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Std. cut tolerance -.00″/+.125″

Due to material handling and processing items may have light scratching. Raw Material is not meant to have a finished cosmetic look

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DC53 provides a higher hardness (62-64 HRc) than D2 after heat treatment with twice the toughness and superior wear resistance. Machinists choose this metal to replace D2 in general purpose and precision dies for faster machining times and reputation for causing less tool wear. The smaller primary carbides mean DC53 is less likely to chip or crack than D2. To achieve the higher hardness, DC53 is air-hardened under a vacuum. Another option is to process the metal using a gas or electric furnace with or without a controlled atmosphere when wrapped in stainless foil or salt bath hardened by immersing the part in high-temperature salts. Uses include forming dies, thread rolling dies, cold forging dies, gauges, plastic molds, stepped punch, and press punching dies.


  • Production cutting

Heat Treating

Hardening: For best results, air harden DC53 under a vacuum. Preheat and hold at 1475°-1560°F. Soak the tool steel for 25-30 minutes per inch of thickness for parts up to 4 inches thick and 10-25 minutes per inch of thickness for parts over 4 inches thick. Then quench in inert gas pressure to rapid cool with 2 times atmosphere pressure.

Quench: It’s not recommended to quench at rates using 3 bar pressure or higher due to the potential for distorting and the higher stress involved. For up to 1 inch thick, austenitize for 45 minutes minimum. For parts 1-4 inches thick austenitize for 25 minutes per inch of thickness. For parts 4-6 inches thick, austenitize for 20 minutes per inch of thickness. For parts 6-8 inches thick, austenitize for 15 minutes per inch of thickness. And for parts over 8 inches thick, austenitize for 10 minutes per inch of thickness.

Salt Bath Hardening: First preheat the DC53 metal to 1550°F until uniformly heated. Austenitize in a molten salt bath at 1885°F for a minimum of 5 minutes based on thickness. Salt quench, then air cool to 120°-150°F before tempering

Tempering: Temper DC53 in a non-atmosphere controlled convection furnace as soon as the part can be handled at around 120°-150°F. Allow parts to cool to ambient temperature between tempers. To achieve HRC 60-62, temper DC53 twice at 1,005° F for 60 to 90 minutes per inch in thickness in cross section for a minimum of 90 minutes. Temper twice at 970° F for the same amount of time to achieve HRC 62-64. A hardness less than HRC 60 is not generally recommended for most punch and die components. Applications requiring additional toughness can be double tempered at 1,020° F to achieve HRC 58-60.

If size change or distortion of hardened DC53 due machining, grinding, applying surface treatments or wire EDM work is a concern in high precision applications, apply an optional third temper of 750° F. This final tempering temperature is high enough to temper the remaining un-tempered martensite, but not high enough to convert additional retained austenite resulting in a more stable structure. The third temper is typically not necessary if the tool has been hardened using the salt bath process.


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