The aim of this study was to investigate the lubrication potential of 2 grades of magnesium stearate (MS) blended with a mix of dicalcium phosphate dihydrate and microcrystalline cellulose. Force-displacement, force-time, and ejection profiles were generated using an instrumented rotary tablet press, and the effect of MS mixing time (10, 20, and 30 minutes) and tableting speed (10.7, 13.8, and 17.5 rpm) was investigated. The packing index (PI), frictional index (FI), and packing energy (PE) derived from the force-displacement profiles showed that MS sample I performed better than sample II. At higher lubricant mixing times, the values of PI were observed to increase, and values of FI and PE were observed to decrease for both MS samples. Lower values of area under the curve (AUC) calculated from force-time compression profiles also showed sample I to be superior to sample II in lubrication potential. For both the samples, the values of AUC were observed to decrease with higher lubricant mixing times. Tapping volumetry that simulates the initial particle rear-rangement gave values of parameter a and Cmax that were higher for sample I than sample II and also increased with lubricant mixing time. The superior lubrication potential of sample I was also established by the lower values of peak ejection force encountered in the ejection profile. Lower ejection forces were also found to result from higher tableting speeds and longer lubricant mixing times. The difference in lubrication efficacy of the 2 samples could be attributed to differences in their solid-state properties, such as particle size, specific surface area, and d-spacing.
Keywords: Magnesium stearate, lubrication efficiency, force-displacement profile, force-time profile, particle rear-rangement, ejection profile