Carpenter® Technology Corporation's Micro-Melt® A11 is a particle metallurgy version of A11 tool steel. Also known as AISI A11, K294 (Böhler-Uddeholm), CPM® 10V (Crucible®), and a variety of other names, it is commonly referred to “in-house” as simply PMA11 (“particle metallurgy” A11).
Its large volume of hard vanadium carbides provides substantially better wear resistance than typical high-carbon, high-chromium die steels such as D2 and D7. The particle metallurgy process further enhances these properties by greatly minimizing alloy segregation and ensuring a fine, homogenous microstructure. In knife blades, these qualities translate to outstanding edge retention and good toughness, especially in shorter knives. Note, however, that PMA11 is a tool steel and must be maintained properly to safeguard it against corrosion.