Flowability & Morphology Give a Greater Control to Manufacturers on Powder Qualities and Manufacturing Efficiency

Pharmaceutical Powder Manufacturers

Control over powder flow is often a concern for tablet manufacturers. Understanding the relationship between particle morphology and powder flow can be very helpful in tablet process engineering.

In this post, you will learn how powder flow plays a vital role in pharmaceutical processing. So, let’s begin the quest.

The behavior of powder flow can have a significant impact on manufacturing efficiency. For example, the speed at which a tablet press runs. Besides, it can also directly affect product quality variables.

One can effectively control the flowability of powder by understanding the factors that define the powder flow. However, it is a complex area and requires technical background and experience in this field. Besides, current knowledge is also limited in many instances, even for critical parameters such as size and shape.

Fortunately, advancements in powder testing and key material characterization techniques, such as particle shape analysis, present an opportunity for Pharmaceutical Powder Manufacturers to change this situation.

It is now possible to measure the flow properties of the powder and relate these properties directly to its morphology (size and shape).

In powder testing, the introduction of dynamic techniques brings significant improvements in the area of flow characterization. In Dynamic Powder Testing, powder is analyzed and quantified while in motion. The axial and rotational forces acting on a helical blade as it moves through a sample are measured precisely to know the values of flow energy – a parameter that directly measures resistance to flow.

By combining dynamic testing with other methodologies, such as shear and bulk property measurement, modern powder testers can provide a secure multi-faceted characterization of the powder behavior.

Various studies have shown that while size does influence powder flowability, it has a much less pronounced impact than particle shape. However, for compressibility and permeability, the effects of particle size are more influential than particle shape – a trend that is directly attributable to the packing structure that develops in stationary powder.

In powder shear testing, the powder is analyzed under an applied pressure, giving insight into the behavior under relatively high-stress conditions.  

In today’s time, the industry’s current demand for greater manufacturing efficiency increases the need to understand and control the factors that support successful powder processing.

The issue of powder flow is important because it can have a potential impact on plant efficiency and product quality characteristics, such as uniformity. The correlations between distinct aspects of powder behavior and variables (like size and shape) can be manipulated to target the specific performance of powder.

With the use of state-of-the-art instrumentation and a deeper understanding of powder flowability and morphology, Pharmaceutical Powder Manufacturers can gather information needed to adopt a knowledge-led approach to powder property control and engineer the desired behavior to improve overall efficiency and produce consistent, high-quality powders.

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