Influence of particle size and blender size on blending performance of bi-component granular mixing: A DEM and experimental study

S Tanabe and SR Gopireddy and H Minami and S Ando and NA Urbanetz and R Scherliess, EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACEUTICAL SCIENCES, 134, 205-218 (2019).

DOI: 10.1016/j.ejps.2019.04.024

The effect of particle size enlargement and blender geometry down- scaling on the blend uniformity (BU) was evaluated by Discrete Element Method (DEM) to predict the blending performance of a binary granular mixture. Three 10 kg blending experiments differentiated by the physical properties specifically particle size were performed as reference for DEM simulations. The segregation behavior observed during the diffusion blending was common for all blends, while the sample BU, i.e., standard deviation of active ingredient content % was different among the three blends reflecting segregation due to the particle size differences between the components. Quantitative prediction of the sample BU probability density distribution in reality based on the DEM simulation results was successfully demonstrated. The average root mean square error normalized by the mean of the mean sample BU in the blends was 0.228. Beside the ratio of blender container to particle size, total number of particles in the blender and the number of particles in a sample were confirmed critical for the blending performance. These in- silico experiments through DEM simulations would help in setting a design space with respect to the particle size and in a broader sense with respect to the physical properties in general.

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