Abrasion by powders during powder processing


One issue in the pharmaceutical industry, is the abrasion of processing components for pressing the powders. The intensity of the abrasion phenomena strongly depends on the composition and size of the processed powders. Up to date there is no fixed procedure on how to evaluate such abrasion phenomena, in conditions that simulate the realistic process.


A modification on the Falex Multispecimen machine was prepared to simulate powder pushing over a pressing disk. In the updated setup a knife - similar to the actual application - was attached to the machine. Powder is supplied and continuously refreshed from the center of the contact. This refreshment and distribution is essential to avoid attrition or poor repeatability.  After completion of a test, the wear mechanisms on both knife and disk are investigated by optical microscopy. Changes in the cutting tip were evaluated by comparing the tip angle before and after the tests with a confocal microscope. The wear damage was assessed by measuring the width of the scar of the knife before and after testing.





  • A methodology was developed to evaluate the abrasion of components used for powder processing in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • The wear mechanisms were assessed and correlated to the one met in the actual application.
  • The use of coatings to improve the abrasion resistance and lifetime such components was considered.



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