Hot Die Steel H-11

Chromium hot-work tool steels are designated as group H steels according to the AISI classification system. This series of steels start from H1 to H19. The most commonly used chromium hot-work steels are H11, H12, and H13, which can be air hardened in 150 mm thick sections. The steels are subjected to minimal distortion during hardening due to their balanced alloy content. The tools produced from chromium hot-work steels can be cooled using water without damage as these steels have low carbon and alloy contents.
This article will give an overview of H11 chromium hot-work steels, which have low carbon content and good toughness. These steels can be deep hardened by heat treatment and air-quenching.

Chemical Composition

Element Min Max
Carbon, C 0.32 0.42
Manganese, Mn 0.00 0.50
Silicon, Si 0.80 1.20
Molybdenum, Mo 1.00 1.50
Chromium,Cr 4.50 5.50
V 0.30 0.50
C 0.00 0.00

Physical Properties

The physical properties of H11 tool steels are given in the following table.

AProperties Metric Imperial
Density 7.81 g/cm 3 0.282 lb/in 3
Melting point 1427°C 2600°F

Thermal Properties

The following table shows the thermal properties of H11 tool steels.

Properties Metric Imperial
Thermal expansion (@20-100ºC/68-212ºF) 11.9 x 10 -6 /ºC 6.63 µin/in°F
Thermal conductivity (@100ºC/212ºF) 42.2 W/mK 292.9 in/hr.ft².°F

Other Designations

Other designations that are equivalent to H11 tool steels include

AFNOR Z 38 CDV 5 AMS 6485 SAE J438
DIN 1.2343 AMS 6487 SAE J467
UNI KU AMS 6488 UNS T20811
B.S. BH 11 FED QQ-T-570 ASTM A579
AMS 6437 SAE J437 MIL S-47262
Heat Treatment

H11 tool steels are preheated to 816°C (1500°F). Then the steels are directly heated by increasing the temperature to 1010°C (1850°F) followed by holding for 15 to 40 mins. The steels are then air-quenched.


H11 tool steels are forged at 1121°C (2050°F). For this type of steels, forging below 899°C (1650°F) is not preferable.


H11 tool steels are annealed at 871°C (1600°F) and slowly cooled at 4°C (40°F) in the furnace.


Tempering is carried out on H11 tool steels at temperature ranging from 538 to 649°C (1000 to 1200°F) to obtain Rockwell C hardness of 54 to 38. Double tempering can also be performed in these steels every one hour at the preferred tempering temperature.


H11 tool steels are suitable for designing highly stressed structural parts such as aircraft landing gear.