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Vanadium is present in all high speed steel grades. unfortunately vanadium not only very expensive but is also a will known cytotoxic metal. some workers get severe persistent cough lasts for months for just contact with vanadium containing dust or vapors which are present in any workshop !!

I searched a lot but can not find any high speed steels without vanadium , except some research grades which replaced vanadium by niobium but unfortunately niobium forms very coarse carbides which are so detrimental to steel toughness.

so my question is if there is vanadium-free high speed steels or any temper-resisting steels with similar hardness exist ?

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  • $\begingroup$ Are these workers using Vanadium to make the steel or are they using V-steel tools? The source of cough is not clear here. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Dec 14 '18 at 18:58
  • $\begingroup$ they using ferrovanadium to make steel . grinding or machining of tool steel can lead to contact with vanadium containing dust , even if the vanadium content in the steel is just 1% it is better to stay away from it . $\endgroup$ – anameen Dec 14 '18 at 20:35
  • $\begingroup$ Have you tried local fume/dust extractors? They would probably be the easier than changing to a new material. $\endgroup$ – Kagekiba Dec 19 '18 at 16:07
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No. Surprisingly ( to me) it is in every high speed steel. It forms a very hard ,very stable carbide , VC. This carbide does not even dissolve during the normal very high temperature austenize heat. So people must actually allergic to VC , as there is no available V. It has been used in essentially all HSS since 1910 . Makes me wonder why this problem was unknown until now . ( ASM Tool Steel handbook , 1962.)

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  • $\begingroup$ I read a book named "tool steels:5th Edition" and it mentioned some hot work steels free from vanadium and they have just a 1-2 Rc lower hardness and red hardness compared to vanadium-containing steels . but it did not mention any vanadium-free high speed steel though that slight reduction in red hardness is acceptable. $\endgroup$ – anameen Dec 14 '18 at 17:14
  • $\begingroup$ Hot work tool steel is not "high speed steel" : There are many categories of tool steels . If you believe the story about V , pick a steel with no V ' it just won't be high speed steel. $\endgroup$ – blacksmith37 Dec 15 '18 at 2:28
  • $\begingroup$ hot work steels are very similar to high speed steels , not only in retaining hardness in high temperatures but some hot work steels are a low carbon version of high speed steel. like H26 grade which is actually a lower carbon grade of T1 steel. $\endgroup$ – anameen Dec 15 '18 at 3:57
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting that you pick the only tungsten hot work steel that contains V, apparently. Grades H 20 to H 25 should not contain V. Although not HSS they are similar and may meet your requirements. $\endgroup$ – blacksmith37 Dec 15 '18 at 16:51

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