24 Common Metal Materials Used in Die Processing

24 Types Of Metal Materials Commonly Used In Die Processing

There are over 100 types of materials that can be used for mold processing, including metals, plastics, inorganic non-metals, and wax.

Related reading: Type of metal

However, each material has its own specific purpose and requirements based on actual needs.

Today, let’s discuss the 24 most frequently used metal materials in mold processing.

Types Of Metal Materials Commonly Used In Die Processing

1. #45 – high-quality carbon structural steel, which is the most commonly used medium carbon quenched and tempered steel

Key Features:

The most widely used medium carbon quenched and tempered steel has favorable overall mechanical properties, but is susceptible to low hardenability and cracking during water quenching. Small components should be quenched and tempered, while larger components should be normalized.


This steel is primarily used to produce moving parts with high strength, such as turbine impellers, compressor pistons, shafts, gears, racks, and worms. It is important to perform preheating before welding and stress relief annealing after welding.

2. Q235A (A3 steel) – the most commonly used carbon structural steel

Key Features:

This material boasts high plasticity, toughness, weldability, cold stamping capability, moderate strength, and good cold bending performance.


It is widely utilized in components and welded structures with general requirements, such as tie rods, connecting rods, pins, shafts, screws, nuts, ferrules, supports, bases, building structures, and bridges with minimal force.

3. 40Cr – one of the most widely used steels, is an alloy structural steel

Key Features:

This material has good overall mechanical properties, low-temperature impact toughness and low sensitivity to notches after quenching and tempering. It has good hardenability and high fatigue strength can be achieved with oil cooling, although parts with complex shapes are prone to cracking during water cooling.

The material has medium cold bending plasticity and good machinability after tempering or quenching and tempering, but weldability is poor and cracking is likely to occur. Preheating to 100-150°C is necessary before welding. It is typically used in the quenched and tempered state and can also undergo carbonitriding and high-frequency surface quenching.


  • After quenching and tempering, it is used to manufacture medium-speed and medium-load components such as machine tool gears, shafts, worms, spline shafts, and thimble sleeves.
  • After quenching and tempering and high-frequency surface quenching, it is used to produce parts with high surface hardness and wear resistance, such as gears, shafts, main shafts, crankshafts, spindles, sleeves, pins, connecting rods, screw nuts, and inlet valves.
  • After quenching and medium-temperature tempering, it is used to manufacture parts with heavy loads and medium-speed impact, such as oil pump rotors, sliding blocks, gears, main shafts, and collars.
  • After quenching and low-temperature tempering, it is used to produce heavy-duty, low-impact, and wear-resistant parts, such as worms, spindles, shafts, and collars.
  • After carbonitriding treatment, it is used to produce large, high low-temperature impact toughness transmission parts such as shafts and gears.

4. HT150 – Grey Cast Iron


This material is commonly used for gear boxes, machine beds, boxes, hydraulic cylinders, pump bodies, valve bodies, flywheels, cylinder heads, pulleys, and bearing covers, among others.

5. 35 – common materials of various standard parts and fasteners

Key Features:

This material has appropriate strength, good plasticity, high cold plasticity, and acceptable weldability. It can undergo local upsetting and wire drawing in its cold state, has low hardenability, and is used after normalizing or quenching and tempering.


It is suitable for producing parts with small cross-sections that can withstand high loads, such as crankshafts, levers, connecting rods, shackles, various standard parts, and fasteners.

6. 65Mn — common spring steel


This material can be used to manufacture various flat and round springs in small sizes, including cushion springs and spring springs. It can also be used to make spring rings, valve springs, clutch springs, brake springs, cold coil springs, and snap springs.

7. 0Cr18Ni9 — the most commonly used stainless steel (American steel 304, Japanese steel SUS304)


This material is a type of stainless heat-resistant steel, which is widely used in various applications, such as food equipment and general chemical equipment.


It is commonly used in the manufacturing of food equipment and general chemical equipment due to its heat resistance properties.

8. Cr12 – common cold working die steel (American steel D3, Japanese steel SKD1)


Cr12 Steel is a commonly used cold work die steel that belongs to ledeburite steel with high carbon and chromium content. It is known for its good hardenability and wear resistance.


However, due to its high carbon content (2.3%) it has poor impact toughness, making it susceptible to embrittlement and the formation of uneven eutectic carbides. Despite this, Cr12 Steel is widely used in the manufacture of high wear-resistant cold stamping dies, punches, blanking dies, cold upsetting dies, punches, concave dies of cold extrusion dies, drill sleeves, gauges, wire drawing dies, stamping dies, wire rubbing plates, deep drawing dies, and cold stamping dies for powder metallurgy.

9. DC53 – common cold working die steel imported from Japan


This is a high strength and toughness cold work die steel produced by Datong special steel (strain) manufacturer in Japan. After high-temperature tempering, it has high hardness, high toughness, and good wire-cutting performance.


It is commonly used in the manufacture of precision cold stamping dies, drawing dies, thread rolling dies, cold blanking dies, and punches.

10. Dccr12mov – wear resistant chromium steel

The domestic steel has a lower carbon content compared to Cr12 Steel and its uniformity of carbides is improved by adding Mo and V. Mo helps reduce carbide segregation and enhances hardenability, while V refines the grain structure and increases toughness.

This steel has high hardenability and can be fully quenched when the section size is below 400mm, while still maintaining good hardness and wear resistance at 300 to 400 degrees Celsius. It has higher toughness compared to Cr12, with minimal volume change during quenching.

Additionally, it has high wear resistance and good overall mechanical properties. This makes it suitable for manufacturing various molds with large sections, complex shapes, and large impacts, such as drawing dies, punching dies, blanking dies, trimming dies, edging dies, wire drawing dies, cold extrusion dies, cold cutting scissors, circular saws, standard tools, and measuring tools.

11. SKD11 – ductile chromium steel

Hitachi type is a type of production originating in Japan. The casting structure in the steel is improved, and the grain is refined, which results in an improvement in toughness and wear resistance compared to Cr12MoV. This leads to an extended service life for the die.

12. D2 – high carbon and high chromium cold working steel

Made in the United States, D2 steel is a commonly used air hardening tool steel. It has high hardenability, hardness, and wear resistance, as well as good high-temperature oxidation resistance and corrosion resistance after quenching and polishing.

The heat treatment deformation of D2 steel is minimal, making it suitable for the manufacture of various cold working dies, cutting tools, and measuring tools that require high precision and long life, such as drawing dies, cold extrusion dies, and cold shear knives.

13. SKD11 (SLD) – high chromium steel with non deformation toughness

Hitachi type produced in Japan.

This steel type is made with an increased amount of Mo and V, which improves the casting structure of the steel and refines the grain. This results in improved carbide morphology and higher strength and toughness compared to other steels such as SKD1 and D2. The wear resistance and re-hardening resistance are also increased, leading to a longer service life for the die.

It is commonly used to manufacture high-demand molds such as drawing molds and molds for impact grinding wheel blades.

14. DC53 – high toughness high chromium steel

DC53 is a high-performance cold work die steel produced by Datong strain in Japan.

It has a higher hardness after heat treatment compared to SKD11, with a hardness of 62-63 HRC achievable after high temperature tempering.

DC53 has better strength and wear resistance than SKD11, and its toughness is also twice that of SKD11.

The toughness of DC53 results in fewer cracks and fewer deformations during cold work die manufacturing, which greatly improves its service life.

DC53 also has low residual stress, which is reduced after high-temperature turning back.

Furthermore, its machinability and abrasiveness are superior to SKD11 due to the reduced cracking and deformation after wire cutting.

It is commonly used for precision stamping dies, cold forging and deep drawing dies.

15. SKH-9 – general high speed steel with high wear resistance and toughness

The steel is produced by Hitachi in Japan and is commonly used for the manufacture of cold forging dies, slitter blades, drill bits, reamers, and punches. It has high strength, toughness and wear resistance, making it ideal for these types of tools and applications.

16. Asp-23 – powder metallurgy high speed steel

Swedish made powder metallurgy high-speed steel, which is known for its uniform carbide distribution, high wear resistance, excellent toughness, ease of processing and stability during heat treatment. It is commonly used for a wide range of cutting tools that require long service life, such as punches, deep drawing dies, drilling dies, milling cutters and shear blades.

17. P20 – plastic molds of general requirements

It is a pre-hardened steel that can be processed using electrical discharge machining (EDM). The steel has a hardness of HB270 to 300 before being quenched and a hardness of HRC52 after quenching. This steel is often used in the manufacture of cutting tools and other products that require high hardness and toughness.

18. 718 – large and small plastic molds with high requirements

Swedish-made material that can be processed using electrical etching. It is pre-hardened with a hardness of HB290 to 330 and quenched to a hardness of 52 on the Rockwell C scale.

19. Nak80 – high mirror and high precision plastic mold

Datong, Japan produces a pre-hardened steel with a hardness of HB370 ~ 400 and a quenched hardness of HRC52.

20. S136 – corrosion resistant and mirror polished plastic mold

Made in Sweden. Pre hardening HB < 215 and quenching hardness HRC52.

21. H13 – common die casting die

Used for aluminum, zinc, magnesium and alloy die casting, hot stamping die, aluminum extrusion die, etc.

22. SKD61 – advanced die casting die

It is produced by Hitachi in Japan and uses electroslag remelting technology. This technology results in a significant increase in service life compared to H13. It is commonly used for hot stamping dies and aluminum extrusion dies.

23. 8407 – advanced die casting die

Made in Sweden. Used for hot stamping die and aluminum extrusion die.

24. FDAC – sulfur is added to enhance its chippability

The pre-hardening hardness of this material is HRC38 to 42, and it can be directly carved without undergoing quenching and tempering. This material is often used for small batch molds, simple molds, and various resin products, as well as sliding parts and mold parts that require a short delivery time. Examples include zipper molds, eyeglass frame molds, and more.

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Founder of MachineMFG

As the founder of MachineMFG, I have dedicated over a decade of my career to the metalworking industry. My extensive experience has allowed me to become an expert in the fields of sheet metal fabrication, machining, mechanical engineering, and machine tools for metals. I am constantly thinking, reading, and writing about these subjects, constantly striving to stay at the forefront of my field. Let my knowledge and expertise be an asset to your business.

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