Steel Selection

Tool steels are the product of a highly specialised branch of the steel industry and there is literally hundreds of choice that could be made. However, the optimum choice for Dies & Punches to suit the widely varying application of tablet compression is quite limited.


To be acceptable to the Pharmaceutical Industry the steel should be free from impurities and undesirable elements, hence a very clean steel ‘Pharmaceutical Grade’. This is achieved by refining the original steel ingots.


Among the many factors that go into steel selection for the manufacturer of Punches and Dies for the tablet are tonnage required, chemical atmosphere, abrasive nature of the product, turret speed, cup depth, location of embossing, bisect land and physical condition of press. For general punch application oil hardened non shrinking steel S grade are chosen because they combines high toughness and low to medium wear resistance.


The principal alloying elements in this steel are manganese, silicon, chromium, tungsten, molybdenum, carbon, vanadium in percentage wise. It is applicable to all pharmaceutical industries in normal application.


High carbon High Chrome steel with exceptional wear resistant properties. Used for all standard dies and for punches where the granule to be compressed is abrasive.


D-2, D-3 High Carbon High Chromium steel is recommended for high wear application. S grade of steel have the ductility or toughness whereas D-2 HCHCr steel are abrasive resistance. For Dies only, D-3 steel is used. 


The premium grades of steel normally used for tooling are:

Steel for Punches AISI O1 (Oil Hardening Non Shrinking)

Steel for Dies AISI D3 (High Carbon High Chromium)


For Highly Abrasive Tablets

Steel for punches AISI D2 (High Carbon High Chromium)


For Highly Sensitive Tablets

Steel for punches

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