What is Tabletability?
Tabletability encompasses the transformation of a powdered material into a tablet format, under sufficient compaction pressure. Understanding this is significant for your business to construct tablets with the correct structure and dosage, protecting the health of your product’s consumers.
The action of tablet formation must be carefully controlled, to monitor a tablet’s overall pressure and strength. It is important to closely control your materials’ tabletability, to avoid mistakes and scale-up production issues, such as visual defects (capping and lamination), and internal defects (over-compression/formation failure).
Visual Tabletability Defects
A visual capping defect occurs when the tablet’s shaped dome separates from the tablet’s body. This is produced largely due to over-lubricated, dry, or highly elastic particles.
Visual lamination defects are produced when the tablet fragments into horizontal layers, after compression, or during storage.
Learn more about tablet capping and lamination here.
Internal Tabletability Defects
Internal defects, such as over-compression, occur when formulation compression is conducted above 120 MPa (megapascals). Over-compression reduces the maximum tensile strength achievable at fast production speeds, compared to slow testing speeds.
If a formulation is produced under 80 MPa, tablets will fail to form correctly and can disintegrate quickly. This can cause incorrect dosages to be consumed, creating health and safety issues for your company and customers.
Our expert team can utilise API Characterisation, to reduce the occurrence of tabletability defects through Heckel testing/PTS testing, by determining the correct compaction force needed for successful tabletability. The optimum tabletability pressure must fall within 80-120 MPa, when tested via Heckel testing or PTS testing.
Heckel testing uses the Heckel equation, force versus relative density, and compaction simulators to determine theoretical yield pressure, allowing the calculation of strain rate sensitivity. PTS testing is used to understand the fundamental mechanical strength of formulations, with a V shaped profile at 30 mm/s punch speed using a compaction simulator. These are measured within a graph, to demonstrate optimal tabletability pressure.
Once a material is characterised, different methods of tablet formulation can be assessed such as direct compression, roller compaction and wet granulation, to eliminate incompatible methods. This is important to reduce tabletability scale-up defects and speed sensitivities pre-production.
For more information regarding the importance of tabletability for your business, get in touch with our team of experts today.