Developing a regime map for the roller compaction process
Roller compaction is a continuous dry granulation process where the powder particles compressed by two rotating rollers to produce a ribbon like shape compact. Then depending on the end use, the ribbon may be crushed to produce granules. The properties of the ribbon are important as it will significantly influence the properties of the resulted granules.
The aim of this study is to create a granulation map that could be used to predict the behaviour of the materials during the roller compaction process. This map will be useful for a wide range of industries. It will help to choose the right formulation and using the suitable process parameters to get the desired ribbon and granules properties.
This regime map should take into consideration two important properties which are the hardness and the followability of the primary powder. The hardness is a measure of the plastic deformation of the particles. For some type of powders, the hardness is a function of the temperature and this need to be covered in this study. This is important as roller compaction process generates heat and this heat will cause a rise in the temperature of the primary particles to a level where the hardness could change or the particle temperature even come close to sintering or even melting point.
On the other hand, followability is a material property which can significantly affect the robustness of the roller compaction process. This will be optimised taking into account both process parameters and design aspects.
Online measurement techniques such as thermal imaging and near infra-red spectrophotometer to correlate ribbon surface temperature with ribbon density as the main product quality attribute.
Additionally, the computational modelling approach will be exploited as an aiding tool to predict the product quality and eventually building the regime map.
Candidates should have a first-class or upper second class degree in chemical engineering, material science, food science/engineering, chemistry, pharma or a related discipline.
This studentship is open to students from the UK and the European Union (EU) countries.
This is a fully-funded Ph.D. Studentship