DC53 Cold Work Die Steels

DC53 is a general purpose cold work tool steel with exceptional Toughness, Wear Resistance, Compressive Strength and Temper Resistance.

Uniform distribution of fine carbides
Excellent galling & wear resistance
Exceptional toughness & fatigue resistance
High temper resistance to support PVD & nitride surface treatments
Machining & grinding characteristics superior to most other tool steels

These properties are obtained through its chemistry as well as its unique manufacturing processes of ladle refinement, vacuum degassing and forging methods. DC53 also has excellent machining characteristics and is well suited as a sub-straight for PVD surface treatments. DC53 can also be hot process CVD and TD (Thermal Diffusion) coated however post heat treat is generally recommended.

Rounds 1/4″ to 20″
Flats 1/2″ to 12″ thick in widths up to 24″

Chemical Composition (%)

C Si Mn Cr Mo V
0.95 1.00 0.40 8.00 2.00 0.30

Mechanical Properties

Annealed Hardness (BHN): 210 – 225
Specific Gravity (g/Cm3): 7.76
Density (lb/Inch3) : ,2793
Young’s Modulus (E) : 21,700
Modulus of Rigidity (G) : 8,480
Poisson’s Ratio : 0.28

Fabrication Characteristics


DC53 can typically be machined 20% to 40% faster than D2 while experiencing as much as 50% less tool wear and breakdown.

Faster feeds and speeds reduce machining cost and yielding an improved surface finish.

Wire EDM

DC53 was initially developed with the Wire EDM process in mind. The high temperature double draw 520° C (970° F) or higher was part of the development criteria in determining alloy content, and heat treat requirements for DC53. This high temperature double temper relives a considerable amount of stress in the steel which in turn minimizes movement in the part when Wire EDM cutting hardened DC53. Click here for more information.


With special care DC53 can be welded. Use any appropriate weld rod such as an H72A rod which is commonly used for high carbon, high chrome die steels similar to D2. The weld rod should be dry to prevent bubble cracks in the weld. Placing the rod in a 350 degrees Celsius (650 degrees Fahrenheit) oven for one hour is generally sufficient.

Punches & dies, Draw & forum dies, Shear blades, Shredder knives, Thread & form rolls, Cold heading dies, Mill rolls & slitters

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