Asymmetric distribution in twin screw granulation.Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2016 Sep; 106:50-8.EJ
Positron Emission Particle Tracking (PEPT) was successfully employed to validate measured transverse asymmetry in material distribution in the conveying zones of a Twin Screw Granulator (TSG). Flow asymmetry was established to be a property of the granulator geometry and dependent on fill level. The liquid distribution of granules as a function of fill level was determined. High flow asymmetry at low fill level negatively affects granule nucleation leading to high variance in final uniformity. Wetting of material during nucleation was identified as a critical parameter in determining final granule uniformity and fill level is highlighted as a crucial control factor in achieving this. Flow asymmetry of dry material in conveying zones upstream of binder fluid injection leads to poor non-uniform wetting at nucleation and results in heterogeneous final product. The granule formation mechanism of 60°F kneading blocks is suggested to be primarily breakage of agglomerates formed during nucleation. Optimisation of screw configuration would be required to provide secondary growth. This work shows how fill dependent flow regimes affect granulation mechanisms.