YD-1/2/3 Tablet Hardness Tester

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YD-1/2/3 Tablet Hardness Tester

Tablet Hardness Tester: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

Tablet hardness tester plays an integral role in quality control during the tablet compression process.

And in today’s guide answers all questions about tablet hardness tester equipment.

Whether you want to learn about design, components, working principle, calibration or accuracy, you will find everything right here.

Keep reading to learn more.

What is a Tablet Hardness Tester?

A tablet hardness tester is a device that determines the breaking point and the structural integrity of a tablet.

You will use it to understand how it changes when exposed to conditions of:

  • Storage
  • Delivery
  • Packaging
  • Handling

High quality tablets

High quality tablets

Low quality tablets

low quality tablets

A tablet hardness tester is also known as a tablet tester or a hardness meter.

You can use a tablet hardness tester to test different tablets.

You will measure the hardness value of a tablet by using force measured in Newton.

A tablet hardness tester operates by squeezing a tablet between two jaws.

tablet testing equipment

Tablet testing equipment

Why should you Test the Hardness of Tablets?

You are to test the hardness of a tablet for several reasons.

The reasons include:

Determining Production Process

The following properties determine how you will formulate a tablet:

  1. The tablet press
  2. Air contained in the powder.
  3. The granulation flow.

With this in mind, you need to manage these parameters to produce a tablet that has the appropriate hardness.

Determining Material Ingredients

You will improve the material ingredients of a solid-dose tablet when you know its mechanical features.

The nature of the following will influence the hardness of a tablet:

  1. The active constituents.
  2. The type of binder used.
  3. The composition of the constituents.

Determining Tablet Handling

When a tablet is too soft, it will break when still under production.

This means the tablet will reach the patient when it is cracked.

Cracking of the tablet may happen during packaging, coating, or transportation.

Determining the Tablet Disintegration

When a tablet is too hard, it means that the bond between the active ingredients and the excipients is in excess.

This means the tablet will not disintegrate as recommended when used as a dosage.

Contrary to this, a very soft tablet means the bond between the ingredients is weak.

This means that the tablet will dissolve quicker than expected when a patient consumes it.

What are the Factors that Influence Tablet Hardness?

It is essential to know that tablets require a certain amount of hardness to withstand mechanical shock.

These mechanical shocks can be experienced when you are handling, manufacturing, packaging, or shipping the tablets.

Some of the factors that influence the hardness of a tablet include:

The Particle Size and Shape

Powder particles with excellent size will produce a good strength for the tablets.

For instance, if the particle size is large, it will flow better than small particles.

This is because they have a greater mass.

When mixing small particles, you may encounter problems.

This is because they have a large surface area that may lead to strong electrostatic forces or inter particulate friction.

When you expose small particles to the atmosphere, they may experience oxidation.

Lubrication

You will use lubricants when forming tablets to reduce the die wall friction and improve the flow properties.

On the other hand, lubrication can cause unwanted changes in the properties of the tablets.

Moisture Content

You require some small amount of moisture to form a tablet.

The amount of moisture available on the surface of the powder is enough to fill the voids present.

In addition to this, compressing the powder will release the water out of the tablet.

The released moisture may act as a lubricant, and sometimes it causes the ingredients to stick to the punch forces.

Low moisture content leads to a soft tablet.

On the other hand, more moisture content decreases the compact strength of the bonds in tablets.

What are the available Tablet Tester Types?

There are several tablet hardness tester machines available.

The working mechanism and design of these tablet hardness testers may differ slightly.

The following are the examples of tablet hardness tester machines available:

Tablet hardness testing machine

Tablet hardness testing machine

i. Strong-Cobb Tablet Hardness Tester

A Strong-Cobb tablet hardness tester will push an anvil against a stationary surface.

You can see the outcome of the test on the hydraulic meter.

ii. Pfizer Tablet Hardness Tester

A Pfizer tablet harness tester squashes a tablet between the holding anvil and the piston.

A force recording meter is connected to the piston.

iii. Erweka Tablet Hardness Tester

An Erweka hardness tablet tester measures the hardness of a tablet using an anvil and a load that moves along a rail.

The rail delivers force progressively on the tablet.

iv. Kraemek Elektronik Tablet Hardness Tester

The Kraemek Elektronik Tablet Hardness Tester is the first automated tablet hardness tester.

This machine was designed by a mechanical engineer from Germany called Mr Norbert Kraemer.

A patented feeder chute isolated the tablets and moves them horizontally on a star wheel with the help of testing points.

The Kraemek Elektronik Tablet Hardness Tester will measure:

  1. The width of the tablets.
  2. The diameter of the tablets.
  3. The hardness of tablets.
  4. The thickness of tablets.
  5. The weight of tablets.

v. Dr. Schleuniger Pharmatron Tablet Hardness Tester

This tablet tester operated in a horizontal stand.

An electric motor on the tester will drive an anvil to press the tablet at a progressive rate.

The force applied pushed the tablet adjacent to a stationary anvil until it cracks.

You will then measure the hardness amount of the tablet using a scale indicator.

vi. Monsanto Tablet Hardness Tester

Monsanto tablet tester was discovered over 50 years ago.

This tester has a barrel that has compressing springs that are fixed between two plungers.

You will release the upper plunger on the tablet once you have placed it on the lower plunger.

At the moment SaintyCo tablet hardness testing machine offers a reliable and accurate testing capability.

It incorporates modern technologies, and it’s compliant with all the

How do you Measure Tablet Hardness?

You are to measure tablet hardness using the following procedures:

Block diagram of tablet testing machine

Block diagram of tablet hardness testing machine

Crush Test

You will do a crush test mostly on a round tablet when standing on its rim.

You will also use this test on a capsule-like tablet when it is parallel to the longest axis.

And the crush test is also known as a diametrical compression test.

You will do this test by placing the sample tablet on a base.

Then you will compress it against a flat surface cylindrical probe.

You will break the tablet at a constant speed by moving the cylindrical probe down on the tablet.

Finally, you will record the force used to break the tablet.

Fracture Test

You accomplish a fracture test by driving a smaller hemispherical ball probe into the solid tablet’s surface.

You will choose a recommended probe deformation distance to eliminate the base effect.

The base effect is the exterior force of the surface where you will place the tablet.

Incorrect readings occur when you press a thin tablet against the test base, which causes the base effect.

A sufficient deformation distance of not more than 60% of the tablet height is recommended to avoid the base effect.

You will then register the force needed to break the tablet.

Bending Test

The bending test is also referred to as the snap test.

You will use a bending test mainly on broad round tablets as well as oval capsule-shaped tablets.

You can conduct the bending test using a three-point bend fixture.

In this test, you will back the tablet at its ends and then deform it at the centre using a knife-like probe.

The force applied will make the tablet to crack and snap at the weak point.

Also, you have to standardize how the tablet is fixed to assure comparability of the results.

One way you can do this is by aligning the scoreline of the tablet with the blade of the probe.

What are the Parts of Tablet Hardness Tester Machine?

 Tablet thickness tester

 Tablet thickness tester

7 Tablet hardness tester machine

Tablet hardness tester machine

What are the Quality Standards of a Tablet Hardness Testing Machine?

All tablet hardness testing machine has to comply with quality standards.

Here are some of the quality standards that a tablet hardness tester should comply to:

Current Good Manufacturing Practice [cGMP] Quality Standard

A Current Good Manufacturing Practice quality standard makes sure that a tablet hardness testing machine is:

  1. It is made with the correct designs.
  2. Prevents possible contamination
  3. Does not interfere with the composition of the tablet.
  4. It has the recommended strength
  5. Machine is made using food grade material
  6. Conforms to the food safety requirements.

Tablet Tester USP Quality Standard

You need to comply with several aspects when you are using a tablet hardness testing machine.

These aspects are available in the current USP chapter <1217> in USP 31 NF6 named “Tablet Breaking Force.”

Some of the USP quality standards that you are to consider include:

Rate and Uniformity of Loading.

You need to have a consistent rate at which you apply compression force or the platen movement rate.

By preserving the loading rate, you avoid compressive loads from rapidly accumulating.

In addition, a constant loading rate recording can be slow for real-time tracking.

Platens.

You are to ensure the platens are all in a parallel position.

Also, they should have smooth polishing on the surfaces.

In addition, the faces of the patens must be precision-ground at the correct angle to the direction of the motion.

The process should be free from any torsion displacements when you are applying the load.

The face of the contact has to be wider than the contact surface with the tablet.

Resolution, Calibration, and Units.

The tablet hardness tester should use standard units of force to give results.

Most modern tablet hardness testers use Newton or kiloponds.

Basically, one kilogram-force (kgf) is equal to 1 kilopond (kp) which is equal to 9.80 N.

Strong-Cobb unit was used in the past tablet hardness testers.

Modern tablet hardness testers have a digital display.

Other quality standard are CE, RoHS and CCC.

Of course, the tablet tester machine should also conform to the local standards and regulations.

Which Types of Tablets are in the Market?

A tablet hardness tester can test a number of tablets that are available in the market.

Some of these tablets include:

  • Effervescent tablets
  • Soluble tablets
  • Coated tablets
  • Uncoated tablets
  • Prolonged-release tablets
  • Modified release tablets
  • Enteric-coated tablets
  • Buccal tablets
  • Sublingual tablets
  • Implantable tablets
  • Dispersible tablets

Which Tablets are Exempted from Tablet Disintegration Testing?

The tablets exempted from the tablet disintegration test are chewable tablets.

How does Manual Tablet Hardness Tester compare to Automatic Tablet Tester Machine?

 Manual tablet hardness tester machine

Manual tablet hardness tester machine

Automatic tablet hardness tester machine

Automatic tablet hardness tester machine

An automatic tablet hardness tester machine is quicker than a manual tablet hardness machine.

An automatic tablet hardness tester machine is generally easy to use than a manual tablet hardness tester.

Also, automatic hardness tablet testers are more expensive than manual tablet hardness tester.

An automatic tablet tester has a digital display while a manual hardness tablet tester has no digital display.

Furthermore, an automatic tablet hardness tester is more precise and accurate than a manual hardness tablet tester.

You can use an automatic tablet hardness tester to test various samples without tweaking the settings between samples.

You can easily change settings on an automatic tablet, hardness tester.

An automatic tablet hardness tester does all tasks on its own.

A manual tablet hardness tester needs a human to record readings manually.

You can use an automatic tablet hardness tester to conduct multiple tests.

You can customize activities on an automatic hardness tablet tester according to your requirements.

Why is the Vickers Hardness Tablet Testing used?

You are to use the Vickers hardness tablet testing for a broad range of tablets.

Vickers hardness tablet testing is used in both macro and microhardness testing.

Since it has a wide load range, it is suitable for a wide range of uses and materials.

A Vickers hardness tablet testing is considered the easiest to use than the other hardness tests.

The size of the indenter does not affect the calculations.

You can use the indenter for all samples, irrespective of their hardness.

How do you Calibrate Hardness Tablet Tester Machine?

These are the steps on how to calibrate a hardness tablet tester machine:

  • You start by removing the force gauge and then hold it vertically.
  • You then adjust the zero on the force gauge.
  • You then apply standard weights on the hook of the force gauge.
  • When conducting this, 1 kg of standard weight applied must indicate a tension of 1kg.
  • This is evident from the original point where the pointer is adjusted.
  • You then remove the weights and adjust the zero on the force gauge again.
  • Following these steps, you will repeat the process with other weights.
  • You will test for 1kg, 2kg, 5kg, 10kg, 20kg, and 30kg standard weights.
  • You can allow a variation of ±0.25kg or ±0.1kg.
  • You are to do calibration tests once every six months.
  • In addition, always repair the equipment when it’s faulty before conducting any calibration tests.

How much do Tablet Hardness Tester Cost?

The material and technology used to manufacture a tablet hardness tester determine its cost.

Basically, an automatic tablet tester costs more than a manual tablet tester.

A tablet hardness tester will cost anything from 175 US Dollars to 16000 US Dollars.

What are the Benefits of Tablet Hardness Tester Machine?

Some of the benefits of a tablet hardness tester machine include:

  • You will know the solubility of a tablet.
  • You will know if a tablet can withstand mechanical shocks such as packaging, handling, and shipping.
  • You will know the physical parameters of the tablet.
  • You will produce tablets that meet the required specifications.
  • By understanding the hardness, you will know which packaging material you are to use.
  • The machine is small and portable.

Do Tablet Hardness Tester Machines have Limitations?

Some of the limitations include:

  • You need to understand the properties you are measuring before using a tablet hardness tester machine.
  • You need to calibrate the machine regularly to give you accurate readings.
  • For micro tablets, you need specialized tablet hardness tester machines.
  • Human error can occur during the testing process more so with manual tablet hardness testing machines

What are the Units of Measures for Tablet Hardness?

Some units of measuring for tablet hardness include:

Kilogram [Kg]

This is the most used unit of measurement.

Kilopond [Kp]

This unit is also called a kilogram of force.

One kilopond equals 1 kg/f.

Pound [lb]

The pound is a unit of mass and also force.

2.204 pound equals 1 kilogram.

Newton

Newton is the SI unit of force.

9.807 Newton equals 1 kilogram.

Strong-Cobb

Strong-Cobb measurement was used in the past.

1.4 Strong-Cobs averagely equals 1 kg.

What are the Benefits of Digital Tablet Hardness Tester?

The benefits of a digital tablet hardness tester include:

  • You can easily select measurement units.
  • They provide accurate readings.
  • They are not so expensive.
  • You can easily operate them.

 Digital tablet hardness tester machine

 Digital hardness tester machine

How does Tablet Disintegration Testing compare to Tablet Hardness Testing?

A tablet hardness testing determines the breaking point and the structural integrity of a tablet.

A tablet disintegration testing tests if a tablet will crumble.

Tablet disintegration tester machine

Tablet disintegration tester machine

How do you Troubleshoot Tablet Hardness Tester?

Here are some guidelines on how to troubleshoot a tablet hardness tester.

Thickness Reading is not Recorded.

Replace the thickness meter battery if it is low.

Confirm if the thickness meter is on and if not, switch it on.

LED is not Displaying

Make sure the power outlet is connected to the machine.

Change the fuse if it’s blown.

Lower/Higher Hardness Readings

You are to calibrate the unit.

The printer is not Functioning.

Make sure the printer is connected to a power source and enabled.

If the printer is offline, turn it online.

What is the Accuracy of Tablet Hardness Tablet Tester?

A tablet hardness tester is accurate only allowing a variation of ±0.25kg or ±0.1kg.

In short, before you buy tablet hardness tester, it is important to evaluate the design, know the accuracy and learn how the equipment works, amongst others.

It is the only way to boost your tablet compression business.

At SaintyCo, we have all pharmaceutical instruments you need.

Contact us now for the best prices on tablet hardness tester machine.