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Factors Affecting During Materials Selected for Pharmaceutical Plant Construction

Your plant's layout design is influenced by the topography, size, and shape of your site. It is important to maximize the use of the available space.
When choosing a material for equipment construction, the following properties must be considered:


Your plant's layout design is heavily influenced by the topography, size, and shape of your site. It is important to maximize the use of the available space. The building's size and nature are also greatly affected by this.

Nature of the Product

Choosing the right layout design for your product line depends greatly on what you are selling. An industry that produces dosage forms such as tablets, injections, etc. by processing raw materials will have a layout very different from an industry that processes raw materials or intermediate products to form dosage forms. However, when it comes to quality control departments, raw materials quarantine, and approved raw materials, there will be some similarities.

Economic Factors

Materials used determine the initial cost of equipment. From a physical as well as a chemical point of view, several materials are suitable for construction, however only the cheapest material is selected. Materials with low maintenance costs are more cost-effective in the long run. Metals (ferrous and nonferrous) and nonmetals (organic and inorganic) are the materials used for plant construction.

Physical Factors


A visual port provides the opportunity to monitor the process that takes place inside the reactors and fermentation chambers. This application sometimes uses borosilicate glass. A polarized light is used to observe particles, if any, in the parenteral and ophthalmic containers. Transparent containers allow for viewing through them. The perfect material is glass.


To avoid contamination of parenterals, ophthalmics or bulk drugs, the production equipment must be properly sterilized. High pressure streams are usually used for this purpose. Temperature (121°C) and pressure (15 pounds per square inch) should not be a problem for the material. It must be vulcanized if rubber is used to endure the light temperature.


Cleaning is easier on smooth, polished surfaces. Each operation is completed with thorough cleaning of the equipment to ensure the old product does not contaminate the new. It is possible to polish and smooth stainless steel and glass surfaces.

Ease of Fabrication

Casting, welding, and forging are among the processes that are used to make equipment. For example, you can easily mold glass or plastic containers into many shapes and sizes. Reaction vessels can be coated with glass.

Thermal Expansion

When the temperature increases, the shape of the equipment will change if the material has a high coefficient of thermal expansion. Under such conditions, fractures may occur. Therefore, equipment should be made from materials that can maintain their shape and dimensions at working temperatures.

Thermal Conductivity

It is very important that the materials used in evaporators, dryers, stills and heat exchangers have very good thermal conductivity. The heat is transferred effectively using graphite, copper, and iron tubes.

Wear Properties

Friction between two surfaces leads to a loss of the softer surface, which causes contaminants to enter the product. Milling and grinding powder can be contaminated by a worn grinding surface, for example. It is not recommended to grind pharmaceuticals of high purity on ceramic or iron surfaces.


In packaging for transportation, lightweight materials are used. Plastic, aluminum, and paper are commonly used in packaging for pharmaceutical products.


The material must be sufficiently strong in order to withstand pressure and stress. Both steel and iron have these properties. It is made of stainless steel to hold up to very high pressure. A stainless-steel dies and upper and lower punches are used. Glass is fragile, but strong. Aerosol containers are made from tin containers which are covered with some polymers (lacquered). This is because they must be able to withstand high pressure. Due to their lack of strength, plastic materials are used in some packaging products, such as blister packs.
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Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of pharmaguideline.com, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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