Application PNR 12: Consistency of Pharmaceutical Products

The Penetrometer PNR 12 is suitable for consistency measurements required in the pharmaceutical industry. Various test kits are available for different pharmaceutical products and standards like the official WHO method European Pharmacopoeia 2.

High Efficiency Due to Flexibility

To meet the individual requirements various test kits and accessories are available for PNR 12. The choice of the accessories depends on the consistency and conductivity of the sample.

Fig. 1: Penetrometer PNR 12 with Pharma test kit

Test kits available for:

  • Ointment
  • Balm
  • Gel
  • Gelatin products
  • Dental plastic paste
  • Bone cement
  • Petrolatum (Vaseline®)
  • … and more

European Pharmacopoeia Method 2.9.9 - Measurement of Consistency by Penetration

The method is used mainly for ointment and cream in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries but is also suitable for other comparable semi-liquid and semi-solid materials. Furthermore it is an official method of the WHO (World Health Organization). A document with the detailed description of the whole procedure can be found under: (search under: Supplementary information → Test methods used during development or manufacture → Measurement of consistency by penetrometry)

Fig. 2: Pharma Test Kit "Micro-Cone - Klein" (106938)


Fig. 3: Test Kit "Optional Hollow Cone - Petrolatum" (106933)

Advantages of a Micro Cone Kit Compared to a Hollow Cone Kit

  • Small sample volume - Micro cup ≈4 mL (petrolatum cup ≈275 mL);
    ideally suited for samples of limited availability
  • Easy air bubble-free filling is possible
  • Shorter tempering time due to the small volume
  • Easy cleaning / low solvent consumption therefore environmentally friendly
  • Better reproducibility and repeatability
  • Wide consistency range

Most pharmacy producers prefer the micro cone method for ointment and cream.


The consistency is not only important for the product packing but even more for the application and handling.

For example the spreading behavior:

  • The more liquid a cream (lotion) the faster it will be absorbed, which is useful for e.g. sun protection products.
  • A more solid product would stay longer on the skin surface which might be desirable for ointment that should cover an open wound.

Do you have any questions?

Contact Anton Paar ProveTec directly: support.provetec[at]

Learn more about the PNR 12