From Brookfield Engineering Laboratories, Inc.
Pharmaceutical powders are expensive in all aspects, from development to final product. The prohibitive costs involved with pharmaceutical powders translates to small sample sizes needed to define powder flow characteristics such a flow function, bulk density and arching dimension. These parameters are a must to ensure proper handling, dispensing and storage of these materials. Small sample sizes are usually all that is available to define these necessary characterization tests. This is a double-edged sword. Most powder test methods need large sample sizes on the order of hundreds of cc's to run these tests. So, the producer must make these large volumes of sample powder available for testing, or risk the other edge of the sword: downstream powder jams, equipment lock-up and costly downtime until these problems can be sorted out, characterized, defined and solved. The other choice is to produce small test volumes of product and run sample tests using more subjective test methods such as angle of repose, Carr Index or Hausner Ratio.
Brookfield Engineering has answered the needs of the pharmaceutical industry by a producing reliable test method for handling small volumes of pharmaceutical powders. With the induction of small volume shear cell accessory to its popular Powder Flow Tester, powder sample volumes needed for testing have been reduced from 263cc to a mere 43cc.
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