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Precipitation Behavior of Carbides in H13 Hot Work Die Steel and Its Strengthening during Tempering

School of Material Science and Engineering, Taiyuan University of Technology, Taiyuan 030024, China
School of Metallurgical and Ecological Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
Department of High Temperature Materials, Central Iron and Steel Research Institute, Beijing 100094, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Robert Tuttle
Metals 2017, 7(3), 70;
Received: 6 December 2016 / Revised: 3 February 2017 / Accepted: 18 February 2017 / Published: 23 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alloy Steels)
PDF [4691 KB, uploaded 23 February 2017]


The properties of carbides, such as morphology, size, and type, in H13 hot work die steel were studied with optical microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, electron diffraction, and energy dispersive X-ray analysis; their size distribution and quantity after tempering, at different positions within the ingot, were analyzed using Image-Pro Plus software. Thermodynamic calculations were also performed for these carbides. The microstructures near the ingot surface were homogeneous and had slender martensite laths. Two kinds of carbide precipitates have been detected in H13: (1) MC and M6C, generally smaller than 200 nm; and (2) M23C6, usually larger than 200 nm. MC and M6C play the key role in precipitation hardening. These are the most frequent carbides precipitating at the halfway point from the center of the ingot, and the least frequent at the surface. From the center of the ingot to its surface, the size and volume fraction of the carbides decrease, and the toughness improves, while the contribution of the carbides to the yield strength increases. View Full-Text
Keywords: H13 steel after tempering; thermodynamic calculation; carbides; precipitation strengthening H13 steel after tempering; thermodynamic calculation; carbides; precipitation strengthening

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Ning, A.; Mao, W.; Chen, X.; Guo, H.; Guo, J. Precipitation Behavior of Carbides in H13 Hot Work Die Steel and Its Strengthening during Tempering. Metals 2017, 7, 70.

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