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The AISI classification scheme categorizes chromium-hot-work tool steels as group H steels. This sequence of steels varies between H1 and H19.
These steels are designed to withstand the conditions of high pressure, heat, and abrasion that occur in various production units. Such operations are carried on at extreme temperature ranges include shearing, punching, or shaping metals.
The balanced alloy contents and air-hardness characteristic of these steels can induce minimal distortion during hardening. Most steels consist of low carbon and alloy composition so that tools made from these steels can undergo easy cooling.
H13 Hot-work chromium steel is commonly used for hot and cold work tooling applications. H13 tool steel is used more than any other tool steel in tooling applications because of its excellent combination of high toughness and fatigue resistance.
Most widely used in plastic molds and die casting, its capacity to endure rapid cooling from high operating temperatures also makes it a top option for thermoplastic dies.
Steel mills typically follow the smelting processes for high-quality tool steel such as furnace processing, vacuum cleaning, vacuum smelting,
powder spraying and electro slag re-melting to reduce the content of toxic elements such as oxygen, hydrogen and steel inclusions.
In terms of chemical composition, H13 tool steel includes Carbon in the range as 0.35-0.45, Chromium as 4.75-5.50, Molybdenum as 1.10-1.75, Manganese as 0.20-0.50, Vanadium as 0.80-1.20, Silicon 0.80-1.20, Phosphorus as 0.030 and Sulfur as 0.030 at the max. Temperatures for various operations carried on such as annealing range from 1550 to 1650 °F, 1825-1900 °F for hardening, 1000-1200°F for tempering and 38-53 °F for Rockwell C.
Physical properties of H13 tool steel comprise of its density and melting point. The density is recorded as 7.80 g/cm3 for 20°C, while melting point is recorded as 1427 °C.
H13 tool steel in terms of its mechanical properties tends to show a behavior that varies with heat treatment. H13 tool steel records a reduction of area as 50% and modulus of elasticity as 215 GPa at 20 °C. The ranges for tensile strength in terms of ultimate and yield vary as 1000-1380 MPa and 1200-1590 MPa respectively. Value of Poisson’s ratio is recorded in the range of 0.27-0.30.
In terms of thermal properties, the expansion is recorded as 10.4 x 10-6/°C while temperature ranges from 20-100 °C. H13 tool steel has a thermal conductivity of 28.6 W/mK at 215 °C.
H13 tool steel outperforms steel alloys such as 4140 in terms of better hardenability and its associated mechanical properties. Some common advantages include:
H13 tool steel finds its applications in extrusion and plastic molding. The part involves dies, backers, die-holders, liners and stems as these are copper alloys with rich aluminium and magnesium content. As a plastic modeling tool, it is used in compression of injection molds and transfer molds with an HRC of 50-52. H13 Is an outstanding die steel for die casting and also employed successfully for slides and cores in tool assemblies.
Other applications include:
Other designations that are equivalent to H13 tool steels include:
It is quite important to apply surface treatment processes on H13 tool steel in order to improve mechanical properties, especially at higher temperatures. In conclusion, good hardness, as well as blend of shock and abrasion resistance, makes H13 tools steel a great choice for tooling applications.
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