A novel tool for the prediction of tablet sticking during high speed compaction

Sameh Abdel-Hamid, Gabriele Betz
Pharmaceutical Development and Technology 2012, 17 (6): 747-54
During tableting, capping is a problem of cohesion while sticking is a problem of adhesion. Sticking is a multi-composite problem; causes are either material or machine related. Nowadays, detecting such a problem is a pre-requisite in the early stages of development. The aim of our study was to investigate sticking by radial die-wall pressure monitoring guided by compaction simulation. This was done by using the highly sticking drug; Mefenamic acid (MA) at different drug loadings with different fillers compacted at different pressures and speeds. By increasing MA loading, we found that viscoelastic fillers showed high residual radial pressure after compaction while plastic/brittle fillers showed high radial pressure during compaction, p < 0.05. Visually, plastic/brittle fillers showed greater tendencies for adhesion to punches than viscoelastic fillers while the later showed higher tendencies for adhesion to the die-wall. This was confirmed by higher values of axial stress transmission for plastic/brittle than viscoelastic fillers (higher punch surface/powder interaction), and higher residual die-wall and ejection forces for viscoelastic than plastic/brittle fillers, p < 0.05. Take-off force was not a useful tool to estimate sticking due to cohesive failure of the compacts. Radial die-wall pressure monitoring is suggested as a robust tool to predict sticking.

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