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Using powder characterisation methods to assess blending behaviour

Using powder characterisation methods to assess blending behaviour

Blending a mixture of powders to homogeneity is a critical step in many manufacturing processes. Making uniform tablets, for example, relies on the homogeneous dispersion of active ingredients, often in small quantities, with excipients such as binders and disintegrants to form a suitable feed blend for the press. Similarly, in industries as diverse as food production and metal powder processing, homogeneity is crucial to defining product characteristics: flavour or colour in foods for instance, or the mechanical properties of a sintered metal component.

Collective understanding of the factors that influence blending kinetics is still in its infancy with relatively little information in the public domain. Furthermore, from a practical viewpoint there is little advice on how to characterise individual powders, or a mixture, so as to predict blending performance.

In this whitepaper, 'Using Powder Characterisation Methods to Assess Blending Behaviour', we consider the informational requirements needed to achieve better blending, and highlight the potential value of dynamic powder testing in this context. Correlations of positron emission tomography (PET) data with flow energy measurements suggest that dynamic data may be a reliable predictor of blending behaviour and consequently useful for the development and optimisation of blending processes.