Laity, Peter R. and Cameron, Ruth E. (2009) A small-angle X-ray scattering study of local variations within powder compacts. Powder Technology, 192 (3). pp. 287-297. ISSN 0032-5910

This work used two-dimensional small-angle X-ray scattering (2D-SAXS) to investigate the compaction behaviour of pre-gelatinised starch (PGS) and microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), which are commonly used as pharmaceutical excipients. By analysing azimuthal variations in scattering intensity, reproducible relationships were found between the compaction pressure, relative density and changes in the shapes of 2D-SAXS patterns for each material. These results indicated differences in the compaction mechanisms between PGS and MCC.

The relationships also provided a means for investigating local variations in compaction behaviour within specimens prepared using different materials and compaction conditions. Relative density results from 2D-SAXS were consistent with expectations based on the effects of friction during compaction and appeared similar to data from other methods. In addition, however, 2D-SAXS measurements revealed local variations in the effective direction in which compaction occurred, with significant radial components observed near the die walls. This appeared to be consistent with the transfer of some compaction pressure to friction on the die wall. These observations represent an important advance, since other experimental methods do not easily reveal the direction of force transmission within the powder compact.