Tablet Capping and Lamination

Powder compaction is widely used to produce pharmaceutical tablets and is referred to as a tabletting process. Although the method is widely used, there are still significant challenges with achieving a high-quality compact.

Any defects found during the tabletting process can affect product quality and cost companies thousands of pounds in lost time while they find a work around. Some of the most problematic tablet defects that can occur during tabletting include capping and lamination.


Tablet capping is the most common defect. It is when the shaped dome of the tablet fractures away from the body of the tablet.

When compressing a tablet, the air is pushed out from between the granules, which allows them to be locked together. If the particles are too dry, over-lubricated or highly elastic, they do not bond together sufficiently. The stress of ejection can open up small microcracks within the compact, which expand and lead to the cap being sheared apart from the body. Usually, the faster the speed of manufacture, the more likely it is that the tablet will cap.



Lamination of tablets happens when the product separates into horizontal layers. Lamination is very similar to capping, but occurs in the main body of the tablet, not at the top, and it can occur immediately after compression or during the storage period.

At Merlin, we can compress your prototype tablet formulations to help you to understand the fundamental compaction properties of your product. Tablet properties at slow speed are not always representative of high speed compression. We can test the formulation at production-relevant speeds to assess the propensity for tablet capping and lamination to de-risk the development and scale-up process.

For more information, get in touch today by completing our online contact form here, by emailing, or by calling +44(0)1509 860 222.

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