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GRANULATORS

The granulation process combines one or more powder particles and forms a granule that will allow tableting to be within required limits. It is the process of collecting particles together by creating bonds between them. Bonds are formed by compression or by using a binding agent. Granulation is extensively used in the pharmaceutical industry, for manufacturing of tablets and pellets. This way predictable and repeatable process is possible and granules of consistent quality can be produced.

Granulation is carried out for various reasons, one of which is to prevent the segregation of the constituents of powder mix. Segregation is due to differences in the size or density of the components of the mix. Normally, the smaller and/or denser particles tend to concentrate at the base of the container with the larger and/or less dense ones on the top. An ideal granulation will contain all the constituents of the mix in the correct proportion in each granule and segregation of granules will not occur.

Many powders, because of their small size, irregular shape or surface characteristics, are cohesive and do not flow well. Granules produced from such a cohesive system will be larger and more isodiametric (roughly spherical), both factors contributing to improved flow properties

Some powders are difficult to compact even if a readily compactable adhesive is included in the mix, but granules of the same powders are often more easily compacted. This is associated with the distribution of the adhesive within the granule and is a function of the method employed to produce the granule.

For example, if one were to make tablets from granulated sugar versus powdered sugar, powdered sugar would be difficult to compress into a tablet and granulated sugar would be easy to compress. Powdered sugar’s small particles have poor flow and compression characteristics. These small particles would have to be compressed very slowly for a long period of time to make a worthwhile tablet. Unless the powdered sugar is granulated, it could not efficiently be made into a tablet that has good tablet characteristics such as uniform content or consistent hardness.