Ledeburitic steels based on Cr- or Cr-V alloying belong to the most important cold-work tool materials for large series manufacturing. To enable high production stability, the tools must withstand various types of degradation processes. On the first side, it concerns the plastic deformation and wear. Therefore, the materials should have high hardness, tensile and/or compressive strength and wear resistance. Alternatively, the materials have to resist the brittle fracture, i.e. they must manifest sufficiently high toughness and fracture toughness. The review paper deals with the effect of heat treatment procedures on the microstructures of Cr- and Cr-V ledeburitic steels. Particular attention is paid to the effect of the austenitizing and quenching, tempering and sub-zero treatment on the main microstructural features of the steels, and their relation to the main mechanical properties.Keywords: ledeburitic steels, heat-treatment, martensite, retained austenite, carbides
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