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Grade Introduction:

H13 Tool Steel is a versatile chromium-molybdenum hot work steel that is widely used in hot work and cold work tooling applications. The hot hardness (hot strength) of H13 resists thermal fatigue cracking which occurs as a result of cyclic heating and cooling cycles in hot work tooling applications. Because of its excellent combination of high toughness and resistance to thermal fatigue cracking (also known as heat checking) H13 is used for more hot work tooling applications than any other tool steel.

Because of its high toughness and very good stability in heat treatment, H13 is also used in a variety of cold work tooling applications. In these applications, H13 provides better hardenability (through hardening in large section thicknesses) and better wear resistance than common alloy steels such as 4140.

Grade Application:

Hot forging and pressing dies, Extrusion dies, mandrels and punches, Hot chisels, Pressure pads, Extrusion stems, and rams, Blanking and bending tools, Hot heading tools, Backer blocks.

Equivalent grades:

Country USA German Japan
Standard ASTM A681 DIN EN ISO 4957 JIS G4404
Grades H13 1.2344/X40CrMoV5-1 SKD61

Addition to other grades:

MS, EN1A, EN3B, EN8, EN8D, EN9, EN19, EN24, EN31, EN32B, EN36C, EN41B, EN43B, EN47, EN353, IS2062, 42Crmo4, HCHCR, OHNS, D2, D3, H-11, CW-1, M2, M35, M42, 2714, SKD-11, P20, P20+S, P20+Ni, SCM 420, ASTM SA-36, ASTM SA-105, SAE 1018, SAE 1020, SAE 4140, SAE 8620, 16MNCR5, 20MNCR5, C20, C35, C40, C45, C50, C60, CK45, 20C8, 40C8, 45C8, 55C8, C55MN75, SAE 52100, S40C, S355J2G3.

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Chemical composition:

The following table shows the chemical composition of H-13 steel:

Element C Si Mn P S Cr Mo Ni V Cu
Content (%) 0.32-0.45 0.80-1.20  0.20-0.50 0.03 0.03 4.75-5.50 1.10-1.75 0.3 0.80-1.20 0.25

Mechanical Properties:

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


Hardness tests were made on 1-in. round specimens of H13 which were air quenched from 1850°F and tempered for two hours at various temperatures.

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 steel is a steel having very high hardenability and should be hardened by cooling in still air. The use of a salt bath or controlled atmosphere furnace is desirable to minimize decarburization, and if not available, pack hardening in spent pitch coke is suggested. The temperature employed is usually 1800°-1850°F, depending on size section.


Tempering practice may vary with size and application, but is usually performed in the range of maximum secondary hardness or higher. Double tempering is recommended. The results below is H13 that was air quenched from 1800°F and tempered for 4 hours at various temperatures. The results may be used as a guide, keeping in mind that parts of heavy section or mass may be several points lower in hardness.

Physical Properties:

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

Thermal Properties:

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

Forging Properties:

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

Stress Relieving:

When desirable to relieve the strains of machining, heat slowly to 1050°-1250°F, allow to equalize, and then cool in still air (Strain Relieving)


Do Not Normalize.


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


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


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


H13 tool steels are readily weldable.

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