Ultrafast discovery

This capability is aimed at dramatically increasing the rate of discovery and assessment of new materials by combining computational or virtual design and robotic experimentation.

This capability is aimed at dramatically increasing the rate of discovery and assessment of new materials by combining computational or virtual design and robotic experimentation.

The challenge

Development cycles for new material formulation, testing, validation and adoption is a long and tedious task. Often the formulation and adoption cycles are asynchronous, so much so that next generation materials cannot be adopted by current generation vehicles and products. The cycle often bottlenecks at the materials discovery and optimisation phase, thus in order to allow new materials to be used in the latest generation of structures and vehicles, the time to develop materials must be cut be cut by at least ½ and preferable ⅔.

Our response

The capability is developing two technologies to dramatically cut material development time.  Firstly, virtual design that uses multi-scale model of materials and their performance to predict how atomistic and molecular design changes will affect the performance of materials which are already used in service and secondly robotic experimentation.  Robotic experimentation takes high throughput experimentation (where many experiments are done simultaneously) and adds an automated robotic manipulator to make complex measurements on each experiment, and to alter experimental conditions. The result is very detailed and very fast experimentation which is capable of running virtually unattended 24/7.

Combing the two technologies gives great flexibility to virtual design as new experimental data can be derived “on the fly”. Virtual design allows the robotic system to make and test complex hypothesis defining structural /property relationships from the molecular to engineering scale.

Our widely recognised R&D on materials development and testing demonstrates how our research teams apply science and engineering in a practical and innovative way to provide industry with world-leading solutions. We are interested in forming creative and commercially productive partnerships with companies seeking to explore advanced materials.

Find out more about FASTER, a robot to autonomously screen and evaluate your materials around the clock.