KAL 13 ESR (H-13 ESR/DIN 1.2344/ X40CrMoV5-1)

KAL 13 ESR has an excellent combination of high hot strength, wear resistance and toughness. It has an outstanding performance for plastic molding dies, Aluminum hot extrusion dies, Aluminum/Magnesium die-casting dies operated at temperatures above 300°C and for hot forging dies operated at temperatures above 500°C. High level of micro cleanliness, micro structural homogeneity and hot toughness in all directions achieved via ESR remelting imparts KAL 13 ESR an improved resistance to thermal and mechanical shocks, thereby resulting in superior die life performance.

General Information

KAL 13 ESR is a chromium-molybdenum-vanadium-alloyed steel produced through ESR route which is characterized by:

  •  High resistance to thermal shock and thermal fatigue
  •  High hot strength
  •  Isotropic properties i.e strength, toughness & ductility in all directions
  •  Good machinability
  •  Hardenability, amenable to heat treatment for bigger size dies
  •  Good dimensional stability

Equivalent Designations of KAL 13 ESR

CountryUSA Germany/UK/France Japan ISO
Standard ASTM A681
Alloy Tool Steel
EN ISO 4957
Tool Steel
JIS G4404 Alloy
Tool Steel
Tool Steel
Grades H13 (T20813) 1.2344 / X40CrMoV5-1 SKD61 X40CrMoV5-1

Typical Saarloha Chemical Composition

Element C Mn Si Cr V Mo P S
Min 0.380.30 0.90 5.00 0.90 1.25
Max 0.41 0.50 1.05 5.30 1.00 1.40 0.015 0.003

Improved Tool Life Cycle

KAL 13 ESR is a premium quality steel processed through ESR. By virtue of ESR remelting, it has high cleanliness, lower segregation & isotropic mechanical properties. The lower level of the segregation helps in getting uniform distribution of carbides which gives higher wear resistance than conventionally produced H13 grade.

High level of cleanliness also ensures improved toughness level which helps in achieving higher working hardness thereby resulting in improved resistance to heat checks. Enhanced thermal/mechanical fatigue resistance particularly in tooling subjected to cyclic mechanical/thermal stress is achieved due to isotropic properties.

KAL 13 ESR is a premium quality steel processed through ESR. By virtue of ESR remelting, it has high cleanliness, lower segregation & isotropic mechanical properties. The lower level of the segregation helps in getting uniform distribution of carbides which gives higher wear resistance than conventionally produced H13 grade.

KAL 13 ESR meets the North American Die Casting Association (NADCA) #207-2008 standard for
Premium quality H13 die steel.


Die Casting Tools: Dies, Fixed inserts cores, Nozzles, Ejector pins (nitrided), Plunger, Shot- sleeves

Extrusion Tools: Dies, Backers, Die-holders, Liners, Dummy blocks, Stems

Forging Tools: For Aluminium, Magnesium, Copper alloys, Steel

Physical Properties

Property Value
Thermal conductivity
( W/m K ) @ 25 °C
Coecient of Thermal Expansion ( 10 / K)
21-204 °C
21-538 °C
Specific Heat J/Kg °C 460

Stress Relieving

After rough machining, the tool steel should be heated to 650°C (1200°F), with holding time of 2 hours followed by slow cooling upto 500°C (930°F) and then air cooling to RT

Non Metallic Inclusion (ASTM-E45, Method ‘A’)

RouteA(Max)B (Max)C(Max)D(Max)
Saarloha guarantee0.


Heating at a rate of 160°C to a temperature between 850°C – 870°C. Hold for 60 min per 25 mm thickness for a minimum of 120 minutes. Then furnace cool at the rate of 12°C/h to 650°C. Discharge from furnace and cool via air cooling.

It results in the hardness value of the order of 200HB.


From pre-heat temperature(850°C- 870°C),   rapidIy heat to a temperature between 1000°C to 1030°C. For higher toughness choose lower austenitization temperature and for higher hardness, wear resistance and thermal fatigue resistance choose 1020°C. Soak for 30 min per inch. The process is then followed by quenching in oil/pressurized gas, an interrupted quench is recommended where distortion control and quench cracking are the main concerns


KAL 13 ESR has a good polishability in the hardened and tempered condition by virtue of low levels of inclusion and fine uniform micro structure.


Temper immediately after quenching in  a temperature range of 250°C to 640°C. Hold the sample for 60 minutes for every 25 mm
section thickness for a minimum of 120 minutes. Double tempering should be done. The second tempering may be carried out
at 10°C below first tempering. Avoid tempering in temperature range of 440-550°C for temper brittleness.

Primary Melting

High quality recyclable steel scrap with low tramp elements is melted in an Electric Arc furnace. After initial melting, highly basic slag is formed by addition of slag formers for effective dephosphorisation while elements like C, Mn & Si are oxidized to their respective oxides by Oxygen lancing & then removed through slag. At the end of primary melting, we get virgin liquid metal. Care is also taken to minimize the dissolved oxygen content in liquid metal in order to reduce inclusion formation during de-oxidation.

The liquid metal is de-oxidized during the tapping and then required levels of ferro alloys and slag formers are added. The steel is further refined in ladle refining furnace to achieve the required composition & homogeneity and vacuum degassed for removing the gaseous elements such as hydrogen, nitrogen & oxygen.

The liquid metal is cast into consumable ESR electrodes or ingots through bottom pouring uphill casting under protective atmosphere

Special Remelting

Remelting is carried out in an inert atmosphere ESR furnace, drop by drop in an overheated slag bath. The liquid metal droplets are passed through slag which absorbs the non-metallic inclusions by slag metal reaction and ingot gets solidified at the bottom by controlled directional solidification.

The solidified ingot thus formed is free from macro/micro segregation, non-metallic inclusion & porosity. The remelted material exhibits isotropic properties. We have one of the biggest ESR mold sizes in India, which enables us to maintain higher reduction ratio during hot working for improved properties.

Hot Working

From the ESR plant, the steel goes to the blooming mill or to our forging  press for forming into round bars or flats/blocks. Prior to delivery, all of the different bar materials are subjected to a heat treatment operation, either soft annealing or hardening and tempering. Heat treatment operations provide the steel with the right balance between hardness and toughness.


Before material is finished and put into stock/dispatched to the customer, rough machining is done to the required sizes.

Quality Arsurance

To ensure integrity of steel, 100% of steel passes through surface and ultrasonic inspection.

Supply Condition

  • Spherodised annealed or Hardened and tempered condition or as per customer requirements.
  • Bars : 20-600 mm Dia.
  • Blocks : 2 m X 1 m X 9 m max (max. forging wt. 9 MT)