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Tool & Die Steels

REDSTAR HWD™ – Hot Work Die Steel

Redstar HWD is a 5% Chrome, High Vanadium Hot Work Tool Steel that is commonly regarded as "The most forgiving hot work die steel". You cannot find a more universally accepted tool steel to provide resistance to thermal shock (readily stands up to tool temperatures up to 1000°F).

Redstar HWD is easier to machine than most Hot Work Tool Steels. It will provide uniform hardness throughout even massive sections, and withstands the stress of drastic cooling from high temperatures, such as with extrusion press tooling.

Primary use is for dies used with Aluminum and Non-Ferrous metals.

Machinability at full anneal is 75%, where a 1 percent carbon steel is equal to 100%.

Redstar HWD is an air hardening grade of tool steel that provides all of the advantages of an air hardening grade; most notably non-deforming characteristics.

Less decarburization in thermal treatment than other tool steel grades. Heat treat in a near neutral atmosphere. Surface grind, if possible, following heat treatment.

Redstar HWD is found in almost every tool room, where it is used to replace many other grades of tool steel.

If you need a brute, tough, resilient tool steel that is easy to work with, and is very forgiving, consider Redstar HWD.

Consider Redstar HWD as an upgrade for H-13 type tool steel.


• Resists Thermal Fatigue Cracking
• High Hardness For Resistance To Wear
• Non-Deforming Properties
• Excellent Toughness
• Excellent Shock Resistance
• Good Machinability
• Good Red Hardness
• Good Size Stability

Specify REDSTAR HWD when in-service temperatures cycle between hot and cold.

Typical Applications

  • Hot Forging Dies
  • Hot Shear Blades
  • Shot Sleeves
  • Trimmer Dies
  • Extrusion Dies
  • Dummy Blocks
  • Ejector Pins
  • Bolsters
  • Die Casting
  • Gripper Dies
  • Plastic Mold Cavities
  • Mandrels
  • Hot Upset Dies
  • Core Pins

Typical Surface Conditions*

Ground Top and Bottom (+.015"/.+035" oversize)
Side Saw Cut (+.125" oversize)
Length Saw Cut (+.250" oversize)
Surface Finish RMS 125 or better
* As delivered.

Available Lengths

10/12 Ft Random Lengths
Custom Cut Lengths

Heat Treatment

Annealing - Annealing must be performed after hot working and before re-hardening. Heat at a rate not exceeding 400°F per hour to 1,575°F /1,675°F, and hold at temp. for 1 hour per inch of max thickness; 2 hours minimum. Cool slowly, not exceeding 30°F per hour to 1,150°F. Continue to cool in ambient temp. Proper annealing includes packing in a sealed container, using inert neutral material.

Forging - Do not forge.

Hardening / Preheating - Preheat thoroughly at 1,350°F. Then raise heat temperature to 1,850°F and hold for one hour per inch of greatest cross section or actual thickness. NOTE: Heat slowly to temperature.

Quenching - Air, pressurized gas, or warm oil. For pressurized gas quenching, a minimum rate of 50°F per minute to below 1,000°F is required to obtain the optimum properties in the steel. For oil, quench until black, about 900°F, then cod in still air to 150° F to 125°F.

Tempering - Temper immediately after quenching. Typical tempering range is 1,000°F to 1,150°F. Hold at the tempering temp. for 1 hour per inch of thickness or greatest cross section, but for 2 hours minimum, then air cool to ambient temp. Double tempering is advisable, especially where heat checking is a problem. To maximize toughness and tool performance, a third temper is often used as a stress relief after all finish work is completed.

Associated Steel Corporation is the sole licensed agent for all tradename products that were formerly sold by North American Steel Company. For all inquiries and order placements, please contact Associated Steel Corp.

Phone: 1.800.321.9300
Email: mail@associatedsteel.com
Web: www.associatedsteel.com

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