Linking flowability and granulometry of lactose powders

Abstract

The flowing properties of 10 lactose powders commonly used in pharmaceutical industries have been analyzed with three recently improved measurement methods. The first method is based on the heap shape measurement. This straightforward measurement method provides two physical parameters (angle of repose αr and static cohesive index σr) allowing to make a first screening of the powder properties. The second method allows to estimate the rheological properties of a powder by analyzing the powder flow in a rotating drum. This more advanced method gives a large set of physical parameters (flowing angle αf, dynamic cohesive index σf, angle of first avalanche αa and powder aeration %ae) leading to deeper interpretations. The third method is an improvement of the classical bulk and tapped density measurements. In addition to the improvement of the measurement precision, the densification dynamics of the powder bulk submitted to taps is analyzed. The link between the macroscopic physical parameters obtained with these methods and the powder granulometry is analyzed. Moreover, the correlations between the different flowability indexes are discussed. Finally, the link between grain shape and flowability is discussed qualitatively.

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