Combinatorial experimentation is an experimental strategy that solves this dilemma through automation, miniaturisation and, more important, parallelisation of experiments. Using this strategy hundreds of experiments can be performed simultaneously or in very rapid succession, speeding up dramatically the time to discovery and product development. Today’s robotic handling in combination with rapid screening (measuring, analysing) methods, miniaturisation of testing, and application of data mining and statistical and visualisation tools, allow for rapid harvesting of useful data and a better understanding of the parameters relating to the synthesis of new materials and formulations, their properties and effects.
Specific equipment and software has been installed in order to enable experimental workflows in the areas of viscous formulations, high speed curable coatings and many more. Those workflows are the backbone for the platform on which Flamac will further build its expertise. End of 2007, Flamac has made this expertise available for projects with interested partners, both industrial and academic. Another focus point for Flamac is the use and development of predictive modelling techniques to predict structural and functional properties of materials, based on fundamental, physical and chemical principles. Basic aim here is to enable upfront elimination of experimental domains where little or no success is to be expected, so as to direct combinatorial experimentation towards the potentially most rewarding areas.