Rapid screening

Being able to produce more samples much quicker means that smart sample handling and fast characterisation are needed to identify materials with potential for further fine-tuning.

The combinatorial approach often necessitates thinking “out-of-the box” to handle the enormous amount of samples and data. To narrow down the huge number of potential compositions of interest, OCAS succeeded in finding a rapid screening method.

For this challenge, OCAS makes use of combinatorial set-ups and data-mining to facilitate the characterisation of samples produced. Together with Flamac, its partner in the Materials Research Cluster Gent, OCAS designed and developed a lean sample flow for metallurgical characterisation.

This new methodology was already used by OCAS for the development of a new steel grade. In only six months’ time, 1000 samples with varying compositions and process conditions were produced and characterised. OCAS’s approach enables the identification of ‘hot spots’ with regard to alloy chemistry and the subsequent rolling and heat-treatment. These hot spots are very valuable input for breakthrough projects.

“I was amazed by the time-saving, cost- and energy-reducing effects our tool has!”

Laura Moli Sanchez, Research Engineer Metallurgy, OCAS