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Grade Introduction:

DIN 1.2738 steel is one kind of plastic mold steel, equivalent to AISI P20+Ni Tool Steel. While Nickel, chromium, and molybdenum are the alloying elements for hardness and toughness. 1.2738 tool steel is specially designed for the plastic mold industry, especially for big steel mold parts.

  • DIN 1.2738 tool steel is usually supplied as pre-hardened/quenched and tempered 280 – 320 HB hardness condition.
  • With good machinability, DIN 1.2738 steels are with better polishability compared to 1.2312 (AISI P20+S).
  • Material 1.2738 can be through nitrogenation and flame hardening treatment in order to increase the hardness and wearability of the mold surface.

  • The steel 1.2738 is melted in an electrical furnace and refined with VOD or DH device.

    Grade Application:

    1.2738 mold steel materials are generally used for relatively low-temperature applications such as die-casting dies and injection molds, synthetic plastic molds dies, especially for large plastic molds highly stressed in the core, hydroforming tools, such as up to 400 mm in the construction of plastic molds. DIN 1.2738 is suitable for nitriding and chrome plating.

    Equivalent grades:

    Country German USA
    Standard DIN EN ISO 4957 ASTM/AISI
    Grades 1.2738 P20+Ni

    Addition to other grades:

    MS, EN1A, EN3B, EN8, EN8D, EN9, EN19, EN24, EN31, EN32B, EN36C, EN41B, EN43B, EN47, EN353, IS2062, 42Crmo4, HCHCR, OHNS, D2, D3, H-11, H-13, CW-1, M2, M35, M42, 2714, SKD-11, P20, P20+S, SCM 420, ASTM SA-36, ASTM SA-105, SAE 1018, SAE 1020, SAE 4140, SAE 8620, 16MNCR5, 20MNCR5, C20, C35, C40, C45, C50, C60, CK45, 20C8, 40C8, 45C8, 55C8, C55MN75, SAE 52100, S40C, S355J2G3.

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    Chemical composition:

    The following table shows the chemical composition of P-20+Ni steel:

    DIN ISO 4957 C Mn P S Si Cr W Mo Ni
    1.2738 0.35-0.45 1.30-1.60 0.03 0.03 0.20-0.40 1.80-2.10 0.15-0.25 0.90-1.20
    ASTM/AISI C Mn P S Si Cr W T Mo
    P20+Ni 0.28-0.40 0.60-1.00 0.03 0.03 0.20-0.80 1.40-2.00 0.30 0.55 0.90-1.20

    Mechanical Properties:

    1. Temperature: 20℃/200℃/400℃; Tensile strength: 1100MPa/1050MP8/850MPa
    2. Temperature: 20℃/200℃/400℃; Yield strength: 980MPa/925MPa/770MPa
    3. Temperature: 20℃/200℃/400℃; Section shrinkage: 49%/51%/52%
    4. Temperature: 20℃/200℃/400℃; Elongation: 13%/14%/16%
    5. Temperature: 20℃/200℃/400℃; Impact toughness (≥) 20J/cm/32J/cm/42J/cm



    Heat Treatment:

    Heat Treatment of 2738 – Usually already pre-toughened, no heat treatment required, if there are no special requirements.


    O1 steels should be heated uniformly to 780-820°C (1436-1508°F) until completely heated through. If needed, the steels can be preheated at 300-500°C (572-932°F). About 30 min/per 25 mm of the ruling section is to be provided and then the steels should be immediately quenched in oil.


    Slow heating to tempering temperature immediately after hardening; and minimum time in the furnace: 1 hour per 20 mm part thickness; tempering twice is recommended.

    Physical Properties

    • Modulus of elasticity [103 x N/mm2]: 205
    • Density [g/cm3]: 7.80
    • Thermal conductivity [W/m.K]: 29.0
    • Specific heat capacity[J/g.K]: 0.46
    • Strength:≈ 1080 N/mm²
    • Thermal Conductivity at 100 °C:33.5 W/m K

    Thermal Properties

    • Thermal conductivity [W/m.K]: 29.0
    • Thermal Conductivity at 100 °C:33.5 W/m K

    Forging Properties:

    • Hot forming temperature: 1093-898 °C.

    Stress Relieving:

    Approx 650°C




    710 to 740 °C for about 2 to 5 hours; then cool slowly of 10 to 20 °C per hour to about 600 °C further cooling in air, This will produce a maximum Brinell hardness of 235.


    • Density [g/cm3]: 7.80


    P20 + ni tool steels have excellent machinability at about 80% that of water hardening steels.


    Conventional methods are used for welding P20+ni tool steels.

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