A Mathematical Approach to Consider Solid Compressibility in the Compression of Pharmaceutical Powders.
In-die compression analysis is an effective method for the characterization of powder compressibility. However, physically unreasonable apparent solid fractions above one or apparent in-die porosities below zero are often calculated for higher compression stresses. One important reason for this is the neglect of solid compressibility and hence the assumption of a constant solid density. In this work, the solid compressibility of four pharmaceutical powders with different deformation behaviour is characterized using mercury porosimetry. The derived bulk moduli are applied for the calculation of in-die porosities. The change of in-die porosity due to the consideration of solid compressibility is for instance up to 4% for microcrystalline cellulose at a compression stress of 400 MPa and thus cannot be neglected for the calculation of in-die porosities. However, solid compressibility and further uncertainties from, for example the measured solid density and from the displacement sensors, are difficult or only partially accessible. Therefore, a mathematic term for the calculation of physically reasonable in-die porosities is introduced. This term can be used for the extension of common mathematical models, such as the models of Heckel and of Cooper & Eaton. Additionally, an extended in-die compression function is introduced to precisely describe the entire range of in-die porosity curves and to enable the successful differentiation and quantification of the compression behaviour of the investigated pharmaceutical powders.