Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Carl R. Wassgren

Committee Chair

Carl R. Wassgren

Committee Member 1

Kingsly Ambrose

Committee Member 2

Marcial Gonzalez

Committee Member 3

Charles M. Krousgrill


Tablets are the most popular solid dosage form in the pharmaceutical industry because they are cheap to manufacture, chemically and mechanically stable and easy to transport and fairly easy to control dosage. Pharmaceutical tableting operations have been around for decades however the process is still not well understood. One of the common problems faced during the production of pharmaceutical tablets by powder compaction is sticking of powder to the punch face, This is known as 'sticking'. A more specialized case of sticking is picking when the powder is pulled away form the compact in the vicinity of debossed features. In the pharmaceutical industry, picking is solved by trial and error which is an expensive, labor intensive and time consuming affair.

The objective of this work was to develop, validate, and implement a modeling framework for predicting picking in powder compacts. The model was developed in Abaqus a commercially available finite element package. The resulting model was used to investigate the influence of debossed feature geometry viz. the stroke angle and degree of pre-pick, and, influence of lubricant on picking. (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.)