Roller Compaction as a Granulation Technique
Roller compaction as a granulation technique involves both producing a compacted ribbon and then breaking that down into granules.
Instrumented Roll compactor
Within the PMTC we have developed an instrumented roller compactor where the process parameters are set and controlled on a computer while the process outputs are monitored in real-time and saved to a file. The controllable process parameters are the Roll Speed, Screw speed and the compaction pressure between the rolls. These have setpoints that are controlled by a PID system on the computer. The process outputs monitored are the Force between the rolls and the Gap between the rolls. When in use, the process parameters are set and controlled while the system measures the output values continuously and saves to file. All this is housed within a large standalone glovebox with extraction through HEPA filters.
The first step, Roller Compaction, is where the badly flowing powder formulation is throughput between two counter rotating rolls. The rolls grab and compress the powder into a compacted ribbon. The level of compaction of this ribbon is dependent on the process parameter such as the compaction pressure, throughput etc.
When optimised and a consistent ribbon of the desired density is produced, this is then put through the granulation step where the ribbon is physically broken up and forced through a sieve to attain the desired granule size distribution. These granules should now flow well and solve the flow issues previously seen in the process. Because of the simplicity of the process and it’s in-line nature, this is also a good continuous manufacturing process step.
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