The tool steel producer’s contribution to successful die casting of structural components

  • I. Schruff


Die cast structural components for the automotive industry gain more and more importance as they
highly contribute to a weight reduction of cars and thus to a reduced fuel consumption as well as CO2-
emission. So today very often die cast aluminium A-, B- or C-pillar, shock towers, or door components
replace traditional steel parts. These structural components are often characterised by large dimensions and
complicated design. Die casting dies for structural components have to fulfil highest requirements with respect
to toughness, high-temperature strength, and thermal fatigue resistance. Often the traditionally used hot-work
tool steels like 1.2343 (AISI H 11), 1.2344 (H 13), or 1.2367 cannot fulfil these requirements. Kind & Co.
has developed three special hot-work tool steels with significantly improved properties: TQ 1, HP 1, and
HTR. The report will not only give a survey on the properties of these steels but also on practical experience
gained with these grades. A proper heat treatment is essential for the performance of the dies. Kind & Co has
recently set up one of the largest and most modern vacuum hardening furnaces in the world which focuses
on these large die casting dies. The report will also show up the contribution of a modern heat treatment
facility to an economic die casting process of high-class structural components.