ThePipingMart Blog Grades M48 Tool Steel (UNS T11348) – Composition, Properties, and Uses

M48 Tool Steel (UNS T11348) – Composition, Properties, and Uses

Tool Steel M48

M48 Tool Steel is a high-quality alloy steel commonly used to produce tools. With a combination of physical, mechanical, and machining properties, this steel provides strength, durability, and increased performance. Let’s examine why Tool Steel M48 is so popular and what it can do for you.


Grade M48 Tool Steel (UNS T11348)  is composed of the following elements: Carbon (C), Manganese (Mn), Silicon (Si), Chromium (Cr), Nickel (Ni), Vanadium (V), and Tungsten (W). This composition creates an alloy with excellent hot hardness, good wear resistance, great toughness, and relatively good corrosion resistance. It also has a high carbon content, which adds strength and wears resistance.

Element Content (%)
Tungsten, W 17.5 – 19
Cobalt, Co 4.25 – 5.75
Chromium, Cr 3.75 – 4.5
Vanadium, V 0.8 – 1.2
Carbon, C 0.7 – 0.8
Molybdenum, Mo 0.4 – 1
Silicon, Si 0.2 – 0.4
Manganese, Mn 0.1 – 0.4
Phosphorus, P 0.03 max
Sulfur, S 0.03 max
Iron, Fe Balance

Mechanical Properties

M48 Steel offers excellent mechanical properties due to its composition. Its tensile strength ranges from 990MPa to 1130MPa with an elongation percentage of 12-17%. Its yield strength ranges from 835MPa to 1040MPa. It has a solid modulus of elasticity at 205GPa and a hardness range between 45HRC to 50HRC depending on heat treatment.

Properties Metric Imperial
Modulus of elasticity 190-210 GPa 27557-30458 ksi
Poisson’s ratio 0.27-0.30 0.27-0.30

Physical Properties

Alloy M48 Tool Steel has great physical properties due to its composition, including high density at 7800kg/m3, melting point at 1420°C – 1450°C, the thermal expansion coefficient of 11×10-6/K at 20°C – 400°C, thermal conductivity at 20°C – 50W/mK., electrical resistivity at 20°C – 70μΩ•cm., specific heat capacity at 20°C – 460J/kg•K.

Properties Metric Imperial
Density 8.68 g/cm3 0.313 lb/in3
Melting point 1432°C 2610°F

Thermal Properties

Properties Metric Imperial
Thermal expansion co-efficient 11.9 µm/m°C 6.6 µin/in°F


Tool Steel M48 is becoming increasingly popular for a variety of uses due to its combination of strength, toughness and wear resistance. This steel can be used for manufacturing dies and molds for the automotive industry, construction and mining applications, and punching and cutting edges in various operations. Another key use is in mining operations, as Tool Steel M48 is highly resistant to shock loading, making it especially effective while extracting minerals from hard surfaces. In addition to these uses, Tool Steel M48 holds its edge even at high temperatures. It is regularly employed in heat treatment processes where good dimensional stability and quenching properties are required. With many varied applications, Tool Steel M48 is an excellent option when you need a reliable steel alloy with superior performance.

Corrosion Resistance

Tool Steel M48 is becoming increasingly popular because of its exceptional corrosion resistance. This ultra-high carbon steel offers durability and longevity that is rare in other tool steels, and it can be used to make products which will last through even the toughest corrosion conditions. It features excellent wear-reducing properties, which can handle extreme applications without risking plastic deformation or compression. Its outstanding strength allows for longer life span tools and components and can effectively withstand the most challenging operating environments. Tool Steel M48 is rapidly becoming popular among manufacturers due to its impressive corrosion resistance and performance.

Heat Resistance

Tool Steel M48 is a type of steel that is becoming more and more popular for its ability to withstand immense amounts of heat. This makes it optimal for creating high-temperature tools such as cutting tools, molds, dies, and hot-forming tools. Its alloy composition also gives it an incredible level of corrosion resistance compared to traditional steels, meaning its longevity can’t be questioned either. Through rigorous testing and quality control, steel has earned an impressive reputation on the world market and is increasing its presence in applications where safety or quality are critical elements. Tool Steel M48’s impressive heat resistance shows how dependable this reliable steel can be in many different environments.

Heat Treatment

Heat-treating tool steel M48 can be challenging, as the process requires accurate temperature control and a specific furnace atmosphere. However, when done correctly, the heat treatment offers excellent hardness and wear resistance, making it an ideal choice for mass-producing molds for plastic injection molding. The treatment consists of heating the steel to a critical temperature and subjecting it to quenching in either air or oil, depending on workpiece size. Martempering or austempering can also be used to improve homogeneity and reduce the chances of distortion during cooling. With proper heat treatment, tool steel M48 will offer superior strength and wear resistance while maintaining a good balance between that and its ductility.


Tool steel M48 welding is a specialized task requiring skill and expertise. This type of welding involves joining two pieces of steel using filler metals such as silver, nickel, or aluminium alloys. The technique employed for tool steel M48 welding must be appropriate for the application, such as arc or oxy-acetylene welding. Other factors to consider are joint gap size, shape, weld location, and part orientation. Submerged arc welding or laser welding may also be used with the proper set-up to ensure high-quality results. Quality assurance testing can help spot potential flaws before the parts go into production. Professional welders know that taking their time during this type of welding ensures that the job will be done right.


Tool Steel M48 is quite easy to machine due to its low hardness level when annealed and relatively low impurities in its material structure. This makes it possible for machining operations such as milling, drilling or grinding with standard tooling equipment with no need for special tooling or treatments like cryogenic cooling or hardening preheat treatments before machining operations are performed. It also offers good chip-breaking properties resulting in shorter cycle times during machining operations which increase productivity during manufacturing processes using this material type.


Tool Steel M48 provides excellent physical, mechanical and machining properties making it one of the most popular materials used in the production of tools today. It offers great wear resistance thanks to high carbon content while still being relatively easy to machine with standard tooling equipment without any special preheat treatments required beforehand. This type of steel will provide excellent performance while maintaining strength and durability throughout your projects. Making it the perfect choice for anyone looking for a reliable tool steel material!

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