Manufacturing tool steel
The raw material for tool steel is pre-sorted scrap, which is purchased from scrap dealers and the metal-working industry, or recycled from our own production. This high-grade scrap is melted at temperatures of 1600° C in electric arc furnaces with a capacity of 25,50 or 70 t in Sumaré (Brazil), Kapfenberg (Austria) and Hagfors (Sweden). Induction furnaces are available for smaller quantities.
The liquid steel is then poured into so called ladles, where all secondary metallurgical processes are carried out and the final alloy is adjusted. The most important alloying elements are vanadium, chromium, nickel, tungsten, cobalt and molybdenum. The melting process is controlled by state-of-the-art computer systems and the chemical composition of each charge is verified in our own laboratories. Tool steels have an average alloy content of 5% to 15%, but this figure can range up to 50% for high-alloy steel, thus the term high-grade or special steel
The charge is then cast into blocks weighing between 0.6 and 50 tonnes. These blocks are hot-rolled in the most advanced multiline rolling mill in the world (Kapfenberg), or forged using high-performance machinery. End products range from large blocks, bars, and profiles to wire made of tool steel and are therefore referred to as long products (in contrast to flat products). Our rolling mill in Mürzzuschlag produces sheets and plates.