Tablet tooling manufacturer I Holland has extended its PharmaCote range of tool coatings by launching PharmaCote EC-xtra.
I Holland state that the product differentiates from hard chromium tooling forms and that PharmaCote EC-xtra boasts improved performance and environmental benefits.
The company have worked towards improving the protection of tablet punches from problems such as corrosion, wear and formulation sticking to the punch tip face. Traditionally, electro-plated hard chromium is the most popular coating used within the tablet tooling industry. However, hard chromium has unwanted characteristics such as a 20% decrease steel work load. It is also subject to micro-cracks which can occur during the plating process when the internal stress exceeds the tensile strength of the chromium. These micro-cracks are problematic because they provide a porous route to the substrate that will allow tablet formulas or cleaning solutions to attack the steel beneath.
I Holland state that PharmaCote EC-xtra has been developed to stop the issues encountered by hard chrome, but still provide a coating that provides excellent tooling protection at a competitive price.
Rob Blanchard, I Holland’s R & D manager said: “EC-extra is a further improvement to our PharmaCote range. It is a chromium-rich coating that is applied via an advanced sputtering technique. This process causes a very smooth and dense coating which helps to create an anti-stick surface.
“What is also notable about EC-extra is its environmental credentials. Hard chrome itself is not an eco-hazard, but there are environmental problems associated with the plating process. The main issue is the chromic acid solution used in the process, which generates a waste product containing hexavalent chromium. This has significant implications on worker safety and is under review by several agencies. PharmaCote EC-xtra does not have the same environmental implications and is actually one of the most advanced coatings available in the range.”