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Download ExELL™ TUF-DIE Spec sheet

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ExELL™ TUF-DIE is a premium quality hot work die steel manufactured for high demanding tooling requirements.  ExELL™ TUF-DIE is a modified version of AISI H-11 to promote both added heat resistance and toughness when compared with H-13. This chromium-molybdenum-vanadium alloyed tool steel is characterized by these general properties:

  • High temperature strength
  • Very good toughness and ductility
  • Resistance to thermal shock and fatigue
  • Easy heat treatment
  • Good machinability

Hot Work Die Steel Selection Chart

ESS Grade NADCA 207 Grade Typical Analysis
C Mn P S Si Cr Mo V
ExELL™ H-13
B 0.41 0.34 <0.015 <0.003 0.90 5.07 1.22 0.81
E 0.39 0.34 <0.015 <0.003 0.25 5.07 1.80 0.65
C 0.36 0.34 <0.015 <0.003 0.25 5.07 2.80 0.65


c 0.39
Mn 0.34
Si 0.25
Cr 5.07
v 0.65
Mo 1.80



ExELL™ TUF-DIE is manufactured to standards of very high tooling quality for optimum service performance. Material is produced with excellent cleanliness, structure uniformity and mechanical proper­ties. Steel manufacture includes:

  • Special steel melting and refining
  • Very precise chemistry control
  • Heavy forging reductions
  • Special mill thermal treatment
  • Complete manufacture, testing and quality assurance within facilities certified to ISO 9002


ExELL™ TUF-DIE is used in die casting die applications where a higher level of heat resistance along with good toughness and ductility are required .

ExELL™ TUF-DIE is manufactured to meet the demanding criteria of NADCA #207, Chrysler NP2080, GM HPDC G2 and other specifications for premium material quality.

ExELL™ TUF-DIE is also used in most other hot work applications such as hammer die inserts, press dies and inserts, HERF dies and punches, extrusion tooling components as well as plastic molds and in critical cold or hot knife, punch or holder applications where an optimum combination of strength and toughness are required.

Part Typical Hardness, HRC
Sprue Parts

46 – 48



Fixed Inserts



42 – 48

Work    Material

Typical Hardness,  HRC


44 – 52

Copper Alloys

44 – 52




Aluminum HRC Copper HRC

Steel HRC


46 – 50 44 -48


Liners, stems

42-50 42-48



Density, lbs/
70 F………………..0.281
750 F……………….0.277
1450 F………………0.272

Thermal Conductivity, BTU in/ft2 hr f
70 F………………..180
750 F……………….185
1450 F………………195

Modulus of Elasticity, psi
70 F………….29,400,000
750 F…………29,500,000

Coefficient of Thermal Expansion, in/in/F
70-450 F……….0.0000070
70-1450 F………0.0000077


Tensile Properties, Room Temperature

52 HRC 46 HRC
Tensile Strength, psi 260,000 205,000
0.2% Yield Strength, psi 220,000 185,000
% RA 46 56
% Elongation 10 12
Test Temp F Yield Strength psi Tensile Strength psi RA %
1000 110,000 140,000 60
1100 85,000 115,000 70
1200 45,000 70,000 80
1300 20,000 30,000 90

HEAT TREATMENT (General Recommendations)

Critical Temperatures
Ac1 -1560F
Ac3 -1740F
Ms- 570F


With a protective atmosphere or vacuum furnace. heat slowly to 1560F. Equalize and hold one hour per inch of thickness. Furnace cool 20F/hr to 1100F and equalize. Cool freely in air to room temperature. Hardness will be 229 HB maximum.


After rough machining an annealed component, heat the part to 1200F, equalize and hold 1-2 hours. Furnace cool to 900F and then air cool to
room temperature.


(Protect against decarburization and oxidation during austenitizing)

Preheating: Heat to 1200F and equalize. Continue heating to 1550F and equalize. Complete heating to hardening temperature.

Hardening Temperature HoldTime* As-Quenched Hardness, HRC
1870F 30min 53± 2
1900F 15min 54±2

*Hold time = time at temperature after tool is fully heated through.

Hardening: Typical austenitizing range is 1850 – 1900F. Hardening temperature can be adjusted to develop added heat resistance . A hardening temperature of 1870F is normally used for most applications.

Quenching: Quenching should be performed as rapidly as possible without promoting excessive movement or cracking. Typical quenching media include:

  • High speed gas with sufficient positive pressure and circulation in a vacuum furnace
  • Circulating air/atmosphere
  • Martempering bath or fluidized bed at 575-1020F, then cool in air
  • Warm oil

Temper as soon as quenching temperature reaches120 -150F


Temper immediately after quenching to about 150F. Temper a minimum of two times with intermediate cooling to room temperature.

Choose the tempering temperature to develop required hardness. ExELL™ TUF-DIE should be heated to the desired tempering temperature and held a minimum of two hours . Air cool to room tempera­ture. Check hardness and adjust temperature for additional tempering operation(s). Repeat for added tempers.

Typical tempering temperature responses follow. Do not temper in the range of 800 – 975F to avoid temper embrittleness.

Tempering Temperature Harden 1870F HRC Harden 1900F HRC
480F 52 53
1000F 53 54
1050F 51 53
1100F 46 49
1150F 42 46
1200F 45 37


Surfaces of ExELL™ TUF-DIE can readily be chrome plated, nitrocarburized or nitrided by all commercial processes. Care must be taken to avoid hydrogen embrittlement in chrome plating. Temper at 400F for 4 hours after plating.

Avoid excessive concentrations of nitrogen during various nitriding processes to avoid white layer and excessive network. Generally, case depths greater than 0.010″ are not recommended for hot work applications.


For any additional information including machining, welding, grinding or EDM, please contact Ellwood Specialty Steel direct at 800-932-2188.


Ellwood Specialty Steel is a fully integrated producer of a wide range of specialty tool steels.

Our ExELL™ grades are made with the most advanced steel making facilities. Our steel making expertise and capability is further enhanced from a long forging history with optimum forging and heat treating practices to develop very special material characteristics of product uniformity, cleanliness, machinability, polishability, strength, toughness, hardenability and other steel properties. All this from production facilities certified to ISO 9002.


Ellwood Specialty Steel is committed to providing products and services which will consistently meet or exceed all quality and performance expectations.We will provide customer and technical service that will ensure complete satisfaction.

Being a very flexible provider, Ellwood Specialty Steel will establish product programs to fully support industry or customer requirements. Our extensive stock programs are supported by very short mill lead times of custom forged products. Customized stock programs are and can be available for specific customer needs.

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