Three new testing rigs for the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer are now available to help pharmaceutical manufacturers better test a variety of pharmaceutical products

The TA-227 Capsule Separating Rod Fixture measures the force required to split one half of a hard gel capsule.

TA-227 Capsule Separating Rod Fixture allows manufacturers to investigate the mechanical strength of the capsule shell and identify changes that may impact its stability and long-term performance.

Before testing, the filling of the capsule is removed and the empty shell is mounted to the TA-227 Capsule Separating Rod Fixture on the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer. Vertical movement of the upper rod is then applied until the capsule is split apart, while Exponent software records the force required to do so. This test highlights three important parameters: elastic stiffness (if a linear region on the graph is present), tensile force, and elongation at break point. A reduction in elastic stiffness and tensile strength occurs when capsules become softer, hence showing a tendency to fail. The Capsule Separating Rod Fixture is a great fixture for discriminating the brittleness of hard gel capsules.

The TA-402 Powder Compaction Rig offers a more targeted analysis of powder compaction compared to previous test methods.

The characterization of powder in its bulk format can enable manufacturers to predict the flow and cohesive behaviorsof powders when compressed. However, the need for more targeted analysis of powder compaction has been identified and, as a result, the TA-402 Powder Compaction Rig was developed.

Available in half inch and 5 mm varieties, this rig accurately measures the force and/or punch displacement required to compress powders. Using Exponent software, the powder compaction rig produces precise measurements that enable pharmaceutical product manufacturers to produce powder compacts with consistent porosity. It accurately assesses the force needed for the punch to travel a specified distance, or can be used in target force mode to assess the effect of fill level on tablet thickness. The TA-402 Powder Compaction Rig is also used for powder relaxation tests on very small powder samples which provide some excellent insights into how powders consolidate and flow.

The Bi-Layer Tablet Shear Rig analyzes the strength of bi-layer tablets, allowing pharmaceutical manufacturers to identify weaknesses and improve the quality and stability of their products.

The Bi-Layer Tablet Shear Rig is attached to the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer, which uses Exponent software to analyze the bond between different layers of bi-layer tablets. Tablets are held in place in a central cavity until a guillotine-type blade stresses the bonds until the two layers are sheared apart. The force taken to shear the tablet, as well as the distance to failure, is then calculated. The lower the force required to shear the tablet, the more likely it is that bonds between the layers will fail during manufacturing, packing, or consumption. Visual characterization of the fracture surface enables quantification of the percentage of each fracture failure, which is important in enabling manufacturers to optimize adhesion between the two tablet components relative to the cohesion of the powder in each layer.

Read more on Stable Micro Systems blog about their Bi-Layer Tablet Shear Rig, Powder Compaction Rig, and their Separating Rod Fixture.