Flamac is engaged in a variety of strategic projects which are important for Flamac in order to strengthen its expertise and remain a top-competence centre in the field of accelerated materials research.

Current Projects

 

SMART: Sustainable Metal Extraction from Tailings
Start: 1 January 2017 – End: 1 January 2020
This project aims at finding zero-waste solutions for tailings, i.e. the materials left over after the process of separating the valuable fraction from the uneconomic fraction (gangue) of an ore

SMART is a strategic basic research project within the long-term SIM MaRes programme on “Materials from Solid and Liquid Industrial Process Residues”.

For more information, see the SIM Website or the KULeuven Website.
 

ACEFORM4.0: Activating Value Chains for EU leadership in FORMulation Manufacturing 4.0
Start: 1 October 2016 – End: 30 September 2018
ACEFORM4.0 will strengthen European leadership in the development and commercialisation of innovative and sustainable formulated products by
I) engaging stakeholders and establishing a strategic common vision, European 2025 roadmap for formulated products and an associated implementation plan; and
II) facilitating knowledge exchange activities aiming at the formation of new collaborative value chains and partnerships in the context of the challenges, barriers and opportunities offered by Industry 4.0 and the drive towards a Circular Economy.

This work is supported by the European Commission under call H2020-NMBP-CSA-2016.

For more information, see the AceForm4.0 Project Website.
 

MET@LINK: Printing of metallic inks for conductive functionalities
Start: 1 October 2015 – End: 30 September 2018
The MET@LINK project focuses on the printing of metallic conductors and aims at proving the technological and economic feasibility of incorporating internet connectivity in common consumer products.
MET@LINK translates its general aim of demonstrating the technological and economic feasibility of printed metallic conductors into five main objectives:
1. Proving that inks consisting of silver nanomaterials can be implemented into existing screen print processes. This will involve the modification of the nano‐materials, the conversion processes, the existing workflow, or a combination of any of these.
2. Proving that silver nano processes can open the way towards new flexo‐ and ink jet applications that have no commercial success yet on the market.
3. Proving by means of quantitative data that HSE‐issues for nanomaterials will not restrict / limit their use to theoretical showcases without any chance to penetrate commercial markets.
4. Proving that longer term alternatives to silver nano such as copper and nickel, can break open the cost issue, and convert flexible printable electronics into the truly cheap mass products that are needed to enable the Internet of Things.
5. Opening the path for post‐project initiatives in the PV area.
This work is supported as SIM ICON project (150078) with Flamac as a partner organisation.

For more information, see the SIM Website.
 

PROMISES: Pb-free Perovskite photovoltaic material screening for enhanced stability
Start: 1 July 2016 – End: 30 June 2018
PROMISES focuses on the core material of Perovskite solar cells, especially the stability and environmental nature of the end application, facilitating low cost manufacturing at ambient conditions, with two main activities:
1. High-throughput material screening to identify a range of interesting materials for further detailed analysis and incorporation in the advanced device realization work.
2. Up-scaled processing whereby novel perovskite materials with sufficiently high performance and stability are implemented in modules with size up to 30 cm x 30 cm. The operational lifetime of these modules will be validated.
Flamac acts as partner in the PROMISES project that combines two complementary research consortia with proven track record in the field: one led by imec in Flanders on material screening and selection and one led by CSEM in Switzerland on up-scaled processing.

This work is carried out within the M-ERA.NET network (Project 3212, Fonds Wetenschappelijk onderzoek – project S000216N).

PROMISES website: coming soon
 

LIGHTOUGH: Screening of tough lightweight Fe-Mn-Al steels using high-throughput methodologies
Start: 1 July 2015 – End: 31 December 2018
Fe-Mn-Al-C steels show superior tensile properties at low density, which triggered further studies on other engineering properties but also on fundamental aspects. Stabilised by Mn and C, the dominant microstructure most compositions is austenitic, although formation of brittle phases needs to be avoided by a proper balance of Mn and C. Adding Al reduces the density and leads to the precipitation of nano-sized kappa carbides, which, if properly controlled by the right tempering conditions, effectively strengthen the material. Further, Al readily promotes the formation of ferrite, opening possibilities for application tailored microstructure variations, but also greatly increasing the alloy complexity. The ongoing steel design and development process is therefore often time consuming and of limited efficiency. This proposal deals therefore with the screening of toughness, density and strength of Fe-Mn-Al-C alloys, in quenched and quenched and tempered condition. Alloy compositions with interesting properties and their respective thermo-mechanical processing parameters will be systematically identified and refined following an iterative combinatorial approach. In parallel innovative methodologies will be fine-tuned and applied for thermodynamic modelling as well as for efficient high throughput sample generation, processing and testing. The targeted outcome is twofold:
(i) Property and microstructure “maps” as a function of chemical composition and processing parameters provide the basis for future product development.
(ii) Innovative high-throughput methodologies enable to accelerate future steel alloy design.
This work is funded by the Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFSR-CT-2015-00015).

For more information, see the LIGHTOUGH website (coming soon).
 

PHONSI: Nanophotonics by Nanocrystals, from integration to single photon operation
Start: 1 January 2015 – End: 31 December 2018
PHONSI is a research and training program on the development of nanophotonic devices by means of colloidal nanocrystals. Working at the cross-roads of nanomaterials and nanophotonics, it brings together a network of multinational and start-up companies with universities and research institutes around a research programme combining the synthesis and analysis of quantum dots (QDs) with the formation of QD-based nanophotonic devices for emitting and detecting light down to the single photon level.
This work is supported by the European Commission through the Marie-Sklodowska Curie action Phonsi (H2020-MSCA-ITN-642656) with Flamac as a partner organisation.

For more information, see the PHONSI Website.
 

ENRECOM: Encapsulation of reactive components in coatings
Start: 1 April 2014 – End: 31 March 2017
The ENRECOM project investigates the possibility to develop a two component coating system, masked as a one component system. The reactive component is micro-encapsulated in a polyurethane, melamine-formaldehyde or acrylic shell that protects the reagent during formulation and storage time until application. The shells are designed to such an extent that they break upon the mechanical stress during high shear coating application (roller coating, spray-coating), releasing the reactive component for crosslinking, adhesion promotion reactions and the like. Reactive components that can be encapsulated comprise catalysts, crosslinkers, initiators, siccatives, enzymes, active pigments, sol-gel reagents, etc.
In order to accelerate the optimization of the micro-emulsion formulations, high-throughput technologies are ideally suitable to increase significantly the optimization process. High-throughput micro-emulsion synthesis provides crucial information on reproducibility and repeatability on the generated microcapsules (shape, size, …) and subsequently for testing their properties.
Afterwards, to boost the optimization of the formulation and application conditions of coatings, the know-how on applicability of high-throughput formulation and application technologies, will contribute to facilitate the screening.

This work is carried out within the M-ERA.NET network (Project 120).
 

INTERPOCO: Mechanical properties and chemical bonding at the interfaces in polymer-based composite materials
Start: 1 April 2013 – End: 31 March 2017
The INTERPOCO project is part of the horizontal SIM program H-INT-S. The HINTS program has as ultimate goal to establish a knowledge base for intelligent design of functional polymer-based composites to accelerate future composite developments. The strategic research project INTERPOCO (Mechanical properties and chemical bonding at the interfaces in polymer-based composite materials) takes a detailed look at the interface in steel fiber composites and self-healing capsules in polymer matrices. This involves novel material characterization techniques, a multiscale model of the soft/hard matter interface and, with contributions in Flamac’s expertise field, screening of the materials using high-throughput technology to support and validate the modeling work.

For more information, see SIM Website.
 

LUMICOR: Luminescence conversion by remote phosphors
Start: 1 November 2013 – End: 31 October 2017
The LumiCoR project is devoted to the research and development of remote phosphor solutions for white LEDs. In short, the aim is to make LED lighting cheaper, brighter and more efficient.
In conventional white LEDs the converting phosphor layer is applied directly on top of the LED chip. In remote phosphor based LEDs a relatively large area which contains the phosphor material is physically separated from the pumping LED. This has several advantages: the operating temperature at the level of the phosphor is much lower, and the colour homogeneity of the light can be greatly improved.

For more information, click here.

Finished Projects

 

Accelerated Metallurgy: the accelerated discovery of alloy formulations using combinatorial principles
Start: 15 June 2011 – End: 14 June 2016
The core concept of this EU project is to deliver an integrated pilot-scale facility for the combinatorial synthesis and testing of many thousands of unexplored alloy formulations. This facility would be the first of its kind in the world and would represent a significant advance for metallurgy.

For more information, the Accelerated Metallurgy webpages.
 

SHREC: Engineered Self-Healing materials
Start: 1 November 2012 – End: 30 October 2015
The goal of the SHREC project is to extend the esthetical lifetime of a coating by dealing with accidental damages to the surface, formed during manufacturing or/and as a result of wear and tear during use of the coated object. For the SHREC project, the decision was made to introduce self-healing properties into materials applying microcapsules containing the self-healing chemistry.
Flamac will develop and apply high-throughput technologies to accelerate the synthesis of (micro)capsules, the formulation and application of coatings and the screening of the self-healing performances.

For more information, see SIM Website.
 

APSYNC: Automated Precision Synthesis of NanoCrystals
Start: 1 July 2012 – End: 30 September 2015
The APSYNC project is part of the SIM-SOPPOM program (Solution based processing of photovoltaic modules”) focussing on printed solar cells. A fully printed solar cell requires optimization and large volume production of different precursors, related to each layer in the stack. The SBO project APSYNC therefore has the following high-level objectives: production of CI(G)S, quantum dots and transparent conductive oxide nanocrystals by developing a platform of parallel automated batch reactors, high-throughput screening of reaction chemistry – nanocrystal property relations for these three types of materials, and developing concepts for active synthesis steering in the developed batch reactors.

For more information, see SIM Website.
 

FR4Tex: Fire-retardant textiles in 2015: reconciliating regulations, ecology and economy?
Start: 1 June 2012 – End: 30 May 2015
In view of the urgent demand of the textile sector for new and alternative fire retardant agents and treatments, Centexbel has initiated, with the support of Flamac, a trajectory in answer to these needs. The centre of attention will be alternative fire retardant systems in both coating and extrusion in order to address the entire textile sector.

For more information, the FR4Tex webpages.
 

NAPROM: Novel Active Protection system On Metals
Start: 15 March 2010 – End: 14 March 2015
The concept of self-healing materials is currently a fast developing research area in materials science, with a wide range of promising industrial applications. The objective of NAPROM is to develop novel active corrosion protection coatings for metals utilizing self-healing organic coatings (employing different healing mechanisms) and corrosion inhibitors (with different delivery mechanisms), aiming at an extended coating life-time and an improved active corrosion protection. The research methodology is aimed at obtaining knowledge in the following key research topics:
– self-healing polymers and supramolecular materials,
– corrosion inhibitors and incorporation methods,
– the development of combined active corrosion protection,
– accelerated testing methods for lifetime prediction.

For more information, see SIM Website.
 

ISIMADE: In Silico Materials Design and experimental validation for novel optical coatings
Start: 1 January 2009 – End: 31 December 2012
The objective of this SBO proposal (strategic basic research) is to develop advanced pragmatic molecular modelling tools to conduct and accelerate the design and development of optical thin film coatings. At a later stage these capabilities could then be used for other applications in materials development research.

For more information, click here (pdf)
 

Project 1: High-throughput formulation, application and screening of high viscous solutions, dispersions and pastes.
One of the first projects of Flamac dealt with the development of high-throughput methodologies for the formulation, application and screening of high viscous solutions / dispersions / pastes. This way, Flamac aimed at the acceleration of innovative research for new materials and formulations, their properties and applications. These formulations can be used for a broad range of applications, such as the optimization of lacquers, paints, inks, films and coatings, adhesives and lubricants, agrochemical and cosmetic formulations, food formulations such as chocolate, and catalytic reaction mixtures.

For more information, click here.

Project 2: Synthesis and characterization of functional coatings, based on inorganic/organic hybrid systems
Together with hte AG, Flamac has developed a unique combinatorial coating workflow that can provide a competitive advantage to your company by accelerating significantly the rate of innovation for a wide range of applications in the field of specialty chemicals.

For more information, click here.

Project 3: Synthesis and characterization of submicron metal-oxide coatings via chemical vapor deposition (CVD)
The aim of this project was to develop a CVD platform for high troughput deposition of thin metal-oxide films. This platform was developed by Ilika ltd.
High-throughput methodology implies the rapid production and characterization of samples. While it is highly desirable that the depositions occur in minimal time, the samples need to be characterized rapidly as well; otherwise the advantage of high-throughput experimentation would be hampered. For this purpose several high-throughput characterization techniques are available at Flamac

For more information, click here.

Nanomould I
See: Nanomould II

Nanomould II: Accelerated screening of materials for the purpose of controlling the anti-sticking properties of moulding tools at manufacturers of plastics.
The objectives of this collective research program are to better control and understand the sticking behaviour that occurs in the moulding tools of manufacturers of plastics. In the long run it is the focus of this project to develop a breakthrough methodology which will allow a faster and better understanding of sticking issues.

For more information, click here (Dutch only).

UVCoat II: The functionalizing of UV-coatings for applications in the textile industry.
This collective research program is a follow-up program on UVCOAT. It emphasizes more on the functionalizing of uv-coatings whereas UV-coat was more focused on finding the basic formulating parameters.
The emphasis in changing the properties of the coatings lays in enhancing the flame retardant properties and changing the effects of hydrofobicity and hydrofilicity.


SensorCoat: Wear-resistant coatings for sensor use in heavy duty conditions
For many industrial processes or applications it is very important to capture as much as possible from process data, in-situ and in real time. This increases performances and the life expectancy of materials. Important and even in many processes critical process parameters are temperature and pressure.

This project seeks the following objectives:

  • To develop Sensor Coatings which are temperature – and pressure resistant in heavy duty conditions through the screening of material combinations.
  • The installation of sensor coatings in inaccessible locations.
  • To develop a prototype measuring system that can continuously monitor the measurement results.
  • To demonstrate the feasibility for some relevant industrial applications.

For more information, click here (Dutch only)