, etc. These steels typically have a very high hardness, often reaching 60 or higher on the HRC (Rockwell Hardness) scale. This hardness makes them ideal for wear and tear-resistant applications.
2. High-speed steel: High-speed steel is used in cutting tools such as drill bits and cutters. They have excellent hot hardness and are able to maintain their hardness at high temperatures, typically above HRC 60.
3. Quenched steel: Quenched steel has been quenched and has high hardness. The hardness can be adjusted according to the quenching temperature and quenching process, usually in the range of HRC 50-60.
4. Stainless steel: While stainless steel is primarily known for its corrosion resistance, certain stainless steel alloys can also be quenched to achieve relatively high hardness, usually between HRC 20-40. This makes stainless steel ideal for applications that require a combination of corrosion resistance and hardness.
5. Carbon steel: Carbon steel is a type of steel with a higher carbon content that can be achieved through appropriate heat treatment to achieve high hardness, usually between HRC 45-60.
It’s important to note that hardness is usually gained at the expense of some toughness, so when selecting materials you need to balance hardness and other properties to determine which steel is best suited for the specific application. Hardness testing is usually determined using methods such as Rockwell Hardness Testing.