Characterized by its exceptional hot hardness, abrasion resistance, and stability in heat treatment, H13 is a tool steel widely used in both hot and cold work applications.
Tool steel refers to a variety of carbon and alloy steels that are particularly well suited for toolmaking. Their suitability comes from their distinctive hardness, resistance to deformation, and their ability to hold a cutting edge at elevated temperatures. As a result, tool steels are well suited to shape other materials.
H13 is a chromium molybdenum hot work steel well known for its exceptional hot hardness and abrasion resistance, making it ideal for a variety of hot work applications. H13 can also be used in cold work applications thanks to its general hardness and toughness.
H13’s high hardness and toughness make it particularly difficult to machine, and often requires specialty holders, cutting tools, low feed rates and conditions. Due to these challenges, H13 parts can be both time consuming and expensive to fabricate. By applying the BMD process to H13, teams can quickly fabricate H13 tools—potentially featuring complex geometries that would otherwise be unachievable or prohibitively difficult through machining (e.g., molds with conformal cooling channels). This geometric freedom, combined with the cost-effective manufacturability provided by the Studio System, makes printing complex H13 parts particularly advantageous compared to traditional manufacturing methods.