Proposal Number: 0625792 Principal Investigator: Wassgren, Carl R. Affiliation: Purdue University Proposal Title: Tablet and Particle Attrition in Pharmaceutical Processes
The proposed work will study the attrition of tablets in pharmaceutical processes, specifically the accuracy of attrition sub-models embedded within discrete element model (DEM) computer simulations for predicting pharmaceutical tablet and particle damage during blending and coating operations will be evaluated by experimental testing to better estimate the degree of attrition of pharmaceutical tablets and particles in common pharmaceutical processing operations. Additionally, recommendations will be made for how to modify material properties, such as shape and surface hardness, and operating conditions, such as blender speed and mixing element design, so that tablet and particle attrition may be minimized. These objectives will be achieved by conducting experiments and corresponding 3D soft-particle DEM simulations in which the mass loss and surface damage are recorded for tablets in a standard friability tester, tablets and particles in a rotating cylindrical drum, and tablets and particles in a pan coater and V-blender, respectively. The degree and method of attrition will be compared between the experiments and computer models to determine which attrition sub-models are most accurate at describing tablet and particle damage during common pharmaceutical processing operations.
The work outlined in this proposal will result in an improved understanding of the significant attrition mechanisms acting on particles during common unit operations found in the pharmaceutical, food, and agro-chemical industries, computational tools for designing and controlling unit operations so that attrition may be minimized, testing procedures and equipment that will accurately assess the degree of attrition for materials in common unit operations, and design modifications to equipment, operational procedures, and materials to reduce attrition damage. More broadly, this work will significantly reduce the material losses incurred due to material damage in a wide range of industries as well as reduce the health and environmental risks resulting from the formation of the dust caused by attrition. The results are also expected to benefit the mining and milling community where particle attrition is desired to reduce particle size.