Combinatorial Science - Additional Equipment
A TecanTM EVO multichannel pipetting system is used for formulation dispensing and other sample work-up needs. Eight independently addressable pipettes are mounted on one robot arm allowing dispensation into eight wells in a single operation. Under deck stirring and plate manipulation are also possible with this station.
A GeneVac EZ-2TM solvent evaporation system evaporates solvent and other low molecular weight compounds from arrays of samples. It is used for sample work-up and to evaporate volatiles from polymer and coating samples for solids determination.
A Bohdan Automated Balance is used to automatically weigh arrays of vials. It can be used to verify dispense accuracy of automated dispensing systems as well as weigh vials before and after solvent evaporation to determine polymerization conversion and other tasks.
A SpeedmixerTM from Flacktek is used to mix difficult components such as extreme viscosity or paste-like materials. This device uses disposable mixing vessels of several sizes to mix in a non-contact fashion. Glass beads can also be added to provide a milling action to efficiently disperse powders into liquids.
There are several curing options available in the CMRL. Wet film substrates can be dried and cured in forced air ovens, filtered laminar air flow cabinets, heated vacuum ovens or constant humidity chambers.
Four accelerated weathering and corrosion chambers have been purchased from QLAB and are currently installed in our lab. The custom substrate holders in the chambers are designed to receive our standard array panels as well as the 4 tab dip coat substrate. The CCT 1100TM salt fog chamber is set up to perform the standard B117 continuous salt spray test with a capacity for 240 substrates (or 960 coating types using the 4 tab dip coat panel). The CCT 600TM and 2 QUVTM chambers are set up together to perform cyclic ProhesionTM testing with a capacity for 160 coating types (4 tab panel) or 480 coating types using our 12 well array panel.
Coatings requiring Ultra-Violet radiation to initiate curing can be run through our LC6B Benchtop ConveyorTM from Fusion UV. This unit features high power industrial UV irradiators with bulbs that are easily changed to obtain the desired spectral output. Samples are fed through on a conveyor belt where UV dosage is controlled by the conveyor belt speed.
Two high throughput electrochemical Impedance spectroscopy (EIS) techniques have been developed by NDSU that are compatible with the standard array substrates used in the CMRL. This is a valuable tool for the study of coating barrier properties and corrosion resistance and is a nice complement to our accelerated weathering and corrosion chambers.
A universal automated imaging system has been assembled by Fryer Company to allow the CMRL researchers to photograph all types of array panels. The system uses Image ProTM software for detailed image analysis and archiving.
NDSU has developed a parallel dip coating apparatus that can coat up to four different paints on a single substrate. The apparatus is design to use the minimal amount of paint and can be adjusted for rate of withdrawal. The substrate used is compatible with our electrochemical impedance spectroscopy tool as well as the other combi tools in the lab.
NDSU has developed a six position high shear mixing station. The six position mixing station consists of 6 off the shelf rotor stator homogenizers incorporated into an oscillating cup holder. The six 70 ml cups are rotated eccentrically in the holder relative to the homogenizer head. This action promotes the bulk mixing of the powders with the viscous liquid component while exposing the course blend to the high shear zone of the rotor stator head.