The Purpose And Process Of Wet Granulation
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The word "granulated" is a deviation of the Latin term "granulatum" which when translated means "grained". Granulation is a process that is used in the chemical industry as well as the food and pharmaceutical industries. It relates to any type of business that employs the use of granular or powdered materials.

When pertaining to the chemical industry, it is often referred to the process of shredding or cutting large objects and remelting them into granules or globular particles. It has been estimated that the chemical industry alone manufactures 60% of its products as particulates.

In the pharmaceutical industry products are generally manufactured using the wet granulation process. Because wet granulation offers such a wide range of proficiency in forming these granules, 70% of the global industries are granulated (also known as Agglomerated) using this approach.

What Determines the Type of Granulation Used?

There are two different types of granulation. One may require the making of granules using the wet granulation process while the second type is known as dry granulation.

In order to choose which method is best suited for the desired outcome each ingredient in a formula needs to be carefully investigated to see how all the ingredients will combine and work with each other. This is because the properties of the granules are greatly influenced by the manufacturing process that is utilized.

The wet granulation method is the earliest and most traditional method used. These wet methods are so called because they use liquid in the process of granulating.

What is the Process of Wet Granulation?

Wet Granulation is carried out by changing the particles in powders. It is used to improve their flow characteristics and prevents the dividing of the individual constituents in the powder mixture.

This is done by adding a granulating fluid to the powders. This is a liquid solution containing volatile solvents so that they can be eliminated after, once the mixture is dry. These solvents must be non-toxic therefore the most common liquids used include water, isopropanol or ethanol. These may be used separately or in combination depending on the desired outcome.

Generally a binding agent is added to the liquid to ensure that when the granule is dry it will adhere properly to its properties. The density of the granules is determined by how much binding agent is used. Therefore it is important to have control over the amounts of liquid solution, the binders used, and the mechanical action of the mixers used to prepare the granule.

We can see therefore, that wet granulation is a complex process combining several critical configurations and variables that can extremely affect the desired result.

Proper machinery and close attention to details is imperative otherwise the finished product may be unusable.


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