Investigation of the milling capabilities of the F10 Fine Grind mill using Box-Behnken designs

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Size reduction or milling of the active is often the first processing step in the design of a dosage form. The ability of a mill to convert coarse crystals into the target size and size distribution efficiently is highly desirable as the quality of the final pharmaceutical product after processing is often still dependent on the dimensional attributes of its component constituents. The F10 Fine Grind mill is a mechanical impact mill designed to produce unimodal mid-size particles by utilizing a single-pass two-stage size reduction process for fine grinding of raw materials needed in secondary processing. Box–Behnken designs were used to investigate the effects of various mill variables (impeller, blower and feeder speeds and screen aperture size) on the milling of coarse crystals. Response variables included the particle size parameters (D10, D50and D90), span and milling rate. Milled particles in the size range of 5–200 μm, with D50 ranging from 15 to 60 μm, were produced. The impeller and feeder speeds were the most critical factors influencing the particle size and milling rate, respectively. Size distributions of milled particles were better described by their goodness-of-fit to a log-normal distribution (i.e. unimodality) rather than span. Milled particles with symmetrical unimodal distributions were obtained when the screen aperture size was close to the median diameter of coarse particles employed. The capacity for high throughput milling of particles to a mid-size range, which is intermediate between conventional mechanical impact mills and air jet mills, was demonstrated in the F10 mill. Prediction models from the Box–Behnken designs will aid in providing a better guide to the milling process and milled product characteristics.

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