Experimental and model-based approaches to studying mixing in coating pans Experiments and modeling of mixing in coating pans

Daniel Fichana, Alexander J. Marchut, Pernille H. Ohlsson, Shih Ying Chang, Olav Lyngberg, Jeffrey Dougherty, San Kiang, Howard Stamato, Bodhisattwa Chaudhuri, Fernando Muzzio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The focus of this study was the determination of mixing patterns and rates inside a cylindrical coating pan. The research for this study was divided into two parts. The first part examined the mixing pattern and the movement of tablets inside of a coating pan experimentally. The second part consisted of using a DEM (Discrete Element Model) simulation to evaluate mixing in the coating pan in silico. Mixing was investigated as a function of the rate of rotation of the pan and the number of revolutions. Mixing rates were measured in two directions axial from the front of the unit to the back of the unit along its axis and radial/angular in the plane orthogonal to its axis. Radial/angular mixing was faster than axial mixing the coating pan was found to be well-mixed across the axis within 28 revolutions as compared to 1632 revolutions needed for the pan to be well-mixed along the axis. The DEM simulation used for this study is capable of predicting how fast the tablets mix in the coating pan. It does so by explicitly modeling the motion of individual tablets in the unit. Model predictions were verified by comparing the simulated mixing in the coating pan to the experiments. The simulated mixing process is found to be slightly slower than the experimentally observed mixing, which means that the simulations give a conservative estimate of mixing rates. The model can also be used to calculate the residence time distribution of the tablets in a spray zone of a given area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-184
Number of pages12
JournalPharmaceutical Development and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmaceutical Science


  • Coating
  • Discrete element model
  • Mixing
  • Modeling
  • Simulation


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