The dynamics involved in powder mixing remains a topic of interest for many researchers; however the theory still remains underdeveloped. Most of the mixers are still designed and scaled up on empirical basis. In many industries, including pharmaceutical, the majority of blending is performed using "tumbling mixers". Tumbling mixers are hollow containers which are partially loaded with materials and rotated for some number of revolutions. Some common examples include horizontal drum mixers, v-blenders, double cone blenders and bin blenders. In all these mixers while homogenization in the direction of rotation is fast, mediated by a convective mixing process, mixing in the horizontal (axial) direction, driven by a dispersive process, is often much slower. In this paper, we experimentally investigate a new tumbling mixer that rotates with respect to two axes: a horizontal axis (tumbling motion), and a central symmetry axis (spinning motion). A detailed study is conducted on mixing performance of powders and the effect of critical fundamental parameters including blender geometry, speed, fill level, presence of baffles, loading pattern, and axis of rotation. In this work Acetaminophen is used as the active pharmaceutical ingredient and the formulation contains commonly used excipients such as Avicel and Lactose. The mixing efficiency is characterized by extracting samples after pre-determined number of revolutions, and analyzing them using Near Infrared Spectroscopy to determine compositional distribution. Results show the importance of process variables including the axis of rotation on homogeneity of powder blends.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Powder mixing
- Relative standard deviation