Joint development by BASF and Bosch: ultra-modern high-throughput screening plant for testing coating raw materials in formulation systems
* High capacity for testing a variety of parameters
* Intelligent data management allows faster processing of customer inquiries
* Innovative technology with integral unit for characterizing coatings
Within the framework of a cooperative project, BASF’s Performance Chemicals division and Robert Bosch GmbH’s “Lab Systems” business sector are developing a so-called high-throughput screening plant (HTS plant) to speed up the testing of pigments, resins and additives in coating formulations. This ultra-modern robotic facility will be brought into service at BASF’s site in Ludwigshafen, Germany, by the end of 2006 and will be available for internal and external customer inquiries in the course of next year.
BASF has been using integrated robotic facilities successfully for a few years now in its research for applications relating to formulations and coatings. In addition, BASF has a broad range of know-how in the development of coating raw materials and applications-related test methods for the testing of coatings. Bosch Lab Systems develops and markets high throughput technologies and laboratory automation very successfully. “The ultra-modern robotic facility designed jointly with BASF allows for the first time to examine complex coating recipes from the formulation of the raw materials through to the finished coating product thoroughly in an integrated facility. Thus, depending on the requirement, up to 100 different coating systems can be processed in a very short time”, explains Dr. Brinz, head of Bosch Lab Systems.
BASF will use the new robotic facility in its research primarily to optimize its coating raw materials and to study structure-effect correlations in coating formulations. A combinatorial data management system will not only be used to manage the data on the starting materials and assist the planning of the composition of coatings and the process parameters. It will also control the HTS plant, collect the measurement results and file all the data in a database for subsequent evaluation and visualization. In addition, the HTS plant is to support the technical marketing and provide coating customers with an optimized service. “For our customers, it is important to arrive at detailed test results very quickly. The new HTS plant, with its innovative technology and intelligent data management, establishes the ideal foundations for this”, says Dr. Reinhard Leppkes, head of Performance Chemicals for Coatings, Plastics and Specialties.
The modular units make application-oriented development of a very wide range of coating systems possible. Not only solvent-borne 1-pack and 2-pack coatings can be developed in the HTS plant, but also coil coatings, water-borne coatings and UV-curing coatings for use in all areas of the coatings industry. For this, coating formulations are mixed or dispersed from a number of different solid and liquid starting materials and, if appropriate, adjusted to a specific solids content, viscosity or pH value. They can be applied on any substrate materials, using a traditional blade or alternatively an integral spray module according to the individual customer’s requirements. Next, there is the option of curing the coating either thermally and/or photochemically followed by the integral modular characterization station. In a focused way, it is possible to target a large number of established test methods such as scratch resistance and resistance to chemicals.
BASF Performance Chemicals – always one idea ahead!
The product range of BASF’s Performance Chemicals for Coatings, Plastics and Specialties business unit includes pigments, preparations and dyes, binders and crosslinkers, light stabilizers and process chemicals. Our products are manufactured and marketed worldwide. We are one of the world’s leading suppliers in these fields. Further information on our products may be found at: www.basf.com/pigment.
BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products and fine chemicals to crude oil and natural gas. As a reliable partner to virtually all industries, BASF’s intelligent system solutions and high-value products help its customers to be more successful. BASF develops new technologies and uses them to open up additional market opportunities. It combines economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility, thus contributing to a better future. In 2005, BASF had approximately 81,000 employees and posted sales of more than €42.7 billion (approximately $50.4 billion). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.
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