Computational fluid dynamics modeling of the paddle dissolution apparatus: Agitation rate, mixing patterns, and fluid velocities
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The purpose of this research was to further investigate the hydrodynamics of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) paddle dissolution apparatus using a previously generated computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model. The influence of paddle rotational speed on the hydrodynamics in the dissolution vessel was simulated. The maximum velocity magnitude for axial and tangential velocities at different locations in the vessel was found to increase linearly with the paddle rotational speed. Path-lines of fluid mixing, which were examined from a central region at the base of the vessel, did not reveal a region of poor mixing between the upper cylin-drical and lower hemispherical volumes, as previously speculated. Considerable differences in the resulting flow patterns were observed for paddle rotational speeds between 25 and 150 rpm. The approximate time required to achieve complete mixing varied between 2 to 5 seconds at 150 rpm and 40 to 60 seconds at 25 rpm, although complete mixing was achievable for each speed examined. An analysis of CFD-generated velocities above the top surface of a cylindrical compact positioned at the base of the vessel, below the center of the rotating paddle, revealed that the fluid in this region was undergoing solid body rotation. An examination of the velocity boundary layers adjacent to the curved surface of the compact revealed large peaks in the shear rates for a region within∼3 mm from the base of the compact, consistent with a ‘grooving’ effect, which had been previously seen on the surface of compacts following dissolution, associated with a higher dissolution rate in this region.
Keywordspaddle dissolution apparatus computational fluid dynamics (CFD) hydrodynamics fluid mixing fluid velocities
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