Multicomponent Granular Mixing in a Bohle Bin Blender-Experiments and Simulation
Study of mixing and segregation of granular materials was performed in a Bohle bin blender using both computational modeling and experiments. A multicomponent mixture of pharmaceutical excipients and coated theophylline granules, an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) was considered as the blend formulation. A DEM (Discrete Element Method) Model was developed to simulate the flow and mixing of the multicomponent blend to compare with the experimental data. DEM is a numerical modeling technique which incorporates all the material properties (such as Particle size, density, elastic modulus, yield strength, Poisson’s ratio, work function etc.) to simulate granular flow (such as mixing, conveying) of particles. In simulation, the degree (Relative standard deviation) of mixing in a Bohle bin blender was assessed as a function of critical processing parameters (loading pattern, rotational rate, and fill percentage). Numerical simulation results reveal radial mixing in a Bohle bin blender is faster than axial mixing due to symmetric geometry limitation. This study investigates a numerical model-based approach to study the effect of the critical process parameters on the mixing dynamics in Bohle bin blender for a moderately cohesive pharmaceutical formulation. The DEM model can be used to provide crucial insights to developed optimized mixing protocols to ascertain the best mixing conditions for different formulation. As for example, as we try to develop a mixing protocol for another formulation with different operational parameters such as loading pattern, rotational speed, and fill percentage, one can device an optimized mixing protocol of the formulation with the help of this DEM model.
Keywords: Bohle bin blender, Powder Mixing, Discrete Element Model, Mixing rate, Granular Bond, Multicomponent mixing