H13 Tool Steel - Chromium Hot-Work Steels

Topics Covered

Chemical Composition
Physical Properties
Mechanical Properties
Thermal Properties
Other Designations
Fabrication and Heat Treatment
     Heat Treatment
     Cold Working


Chromium hot-work tool steels are classified as group H steels by the AISI classification system. This series of steels start from H1 to H19. 

H13 chromium hot-work steel is widely used in hot and cold work tooling applications. Due to its excellent combination of high toughness and fatigue resistance H13 is used more than any other tool steel in tooling applications.  

This article will give an overview of H13 chromium hot-work steels.

Chemical Composition

The following table shows the chemical composition of H13 tool steels.

Element Content (%)
Chromium, Cr 4.75-5.50
Molybdenum, Mo 1.10-1.75
Silicon, Si 0.80-1.20
Vanadium, V 0.80-1.20
Carbon, C 0.32-0.45
Nickel, Ni 0.3
Copper, Cu 0.25
Manganese, Mn 0.20-0.50
Phosphorus, P 0.03
Sulfur, S 0.03

Physical Properties

The physical properties of H13 tool steels are given in the following table.

Properties Metric Imperial
Density (@20°C/68°F) 7.80 g/cm3 0.282 lb/in3
Melting point 1427°C 2600°F

Mechanical Properties

The mechanical properties of H13 tool steels are tabulated below.

Properties Metric Imperial
Tensile strength, ultimate (@20°C/68°F, varies with heat treatment) 1200 - 1590 MPa 174000 - 231000 psi
Tensile strength, yield (@20°C/68°F, varies with heat treatment) 1000 - 1380 MPa 145000 - 200000 psi
Reduction of area (@20°C/68°F) 50.00% 50.00%
Modulus of elasticity (@20°C/68°F) 215 GPa 31200 ksi
Poisson's ratio 0.27-0.30 0.27-0.30

Thermal Properties

The following table shows the thermal properties of H13 tool steels.

Properties Conditions
T (ºC) Treatment
Thermal expansion 10.4 x 10-6/ºC 20-100 -
Thermal conductivity 28.6 W/mK 215 -

Other Designations

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Other designations that are equivalent to H13 tool steels include:

  • AFNOR Z 40 COV 5
  • DIN 1.2344
  • UNI KU
  • JIS SKD61
  • SS 2242
  • B.S. BH 13
  • ASTM A681
  • FED QQ-T-570
  • SAE J437
  • SAE J438
  • SAE J467
  • UNS T20813
  • AMS 6408

Fabrication and Heat Treatment


The machinability rate of H13 tool steels is nearly 75% of that of the W group tool steels.


H13 tool steels are formed by using conventional methods.


H13 tool steels are readily weldable.

Heat Treatment

H13 tool steels are preheated to 816°C (1500°F). Then the steels are directly heated by increasing the temperature to 1010°C (1850°F) followed by holding for 15 to 40 mins. The steels are then air-quenched.


H13 tool steels are forged at 1079°C (1975°F). For this type of steels, forging below 898°C (1650°F) is not preferable.

Cold Working

Cold working may be carried out on H13 tool steels using conventional methods.


H13 tool steels are annealed at 871°C (1600°F) and slowly cooled at 4°C (40°F) in the furnace.


Tempering is carried out in H13 tool steels from 538 to 649°C (1000 to 1200°F) to obtain Rockwell C hardness of 53 to 38. Double tempering can also be performed in these steels for every one hour at the preferred tempering temperature.


H13 tool steels are suitable for forming extrusion dies.


  1. Pankaj India Pankaj India India says:

    can i purchase H13, AIS I4140 and SKD62 material from this website.

    • Mesotek Mesotek Mesotek Mesotek India says:

      You can purchase above h13 tool steel from http://www.pmmetal.com/

  2. Pankaj India Pankaj India India says:

    and what is the price of each.

    • Vinayak Halekoti Vinayak Halekoti India says:

      280-290 INR PER KG

  3. Sibhi Gunalan Sibhi Gunalan India says:

    Can you give more clarification on the application of this H13 material. (Whether used in Tooling, Parts etc.,) .. Also let me know whether this materials are used in any Electrical Applications.

    • Vinayak Halekoti Vinayak Halekoti India says:

      you can use h13 substitute of P20 in plastic moulds & pressure die casting as well

  4. vijay patel vijay patel India says:

    can i use it in my melting furnace for holding refectory spiral pipe,on which i wind kanthal wire for heating furnace?

  5. keshav prasad keshav prasad India says:


  6. Somashekar HR Somashekar HR India says:

    What is the prefered working hardness that can be achieved fro H13

  7. Pankaj Kumar Pankaj Kumar India says:

    can i use H13 material to make gas turbine blade

  8. Luke Shah Luke Shah Canada says:

    May I know the general toughness value of H13?

  9. Shamim Ahmed Shamim Ahmed Bangladesh says:

    Can I use H13 metal to make COS mold for lead acid battery industry?

  10. umar farooq umar farooq Islamic Republic of Pakistan says:

    how to tempering h13 material?

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of AZoM.com.

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