Strength and structure of granules produced in continuous granulators
KeywordREF 2014; High shear granulator; Seeded granulation; Continuous granulator; Modulomix; Nica M6; Extrudomix
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AbstractThe effect of the operating conditions of three continuous high shear granulators on the internal structure and strength of granules has been investigated and the possibility of seeded granulation has been explored. In a recently concluded programme of research on the scale-up of a high shear granulator, Cyclomix (manufactured by Hosokawa Micron B.V., The Netherlands), a novel method of granulation called seeded granulation was introduced, where each granule contained, at its core, a large particle from the upper tail end of the feed particle size distribution. Seeded granulation is particularly useful for process control of continuous granulators as there is the potential to control granulation by the flow rate of the seed particles. Hence, the performance of three different types of continuous granulators in terms of granule strength and structure has been evaluated here; these are Extrudomix, Modulomix (manufactured by Hosokawa Micron, UK and The Netherlands, respectively) and the Nica M6 Turbine continuous granulator (manufactured by GEA, UK). Calcium carbonate (Durcal 65) powder was granulated using an aqueous solution of polyethylene glycol (PEG) as binder in the same ratio as used previously in our batch granulation, to allow comparison between the continuous and batch processes. The crushing strength was characterised by quasi-static side crushing between two platens using a mechanical testing machine. The internal structure and morphology were evaluated by scanning electron microscopy and the extent of seeding quantified. Granules produced in all the three continuous granulators were significantly weaker than those of the batch granulator tested previously. Among the continuous granulators only the Modulomix granulator produced some seeded granules. It is considered that longer residence time is necessary to produce seeded granules.
CitationRahmanian, N., Ghadiri, Mojtaba (2013) Strength and structure of granules produced in continuous granulators. Powder Technology, 233, 227-233.
Link to publisher’s versionhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2012.09.008
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Effect of mixing elements on granule formation in hot melt twin screw granulationSekyi, Nana; Rahmanian, Nejat; Kelly, Adrian L. (2021-06-15)Twin screw granulation (TSG) has been applied to wet granulation, although its application in melt granulation has been more limited. This work explores potential advantages of hot melt granulation using twin screw extrusion. Four main operating and formulation parameters were investigated: screw speed, number of mixing elements, temperature, and binder percentage. Combinations of these factors were then studied to determine their impact on the quantity and characteristics of granules within the desired size range of 125 - 1000 µm. A screening design of experiments (DOE) study was used with each factor set at three levels, to investigate individual factor effects and interactions. Two types of mixing elements were studied: kneading block (KB) and chaotic elements. The type and number of mixing elements were found to be paramount in contributing to the quantity and characteristics of granules formed. Results obtained agreed with previous findings in literature on the influence of different screw elements on the characteristics of granules formed by twin screw granulation. Additionally, the study revealed the unique impact which different mixer elements have on both granule production and characteristics. Depending on the specific need or use of granules in required applications, the granulation process can be effectively designed to meet the end product quality and outcome.
Effects of process parameters on granules properties produced in a high shear granulatorRahmanian, Nejat; Naji, A.; Ghadiri, M. (2011)Results of a study on the influence of process parameters such as impeller speed, granulation time and binder viscosity on granule strength and properties are reported. A high shear granulator (Cyclomix manufactured by Hosokawa Micron B.V., The Netherlands) has been used to produce granules. Calcium carbonate (Durcal) was used as feed powder and aqueous polyethylene glycol (PEG) as the binder. The dried granules have been analysed for their strength, density and size distribution. The results show that increasing the granulation time has a great affect on granules strength, until an optimum time has been reached. The underlying cause is an increase in granule density. Granules are consolidated more at higher impeller speeds. Moreover, the granule size distribution seems not to be affected significantly by an increase in impeller speed. Granules produced with high binder viscosity have a considerably lower strength, wide strength distribution due to poor dispersion of binder on the powder bed. Binder addition methods have showed no considerable effect on granule strength or on granule size distribution.
Influence of type of granulators on formation of seeded granulesKitching, V.R.; Rahmanian, Nejat; Jamaluddin, N.H.; Kelly, Adrian L.; CCIP grant (Collaboration, Capacity and IP Develop-ment) fund from the University of Bradford. (2020-08)It has been shown that seeded granules of calcium carbonate can be produced in commercial batch high shear granulators such as the Cyclomix high-shear impact mixer. Seeded granules are attractive to the pharmaceutical industry due to their high uniformity and good mechanical properties which can assist efficient tablet manufacture. In the current study, attempts to produce seeded granules of Durcal 65 and PEG 4000 binder using hot melt granulation are reported, in response to the recent shift towards continuous pharmaceutical manufacturing. Various screw configurations and rotation speeds were investigated in a series of experiments to determine the relationship between process conditions and granule properties. Particle size analysis, strength measurement and structural characterisation were used to quantify granule properties. It was found that using a series of kneading elements arranged at a 60° staggering angle located near to the feed section of the extruder screw generated strong, spherical granules. From structural characterisation approximately 5–15% of extruded granules were found to be seeded. Twin screw melt granulation is therefore considered to be a promising technique for continuous production of seeded granules, although a more detailed investigation is required to optimise yield and quality.