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A segment from a premium-quality H13 tool steel die for die casting of aluminum failed after only 700 shots. The segment was subjected to visual, macroscopic, hardness, and metallographic testing. The investigation revealed that failure occurred as a result of fatigue at an electrical-discharge-machined surface where the resulting rehardened layer had not been removed. This rehardened layer had cracked, providing a source for fatigue initiation.

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