A joint study carried out by Freeman Technology and Gerteis Maschinen + Processengineering AG, a leading provider of roller compactors, provides examples of how the FT4 Powder Rheometer® can be used for fast and effective process optimisation and efficient manufacture
Results from a series of collaborative experiments show that dynamic powder properties measured with the FT4 Powder Rheometer® reliably detect and quantify the effect of changing compactor operating parameters. Such correlations make it quicker and easier to establish optimal conditions for producing granules that meet defined performance targets from any given feed. Faster optimisation and responsive process control help to drive up manufacturing efficiency, even in the event of variability in a feed material.
Dry compaction is used to produce uniform, free-flowing granules from fine, often cohesive powder blends to enhance the efficiency of downstream manufacturing steps. It involves compacting a powder between rollers and then milling the resulting ribbon. Widely used within the pharmaceutical, chemical and food industries, roller compaction is especially suitable for moisture sensitive materials. Compaction force and the gap width between the rollers are two of the main process parameters used to control granule properties.
Experiments were carried out to investigate correlations between compaction force and roller gap, and the properties of the milled granules. Shear, bulk and dynamic properties were measured using the FT4 Powder Rheometer®. The results show that dynamic properties and permeability correlate strongly with process settings, especially with respect to measuring the impact of changes in compaction force, the primary process parameter in this study.