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ExEll™ A-2

Download ExEll™ A-2 Spec sheet

ExEll™ A-2 – Cold Work Tool Steel

ExELL™ A-2 is an air hardening chromium-molybdenum-vanadium alloy die steel. This grade offers intermediate abrasion resistance generally between AISI O-1 and AISI D-2.

ExELL™ A-2 is characterized by:

  • Good wear resistance
  • Good machinability
  • High compressive strength
  • Very good non-deforming properties
  • Deep hardening
  • High dimensional stability after hardening and tempering


C 1.00 Cr 5.25
Mn 0.60 Mo 1.10
Si 0.25 V 0.25



ExELL™ A-2 is well adapted for the making of intricate dies that must maintain their shape and size after hardening and tempering. ExELL™ A-2 is most suitable for applications requiring a good combination of wear and toughness.


  • Blanking dies
  • Forming dies
  • Trim tools
  • Knives
  • Bending tools
  • Shear blades
  • Forming rolls
  • Punches
  • Inserts for molding


Physical Properties:

Coefficient of Thermal Expansion, in/in/F

400 F __________ 0.0000064

Thermal Conductivity, BTU in/ft2 hr F

70 F ___________ 180

400 F __________ 190

Density, lbs/

70 F ___________ 0.283

Modulus of Elasticity, psi

70 F ___________ 27,000,000

400 F __________ 27,000,000

Specific heat, Btu/lb F

70 F ___________ 0.11

HEAT TREATMENT (General Recommendations)


With a protective atmosphere or vacuum furnace, heat slowly to 1530F. Equalize and hold one hour per inch of thickness. Furnace cool 20F/hr to 1000F and equalize. Air cool to room temperature. Hardness – 217 HB max.



To minimize movement during heat treatment, a stress relieve can be used between the rough and finish machine operations of tool making before heat treatment.

After rough machining, heat the part(s) to 1200F, equalize and hold 1–2 hours. Furnace cool to 900F and then air cool.



Preheating: Heat to 1200 – 1250F and equalize. Continue heating to hardening temperature.


Hardening: Protect against oxidation and decarburization. Austenitizing (hardening) temperature range is 1700–1720F but hardening is usually at 1740F.

Typical response is:

Hardening Temperature Hold Time* As-Quenched Hardness
1700F 40 min 62 HRC
1740F 30 min 63 HRC
1775F 20 min 63 HRC


*Hold time = time at temperature after tool is fully heated through.



Temper immediately after quenching to about 150F. Temper at least two times with a minimum 2 hour time for each temper. Select the tempering temperature based on required hardness. Typical tempering temperature responses are:

Tempering Temp. Hardness HRC (Austenitized 1740°F)
500F 58
975F 55
1000F 53
1025F 52



Typical RT Tensile Strength:

Hardness Tensile Strength, psi Yield Strength, psi
Annealed 105,000 52,000
53 HRC 255,000 200,000
50 HRC 250,000 195,000

Typical RT Compressive Strength:

Hardness Compressive Strength, psi Compressive Yield Str., psi
60 HRC 415,000 310,000
55 HRC 340,000 290,000
50 HRC 290,000 240,000


Ellwood Specialty Steel is a fully integrated producer of a wide range of specialty tool steels. Our ExELL™ grades are made with advanced ASEA-SKF steel making capabilities which include an ultra high powered electric arc furnace with subsequent state of the art ladle refining and vacuum degassing equipment for the most complete and modern ladle metallurgy technology.

Our steel making expertise and capability is further enhanced from a long forging history with optimum forging and heat treating practices to develop very special material characteristics of product uniformity, cleanliness, machinability polishability, strength, toughness, hardenability  and other steel properties. All this from production facilities certified to ISO 9002.


Ellwood Specialty Steel is committed to providing products and services which will consistently meet or exceed all quality and performance expectations. We will provide customer and technical service that will ensure complete satisfaction.

Being a very flexible integrated producer, Ellwood Specialty Steel will establish product programs to fully support industry or customer requirements. Our extensive stock programs are supported by very short mill lead times of custom forged products. Customized stock programs are and can be available for specific customer needs.

This information is intended to provide general data on our products and their uses and is based on our knowledge at the time of publication. No information should be construed as a guarantee of specific properties of the products described or suitability for a particular application. Ellwood Specialty Steel reserves the right to make changes in practices which may render some information outdated or obsolete. Ellwood Specialty Steel should be consulted for current information and/or capabilities.

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