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AAPS PharmSciTech. 2000 September; 1(3): 44–52.
Published online 2000 July 18. doi:  10.1208/pt010321
PMCID: PMC2750349

Development of a dual approach to assess powder flow from avalanching behavior


The purposes of this investigation were to develop a method to evaluate flow properties of powders from avalanching tests and to detect similarities and relationships between these data and conventional powder flow properties. The API AeroFlow® automated flowability analyzer was tested using 6 pharmaceutical excipients. Data were presented as mean time to avalanche (MTA), scatter, and a classification based on the type of motion of the powder bed. Powders were also characterized in terms of particle size, particle shape, loss of weight on drying, Carr’s compressibility index, and critical orifice diameter to prevent ratholing. A dual approach, which combines visual observation of the type of motion of the powder bed in the rotating drum with numerical descriptors such as MTA and scatter, was found to be more accurate in the assessment of powder flow than the current practice of using only MTA and scatter values. Statistical analysis established that there are relationships and similarities between the ranking of powder flow properties obtained from the avalanching test and Carr’s compressibility index and the critical orifice diameter. An interaction between particle size and shape, both influencing powder flow, when evaluated with these methods was found. The assessment of the flowability of powders on the basis of avalanching tests should include both the determination of numerical descriptors of flow such as MTA and scatter, and a determination of the type of motion of the powder bed in order to increase the sensitivity of the method to small changes in powder flow properties.

Keywords: Avalanching of Powders, Carr’s Compressibility Index, Critical Orifice Diameter, Perceptual Mapping, Powder Flow

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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