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Grade Introduction:

D2 steel is an air-hardening, high-carbon, high-chromium tool steel. It has high wear and abrasion-resistant properties. It is heat treatable and will offer a hardness in the range of 55-62 HRC, and is machinable in the annealed condition. D2 steel shows little distortion on correct hardening. D2 steel’s high chromium content gives it mild corrosion-resisting properties in the hardened conditions.

A high carbon high chromium tool steel grade offering very high wear resistance and toughness. D2 tool steel hardens in air with a low order of movement and offers a measure of corrosion resistance when polished. Commonly used for tools operating under conditions of severe wear and abrasion or as an alternative to oil hardening tool steel grades when long runs are required.

Grade Application:

Typical applications for D2 Steel:

  • Stamping or Forming Dies
  • Punches
  • Forming Rolls
  • Knives, slitters, shear blades
  • Tools
  • Scrap choppers
  • Tyre shredders

Equivalent grades:

Equivalent materials to D2 tool steels are:

  • DIN 1.2379
  • NI KU
  • B.S. BD 2
  • ASTM A681
  • FED QQ-T-570
  • SAE J437
  • SAE J438
  • UNS T30402

Addition to other grades:

MS, EN1A, EN3B, EN8, EN8D, EN9, EN19, EN24, EN31, EN32B, EN36C, EN41B, EN43B, EN47, EN353, IS2062, 42Crmo4, HCHCR, OHNS, D3, H-11, H-13, CW-1, M2, M35, M42, 2714, SKD-11, P20, P20+S, P20+Ni, SCM 420, ASTM SA-36, ASTM SA-105, SAE 1018, SAE 1020, SAE 4140, SAE 8620, 16MNCR5, 20MNCR5, C20, C35, C40, C45, C50, C60, CK45, 20C8, 40C8, 45C8, 55C8, C55MN75, SAE 52100, S40C, S355J2G3.

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Chemical composition:

The following table shows the chemical composition of D2 steel:

Element C Si Mn P S Cr Mo Ni V Cu Co Content (%) 1.40-1.60 0.60 0.60 0.03 0.03 11.00-13.00 0.70-1.20 0.30 1.10 0.25 1.00

Mechanical Properties:

The mechanical properties of D2 steels are tabulated below:

Mechanical Properties Metric Imperial
Hardness, Knoop (converted from Rockwell C hardness) 769 769
Hardness, Rockwell C 62 62
Hardness, Vickers 748 748
Izod impact unnotched 77.0 J 56.8 ft-lb
Poisson’s ratio 0.27-0.30 0.27-0.30
Elastic modulus 190-210 GPa 27557-30457 ksi


62-63 HRC

Heat Treatment:

Heat treatment temperatures, including the rate of heating, cooling, and soaking times will vary due to factors such as the shape and size of each D2 steel component. Other considerations during the heat treatment process include the type of furnace, quenching medium, and workpiece transfer facilities.


It is preferable to heat the tools in a controlled atmosphere. If this is not possible, pack hardening is recommended. A reducing atmosphere is desirable. Preheat the D2 tool steel component to 750-800°C. and allow soaking at this temperature. The tools may then be brought up to 1000-1040°C for air cooling, or 980°C for oil quenching. Soak thoroughly at the temperature for thirty minutes per 25mm of the ruling section, then cool or quench accordingly. It is important not to exceed 1040°C when heating for hardening.


Double tempering is recommended. Tempering of D2 tool steel should be done with the least possible delay after hardening, preferably when the tools still hand warm. Select a suitable tempering temperature, bearing in mind the service requirements. Heat slowly and uniformly. When the D2 component has reached the desired temperature, soak for at least one hour per 25mm of section. The second tempering should be a repetition of the first.

Temperature [°C] 150 200 250 300 350 400
Hardness [HRc] 62-61 61-60 60-59 57-56 56-55 56-55

Physical Properties

The physical properties of D2 tool steels are outlined in the following table.

Properties Metric Imperial
Density 7.7 x 1000 kg/m3 0.278 lb/in3
Melting point 1421°C 2590°F

Thermal Properties

The following table shows the thermal properties of D2 steels.

Properties Conditions
T (ºC) Treatment
Thermal expansion 10.4 x 10-6/ºC 20-100

Forging Properties:

Forging of D2 steels can be done from 1065ºC (1950ºF) down to 954ºC (1750ºF). Do not forge below 926ºC (1700ºF).

Stress Relieving:

When tools made from D2 tool steel are heavily machined, ground, or otherwise subjected to cold work, the relief of internal strains is advisable before hardening to minimize the possibility of distortion. Stress relieving should be done after rough machining. To stress relief, heat the component to 600-650°C. Soak well and cool in the furnace or in the air. The tools may then be finish machined before hardening.


High carbon high chromium steels are used for cold-work applications and they are practically free from distortion. With faster cooling, chances of stress may cause distortion. So, normalizing should be avoided. Normalizing is also not needed as martensitic formation takes place even in furnace cooling so is also not needed.


D2 is supplied in the annealed and machinable condition. Re-annealing will only be necessary if the steel has been forged or hardened by the toolmaker. To anneal, heat slowly and uniformly to 900°C. Soak for three to four hours and allow to cool in the furnace to room temperature. Re-heat to 800-1040°C and again soak for three to four hours. Allow cooling in the furnace to room temperature.


Properties Metric Imperial
Density 7.7 x 1000 kg/m3 0.278 lb/in3


50-60% of a 1% carbon steel


With all tool steels, the first weld consideration should be does the weld requires the same hardness as the base. Is the metal to be welded in the annealed or hardened condition. Use lowest possible weld current, (smallest electrode diameter) No weaves use stringer beads. Peen each weld after completion, Ensure parts are clean. Avoid excess joint restraints.

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