Dies are both expensive to create and absolutely critical to many metals-related industries. Qualified testing programs protect your investment and your production levels by providing data—data that will help you get the best performance from your dies and other materials, and help you build a productivity forecast with greater peace of mind.

Element offers die steel qualification services to a variety of industries. Die steel qualification involves a variety of Element capabilities which include impact testing, heat treatment and metallography.

Among many causes for reduced die life, two major contributing factors are poor material quality and improper heat treating of the material. Element uses a number of tests to certify the quality of die steel plate and barstock.

These include the following:

  • Verifying that the material has sufficiently low hardness and acceptable microstructure after spheroidize annealing
  • Rating its inclusion cleanliness
  • Rating its degree of microsegregation and banding
  • Conducting heat treatments, hardness testing
  • Charpy impact testing to verify that it meets minimum impact energy requirements and can be heat treated properly.

In qualifying commercially heat-treated dies, Element also determines Charpy impact toughness, hardness and microstructural rating of test coupons that have been attached to and heat treated, along with the die inserts. 

Element performs H13 die steel testing according to North American Die Casting Association (NADCA) Specification #207-2003, to Ford Specification AMTD-DC2010, and to GM's Worldwide Specification DC-9999-1. Element is one of a few commercial laboratories performing this testing.

Element experts in alloy steel and heat treatment perform routine metallurgical qualifications and failure analyses of steel dies—we’re one of only a handful of companies that can provide a full range of metallurgical engineering and testing services.

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