Compaction Simulator Range

A compaction simulator is a piece of equipment that has been designed specifically for simulating the production process of compressing powders into pellets or tablets.

The machine allows the user to reduce the risk of scale-up issues by compressing the powder at production speeds using production press profiles. You can assess the suitability of your product with as little as 20g of development formulation.

A hydraulic compaction simulator is the most versatile means to simulate a wide variety of production tablet presses, as well as enabling alternative profiles for material characterisation testing (V-shaped profiles). This incredibly accurate data enables huge savings in both time and money during the scale up and production processes.

The machine is entirely designed and built in-house, including the electronics, software and mechanical system, giving the ability to evolve and develop any aspect of the system as user needs change over time.

The Phoenix Compaction Simulator is the result of development and collaboration with compaction simulator users over the past 30 years, from the very first ESH simulator built in 1982, incorporating features to suit a wide range of user needs from early stage material characterisation to trouble shooting production problems.

The frames are all purpose built, compact and lightweight designs to suit the modern facility requirements.

Controls and Software

When carrying out powder compaction testing on small amounts of expensive formulation, getting the most accurate and repeatable data is critical.

The Phoenix software suite (Profile Builder, Press Profiler, Profile Extractor – used in conjunction with the Intelli Punch, Compaction Run and Compaction Analysis) are all fully written in-house by Phoenix engineers.

The suite includes features requested and specified by experienced operators for building profiles, running tests and analysing data.

The combination of the unique Phoenix frame design, and the 40kHz control loop rate of the Alpha Digital Control System (data processing uses a National Instruments™ processor), ensures that the Phoenix system offers the most accurate control and best data acquisition rate possible.

The results of tests can be shown in tabular form for many tablets at a time where statistical parameters such as mean, variance and standard deviation can be shown.

Automatic Heckel analysis (provided that tablet weight and powder true density are available) and automatic Energy and Power analysis is always performed. Manual analysis is also possible.

Measureable Parameters

The following result parameters are saved as standard and are available to view for each tablet:-

  • Test reference
  • Run no.
  • Tablet no.
  • Layer no.
  • Punch separation [mm]
  • Peak velocity upper [mm/s]
  • Peak velocity lower [mm/s]
  • Load dwell time [s]
  • Contact time [s]
  • Peak force lower [kN]
  • Peak force upper [kN]
  • Peak ejection force [kN]
  • Peak push off force [N]
  • Compressive work [J]
  • Recovery work [J]
  • Net work [J]
  • Yield pressure [MPa]
  • TO/DA/DO/DB [mm] Heckel
  • Pre-comp. force lower [kN]
  • Pre-comp. force upper [kN]
  • Die Temp (°C)
  • Air Temp (°C)
  • Tablet Temp (°C)
  • Humidity (%)
  • Die pressure 1 (MPa)
  • Die pressure 2 (MPa)
  • Die pressure 3 (MPa)
  • Adhesion (N) – when using adhesion punch
  • HardnessPunch (N)
  • Weight [mg]
  • Diameter [mm]
  • Hardness [kp]
  • Compaction stress (SCAP) [MPa]
  • Tensile stress [MPa]
  • Ejection shear [MPa]
  • Plasticity ratio
  • In-die solid fraction from fill weight
  • In-die solid fraction from post-test weight
  • In-die solid fraction from pre-test weight
  • Out-of-die solid fraction
  • Porosity
  • Compaction stress (CSA) [MPa]
  • Max peak K3 [V]
  • Thickness [mm]

The interface utilises ‘drag and drop’ functionality that allows the user to easily rearrange the parameter column order.


Phoenix has developed a range of highly accurate instrumented accessories to enhance the Compaction Simulator. The accessories enable the operator to measure the widest possible range of parameters, such as radial die wall pressure, to suit the specific project or product, as well as simulating a variety of production environments.

These accessories can be purchased with the base system, or can easily be added as user requirements evolve.

For customers who have a need for this type of testing, but do not have a full time requirement, Merlin Powder Characterisation Ltd is equipped with a Phoenix Compaction Simulator and a full range of accessories, offering powder characterisation as a sub-contract service.

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