Roll Form Tooling Materials

Producers of tube, pipe and roll-formed products are always looking for tooling materials that will give them the best results for the best cost. Roll-Kraft has compiled a list of materials that are available today along with where these materials are best suited for use on your mills.

Please note that the list gives limited examples of locations on the mill that we believe the material is most commonly used. Please contact Roll-Kraft so we can fully understand your expectations and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using some of these unique materials.

A common misconception in the industry is that specific materials can solve specific problems. That can be true to a certain extent, but you need to be sure that your tooling supplier is asking the right questions and understands your expectations. For instance, the definition of a “mark-free” product varies from producer to producer. If you are looking for a mark-free product, we would ask to see a sample in order to understand your expectations. Also, the current tooling material may be ideal, but mills that are set up incorrectly or misaligned can sometimes lead to product marking. The last thing we want to do is provide you with a very expensive material that you don’t actually need.

Most importantly, if the material is to be heat-treated, you must be certain it is done properly. The most expensive materials available today will not perform any better than the least expensive materials if they are heat treated improperly. Decreasing the duration of heat treatment is a way that tooling suppliers can cut corners and ultimately sell you less expensive tooling. If heat treating companies do not have the material at their facility for the proper amount of time, it is less costly to them, which is less costly to the roll supplier. It is imperative that your tube, pipe, and roll-form tooling is heat-treated properly.

D2 - The most commonly used material for roll form tooling
The best value material with high carbon, high chrome for excellent abrasion resistance and toughness
Used in most areas of the mill except for certain weld rolls
D4 / D5 / D6 - Higher grades of the D series for improved abrasion resistance compared to D2
Same as above just not as readily available, which means will be more expensive as well
M2 - A high-speed steel with more abrasion resistance than D2
Good for forming very abrasive materials Works well in high-temperature areas of the mill (such as weld rolls) but can also be used in other areas of the mill
M4 - Same as above except, even higher quality material
DC53 - Another high-speed steel that is more wear and impact resistant than D2
Mainly used for sizing rolls, fin pass, and weld rolls
REX 86 - A high-alloy material that has great wear characteristics when used on certain materials
The hardness can reach 67-69 Rockwell “C” hardness. Mainly used when forming high-nickel material
REX 20 – Cobalt-free material with great toughness and wear resistance
Used for breakdown rolls, fin pass rolls, sizing rolls, and side rolls
Maxamet – Similar to REX 86 but with 68-70 Rockwell “C” hardness
O1 – Oil hardened with lower carbon and good toughness
Used in the past for most rolls, due to ease of machining
A2 – 5% chrome for good abrasion properties and toughness
Used as a tougher substitute for D2 and cutoff jaws
S6 – General purpose tool steel with high strength and good toughness
S7 – High shock resistance, good strength, and ductility for cold and medium hot work less than 1,000 degrees
H13 – Good for hot work; good balance of toughness and heat check resistance
The best value material for weld rolls
H10 – Contains molybdenum for increased strength and wear properties, compared to H13
Used for weld rolls
L6 – General purpose tool steel with high strength and good toughness
CPM RexT-15 – Super high-speed steel with high vanadium content for excellent wear resistance and cobalt for good red hardness
CPM 9V – Lower carbide and vanadium content than CPM 10V
Improved toughness and heat check resistance
Used for weld rolls
CPM 10V – Has a higher vanadium content for more wear resistance than D2
Can be used in all areas of the mill, but, best results are in the sizing section for at least 1.5 to 2 times more life than D2
CPM 15V – More vanadium than CPM 10V, for even greater wear resistance
Same uses as CPM 10V
CRU-WEAR – Has less chrome and carbon than D2, but contains more vanadium and tungsten
Tougher than D2 with similar wear
Can be used anywhere that impact resistance is an issue
Stainless steel – non-magnetic properties and is non-marking in certain applications
Used for weld rolls
Durabar – Cast iron
Good impact resistance
Does not wear as long as tool steels, but is a less expensive option in some cases
Meehanite – Cast iron
Good toughness with fair wear
Has self-lubricating properties
Same uses as Dura-bar, but also used for weld rolls in tig welding to eliminate copper contamination

Aluminum Bronze 18 / 21 / 45 – Non-magnetic and non-marking

  • Relatively soft
  • Used throughout the mill in areas where roll marking would yield an unacceptable final product
Aluminum Bronze 25 – Hardest of the bronzes for greatest life
Used mainly for weld rolls but can be used throughout the mill in areas where roll marking would yield an unacceptable final product
Formamet – Similar to Aluminum Bronze 25, but with a finer grain structure for increased wear resistance –
Same uses as Aluminum Bronze 25
Carbide 6% Cobalt – Very hard for extreme abrasion resistance
Normally used in sizing rolls only
Very little impact resistance

Carbide 15% Cobalt – More binder than 6% Cobalt for increased toughness

  •  Used for breakdowns rolls, fin pass rolls, sizing rolls, side rolls, and turkhead rolls

Carbide 12% Nickel – The nickel binder is more resistant to chemicals than cobalt

  • Can survive in a wide range of chemistries
  • Used for breakdowns rolls, fin pass roll, sizing rolls, side rolls, and turkhead rolls
  • A non-magnetic grade is used for weld rolls
Carbide 23% Nickel – More binder for increased impact resistance, but less wear resistance
Can be used in any area that 15% cobalt and 12% nickel is used
Rene 95 – Superalloy for high strength, with high nickel content for excellent wear and heat resistance
Used for weld rolls

Nylon – Used for to form very soft materials that would mark using another tool steel

  • Used for breakdowns rolls, fin pass roll, sizing rolls, and side rolls
  • Mainly used to form aluminum products, but is also used to form some stainless steel products as well
Urethane – Same as nylon, but with increased wear resistance
Same uses as nylon
PC Plastic – Same as nylon
Same uses as nylon
Rubber – Excellent grip characteristics
Used for pull-out rolls, as well as in louvered tube applications
Ceramic – Non-magnetic material with extreme wear characteristics
Used for weld rolls
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