ThePipingMart Blog Grades A6 Tool Steel – Composition, Properties and Uses

A6 Tool Steel – Composition, Properties and Uses

Tool Steel A6

A6 Tool Steel is a versatile, high-performance steel ideal for various tool and die applications. Also known as SAE-AISI A6 steel or UNS T30106, this alloy is renowned for its excellent toughness, wear resistance, and high-temperature stability. Tool Steel A6 is one of the most popular and commonly used types of tool steel. With a composition that includes chromium, vanadium, and tungsten, A6 Tool Steel is highly durable and can withstand heavy usage without losing its edge or shape. This steel has a uniform hardness throughout, making it easy to machine and polish to a high finish. This article will provide an overview of the uses, corrosion resistance, heat resistance, heat treatment, and machining of Tool Steel A6.

What Forms of A6 Tool Steel is Available at Piping Mart?

  • A6 Tool Steel Bar
  • A6 Tool Steel Pipe
  • A6 Tool Steel Tubes
  • A6 Tool Steel Valves
  • A6 Tool Steel Washers
  • A6 Tool Steel Flanges
  • A6 Tool Steel Fasteners
  • A6 Tool Steel Sheet Plates
  • A6 Tool Steel Pipe Fittings
  • A6 Tool Steel Forged Fittings

A6 Tool Steel Composition

Element Content (%)
C 0.65-0.75
Mn 1.80-2.50
Si 0.5
Cr 0.90-1.20
Ni 0.3
Mo 0.90-1.40
Cu 0.25
P 0.03
S 0.03

A6 Tool Steel Physical Properties

Properties Metric Imperial
Density 8.03 g/cm3 0.290 lb/in3

A6 Tool Steel Mechanical Properties

Properties Metric Imperial
Hardness, Rockwell C (as air quenched from 845°C, tempered for 2 hours. 61-62 HRC at 95°C temper, 60-61 HRC at 150°C temper, 58-59 HRC at 205°C temper, 56-57 HRC at 260°C temper, 55-56 HRC at 315°C temper, 52-53 HRC at 425°C temper, 50-51 HRC at 480°C temper, 48-49 HRC at 540°C temper) 61.0-62.0 61.0-62.0
Bulk modulus (typical for steels) 140 GPa 20300 ksi
Machinability (based on carbon tool steel) 65% 65%
Shear modulus (estimated from elastic modulus) 77.0 GPa 11200 ksi
Poisson’s ratio 0.27-0.30 0.27-0.30
Elastic modulus 190-210 GPa 27557-30457 ksi

A6 Tool Steel Thermal Properties

Properties Conditions
T (°C) Treatment
Thermal expansion 11.5 x 10-6/ºC 20-100

A6 Tool Steel Equivalents

  • ASTM A68i
  • FED QQ-T-570
  • UNS T30i06
  • ASTM A681 (A-6)
  • UNS T30106

A6 Tool Steel Uses

Tool Steel A6 is often used for a variety of applications, such as dies, punches, tools for cutting or forming metal parts, plastic molds, springs, and machine components. It is also used in the production of medical instruments due to its high durability and strength.

A6 Tool Steel Uses in Industries

  • Automotive Industry
  • Aerospace Industry
  • Construction Industry
  • Medical Industry
  • Oil and Gas Industry

A6 Tool Steel Corrosion Resistance

Tool Steel A6 has very good corrosion resistance due to its high chromium content. When exposed to atmospheric conditions, it forms an oxide film that protects the steel from further corrosion. This makes it ideal for use in marine environments or other areas where corrosion is likely to occur.

A6 Tool Steel Heat Resistance

Tool Steel A6 has superior heat resistance when compared to other tool steels. This allows it to be used in applications that require exposure to elevated temperatures without compromising its strength or integrity. Additionally, it has good thermal shock resistance, which allows it to withstand sudden temperature changes without cracking or warping.

A6 Tool Steel Heat Treatment

Heat treating Tool Steel A6 involves heating it up until it reaches a specific temperature (usually around 900°C) before quenching it in oil or water, depending on the desired hardness level. Annealing may also be done after heat treatment in order to reduce any internal stresses caused by the treatment process. The heat treatment process can greatly improve the mechanical properties and wear resistance of Tool Steel A6.

A6 Tool Steel Machining

Machining with Tool Steel A6 requires special tools and techniques due to its hardness and wear-resistance properties. Specialized carbide tools are recommended for drilling and milling operations due to their superior cutting capabilities compared with conventional HSS tools. Additionally, the coolant should always be used when machining this type of steel, as excessive friction generated by dry machining can cause tool chipping or surface damage to the workpiece being machined.


In conclusion, Tool Steel A6 is an incredibly useful material that offers great mechanical properties as well as excellent corrosion resistance and heat resistance making it suitable for many different applications, including dies, punches, metal parts formers, plastic molds, springs, machine components, among others. Its superior properties can only be enhanced through proper heat treatment, which will improve hardness while reducing internal stresses caused by machining operations on this material type as well as increasing wear-resistance levels significantly, thus making it highly suitable for various industrial uses requiring superior performance results over time even when exposed to harsh environmental conditions such as humidity or saltwater exposure over extended periods of time. With proper knowledge regarding its machinability characteristics combined with specialized carbide tools designed specifically for this type of material, one can take full advantage of all benefits provided by this unique grade tool steel alloy, so make sure you always keep your tooling updated!

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