Influence of process parameters on fluidised hot-melt granulation and tablet pressing of pharmaceutical powders

Gavin M. Walker, Clive R. Holland, Mohammad M. N. Ahmad, Duncan Q. M. Craig

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This study investigates the influence of process parameters on the fluidised hot melt granulation of lactose and PEG 6000, and the subsequent tablet pressing of the granules. Granulation experiments were performed to assess the effect of granulation time and binder content of the feed on the resulting granule properties such as mass mean granule size, size distribution, granule fracture stress, and granule porosity. These data were correlated using the granule growth regime model. It was found that the dominant granule growth mechanisms in this melt granulation system were nucleation followed by steady growth (PEG 10–20% w/w). However, with binder contents greater than 20% w/w, the granulation mechanism moved to the “over-wet massing” regime in which discrete granule formation could not be obtained. The granules produced in the melt fluidised bed process were subsequently pressed into tablets using an industrial tablet press. The physical properties of the tablets: fracture stress, disintegration time and friability were assessed using industry standards. These analyses indicated that particle size and binder content of the initial granules influenced the mechanical properties of the tablets. It was noted that a decrease in initial granule size resulted in an increase in the fracture stress of the tablets formed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3867-3877
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2005

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