You might think that steel is steel, but that isn't the truth. The fact is, there are all kinds of different kinds of steel out there, low carbon steel, high carbon steel, tool steel, and high-speed steel, to name just a few. Because steel is an alloy, it's easy to make the different kinds of steel depending on what it's going to be used for. Putting in different components like molybdenum or titanium will turn out steel that is used in different situations, and even just changing the percentages of the various components can have a significant effect on the steel. There are a lot of uses for specialty steel like high speed steel.
You may think that calling steel high-speed is rather odd, but it works for this kind of steel. It gets that name because it works really well in high speed applications like cutting and drilling tools. The way that this steel is made makes it so that it can get used at higher heats without ruining the temper on the steel.
Part of any steel making process is making sure that it is properly tempered. This is a process by which the metal is made tougher by different heat treatments. In the case of tempering, toughness and hardness are different things, and tempering makes steel tougher by decreasing the hardness. In the steel making process, the metal is hardened, generally by being quenched in some kind of oil or water, which cools it quickly and gives it that hard factor. Then, the metal is tempered, which has to be done carefully, by raising the metal to particular temperatures and then letting it cool again. If the temperature gets too high, it can make the metal unworkable.
That fact can make many kinds of steel difficult to work with when it comes to cutting, grinding, or drilling. All that friction generates heat, and depending on the materials, the tools can get really, really hot while they are being used, which can destroy the temper of the steel, ruining the tool. But, high-speed steel doesn't have that problem because its alloy content generally includes something like molybdenum, which changes the tempering point. among other things.
High-speed steel is just one of the kinds of steel out there. It has its own set of uses, including being used in various cutting and machining tools.
For more information, reach out to companies like Pacific Industrial Supply CO, INC.