AAPS PharmSciTech

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp E92–E98 | Cite as

Study of coat quality of tablets coated by an on-line supercell coater

  • Elaine S. K. Tang
  • Celine V. Liew
  • Dawn Z. L. Er
  • Xiaohua Liu
  • Anthony J. Wigmore
  • Paul W. S. Heng


The aim of this study was to investigate the nature of Supercell coating, an on-line tablet coater that employed a unique pattern of airflow. Tablets coated at different spray rates (4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 mL/min) were analyzed to investigate the influence of different wetting conditions on the quality of coats formed. Scanning electron micrographs showed that tablet coats formed at a spray rate of 4 mL/min consisted of spray-dried droplets that did not coalesce. At a spray rate of 6 mL/min, surface roughness was found to be lower than at the other spray rates, and the coat appeared smoothest, whereby droplets seemed fused together. At higher spray rates, the droplets appeared as branching arms and scale-like structures. This was attributed to the spread of spray droplets by the processing air and mass transfer of wet coating materials between tablets. Further tests showed that coats formed at higher spray rates had higher drug yield, drug uniformity, color uniformity, and density. However, the variability in coat thickness was increased due to the mass transfer of coats and dissolution of tablet core surfaces by the coating material. Since coats of different characteristics can be formed in Supercell coating, the choice of wetting conditions would depend on the type of coat required and the coating materials used.


Tablet coating coat quality on-line coating 


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Copyright information

© American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elaine S. K. Tang
    • 1
  • Celine V. Liew
    • 1
  • Dawn Z. L. Er
    • 1
  • Xiaohua Liu
    • 1
  • Anthony J. Wigmore
    • 2
  • Paul W. S. Heng
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacyNational University of SingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.GEA Aeromatic-FielderEastleighUK

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