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Download A8 Spec sheet

WM A-8 is an air-hardening tool steel that is characterized by a combination of very good toughness, intermediate wear resistance, & excellent dimensional stability in heat treatment. WM A-8 is an excellent steel for punches and dies that operate in the 55-60 Rockwell C hardness range. The combination of toughness and wear resistance make WM A-8 an excellent choice for applications that require higher toughness than that of the high-carbon, high-chromium steels such as D2 & better wear resistance than that of shock-resisting steels such as S7.

For hot work tooling applications, WM A-8 provides better resistance to erosion, wear and wash-out than the typical chromium-molybdenum hot work steels such as H11 and H13. However, it is not recommended for hot applications where thermal fatigue (heat checking) is the primary failure mode.


Carbon 0.55
Manganese 0.30
Silicon 0.95
Chromium 5.00
Molybdenum 1.25
Tungsten 1.25


Punches, drift pins, pneumatic tools, chuck jaws, hammers, hot rolls, and hot and cold shear knives


Density – 0.281 lb/in3

Specific gravity – 7.78

Coefficient of Thermal Expansion

70 – 800°F 6.65 x 10-6 in/in/°F
70 – 1000°F 6.88
70 – 1200°F 7.06


Heat at a rate not exceeding 400°F per hour to 1400-1450°F and equalize.


Heat slowly from the preheat.

Furnace or Salt: 1825-1850°F

Soak for 30 minutes for the first inch of thickness, plus 15 minutes for each additional inch.


Air, pressurized gas, or interrupted oil to 150-125°F.
Note: Sizes over 5 inches in cross section may not achieve full hardness by cooling in still air. It is usually necessary to increase the quench cooling rate between 1400 to 900°F by using an air blast, pressurized gas, or an interrupted oil quench. For the oil quench, quench until black, about 900°F, then cool in still air to 150-125°F.


Temper immediately after quenching.

Hold temperature for 1 hour per inch of thickness, 2 hours minimum, then air cool to ambient temperature. The typical tempering range is 300 to 600°F. Double tempering is recommended for tempering temperatures of 900°F and higher.

To minimize internal stresses in cross sections greater than 6 inches and to improve stability in tools that will be EDM’d after heat treatment, a soaking time of 4 to 6 hours at the tempering temperature is strongly recommended.

Cryogenic Treatment: Some prefer to do cryogenic treatment as an extension of the quench from the austenitizing treatment. Others prefer to cryogenically treat after tempering.



Annealing must be performed after hot working and before rehardening.

Heat at a rate not exceeding 400°F per hour to 1550°F, and hold at temperature for 1 hour per inch of maximum thickness; 2 hours minimum. Then cool slowly with the furnace at a rate not exceeding 50°F per hour to 1000°F. Continue cooling to ambient temperature in the furnace or in air. The resultant hardness should be a maximum of 241 HBW.

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