Small samples, great results

For breakthrough product developments, where few reference data are available, a massive number of compositional ranges need screening prior to selecting the interesting chemistries. OCAS believes that combinatorial methodologies significantly accelerate the pace of material discovery and optimisation, in contrast to the traditional, slow trial-and-error approach.

The first step towards accelerated alloy development, is miniaturization. This allows both time and resource/raw material savings.  OCAS has dedicated equipment for bulk small scale casting.

Furthermore, OCAS was invited to participate in the European funded Accelerated Metallurgy project − called ‘AccMet’ − to significantly accelerate the pace of material discovery and optimisation. This project started in 2011 and ended recently.   Our main contribution was the development of an accelerated procedure for rolling and heat treatments. Based on the minimum specimen size, up to 18 compositions can be processed per batch.

This newly developed method was validated on the well-known Fe-Cr-Ni alloy system where OCAS was able to accurately reproduce the Schaeffler diagram with one single rolling and two heat treatment batches.

Click image to enlarge.

The developed methodology for accelerated thermomechanical processing of alloys offers a huge potential to screen new compositions for breakthrough projects. OCAS already has running projects that currently benefit from this method.


”It’s exciting how this disruptive breakthrough in high throughput methodology accelerates bridging the gap from knowledge to market in the field of metallurgy”

Nele Van Steenberge, Senior Researcher Metallurgy, OCAS