Our solutions for material characterization
Formulaction's mission is to meet the growing challenges in material characterization by providing simple, effective and robust instrumentation for research laboratories to improve and innovate formulations.
Our experience in working with a diverse range of formulations allows us to offer adapted solutions for any application field. Our technologies have been used in over 3000 publications and patents. We continuously work in collaboration with Universities, Research Centers, and Industrial Partners to better understand your needs and provide more adapted solutions to our customers every day. We invite you to discover some of our main applications through our Library section for more detailed documentation.
Maintaining high-quality cosmetic products requires facing many daily challenges related to complex systems.
Shelf life and aging of such products can reach several years and visual stability analysis can be long and tedious. TURBISCAN technology allows faster and more detailed analysis and so provides multiple benefits:
• Decreases significantly the time of stability analysis (up to 200 times) even for opaque formulation such as lotions, creams, and sunscreens.
• Allows determination of sedimentation (make-up foundation, nail varnish, lipstick), particle size variation, and the bubble ripening and drainage in foams.
Many products contain fat molecules and waxes that will assure good sensorial or end-use properties (spreadability, smoothness…). However, these complex products may face heterogeneities due to phase transitions during manufacturing, processing, blending and aging under thermal stress. These phenomena impact finished product properties such as texture, granular aspect, and may cause problems like fat exudation at the product surface.
Rheolaser CRYSTAL is a useful tool to directly check the thermal profiles without usual sampling limitations:
• Assure long-term thermal stability of lipsticks and study the exudation and crystallization at the surface
• Mimic and accelerate the aging process with cooling-heating cycles
• Confirm the compatibility of oils and waxes in a blending and appropriate concentrations to be used.
The texture, practical application and final customer appreciation are often governed by the rheological properties of the products. Many need to have specific rheological behaviors depending on desired customer use and final applications.
FLUIDICAM Rheo offers unique setup conditions to measure viscosity at shear rates corresponding to actual end-use applications. Therefore, it is possible to characterize flow behavior during spreading, rubbing, dispensing or spraying of many cosmetic products.
Protein solutions of higher and higher concentrations are gaining interest within the biopharmaceutical industry as new forms of drug delivery systems. The concentration will impact the viscosity of a protein solution depending on its inherent properties: mass, volume, shape, and ability to deform.
Fluidicam RHEO allows fast and precise viscosity measurements with minimal sample volume and thus opening new possibilities for the pharmaceutical industry:
• Highly sensitive viscosity measurements help to detect the smallest change and easily discriminate denaturated samples (protein denaturation).
• High shear rate analysis can be done even on very liquid samples with extreme precision to mimic syringe injection conditions.
• The easy and robust analysis in a couple of minutes allowing to rapidly screen multiple formulations.
The world of drug delivery is getting more and more efficient every day with new forms of products, which are directly targeting the deficient organs. Dispersed systems, such as emulsions (simple or multiple) or nanoparticle suspensions (metal oxides, etc.) are now widely used as drug carriers or nutritional solutions for this purpose. However, the stability of these inherently unstable colloidal systems makes them complex to formulate and study.
TURBISCAN enables detection, evaluation, and quantification of any destabilization of drug dispersions from product development to quality control.
• Kinetics of particle aggregation (proteins denaturation, metal oxides agglomeration…)
• Active ingredient size evolution before and after storage (ophthalmic suspensions)
• Detection of coalescence and creaming up to 200x faster than visual test (Skin lotions and creams)
• Size variation due to aggregation in pressurized measurement cells Inhalers (pMDI)
The control and understanding of film formation remain of great importance for coating manufacturers and raw material suppliers. They must constantly innovate to provide new high-performance products in compliance with environmental legislation. These new formulations are based on different chemistries, and hence undergo different film formation processes compared with the classical formulas. Rheolaser COATING is the ideal tool to control and characterize drying properties of different coatings (paint, ink, varnish…) on any kind of substrate (plastic, wood, paper, glass…).
It measures different characteristics such as:
• Drying times: Open time, touch-dry-time, dry-hard-time…
• Curing time
• Microstructure changes: particle packing, sintering…
The printing process is a key step in the coating industry that ensures even coverage and good printing quality. Thus the rheological behavior of inks is one of the main parameters to be controlled. Fluidicam RHEO offers the possibility of mimicking the behavior of paint or inks when being stress by coating processes: digital printing, offset, screen printing,…
It measures the viscosity over a wide range of shear and with very high precision even for low viscous samples
STABILITY & PARTICLE SIZE
Particle size and physical stability of pigments dispersed in the liquid phase are essential to characterize because they tend to settle and/or to aggregate/agglomerate. The agglomeration can be reversible or not (aggregation) because of chemical interactions between the pigment and the liquid. This instability leads to the evolution of the rheological properties of the product, which can make the application difficult or even impossible, and provoke defects in the printing. TURBISCAN enables to detect and quantify any kind of destabilization at a very early stage :
• Particle size change such as aggregation or agglomeration
• Sedimentation of pigments
• Packing of pigment in the sediment layer
• Dispersibility ratio of pigments in the liquid phase
The food industry faces a great challenge nowadays due to the high demand for healthy products (yogurt, cream, beverages…). Low-fat and low-sugar content products are moved to the center of attention. In order to maintain a similar rheological structure of the product, a replacement for the missing ingredients is necessary. One of the solutions is to substitute part of the fat content by water texturized with biopolymers. The biopolymer needs however to match the textural and sensorial properties of the original product.
Rheolaser MASTER provides multiple advantages to the study food products thanks to a unique non-intrusive technique. It characterizes viscoelastic behavior (gel point, gel strengths, cutting time…) of very fragile materials like Yogurts and Cheeses with no shear and/or mechanical denaturation.
Chocolate manufacturing is a very tricky process since its composition is complex and difficult to master. Cocoa butter can crystallize in different forms, and only one is of interest to manufacturers. If the conditions (temperature, cooling, storage) are not controlled the chocolate crystals will eventually evolve into a different structure and makes the chocolate bloom.
Rheolaser CRYSTAL characterizes these structures at all stage of the process (tempering, cooling, molding) or even directly at the end of the process line, or on the finished product:
• Assess the risk of blooming depending on tempering; molding & cooling ;
• Optimize a process by monitoring the phase transition temperature of finished products ;
• Monitor in real-time the evolution of the chocolate during storage
The food industry develops more and more beverages based on emulsions. These can be originated from milk, with many different variations depending on the application required: different flavors for new dairy drinks; different additives giving milk enriched in vitamins, calcium, minerals for healthy drinks; etc. However, the addition of these different raw materials into an already metastable colloidal product, such as milk, leads to significant instabilities needed to be solved by the formulator.
On the other hand, many soft drinks are made from concentrated emulsions, which are diluted in aqueous solutions in order to simplify production and reduce the supply chain cost as much as possible. However, here again, colloidal instabilities arise and need to be controlled in order to ensure good quality products.
TURBISCAN analyzes any kind of destabilization (sedimentation, creaming, coalescence, aggregation) on any kind of food products such as:
• Dairy product: Quantify and detect characteristic destabilization of milk-based products: droplet size variation, creaming of fat globules, sedimentation of calcium or chocolate particles.
• Flavor emulsion: Kinetics of coalescence and flocculation without diluting the sample.
• Soft drink: Detection of ring formation, color change, pulp/sugar/protein sedimentation.
• Dessert: Detect destabilization phenomena of cream, dessert foam, ice cream.
• Raw material: Monitor sharply the efficiency of stabilizers, thickeners, etc.
Asphaltenes are causing major problems in the extraction process of crude oil, as they can lead to fouling & clogging in pipes or even in the entire well when they aggregate. Moreover, asphaltenes play the role of natural emulsifiers which stabilize water-in-oil emulsions formed during the extraction of crude oil. Asphaltenes also have an impact on refinery efficiency and fuel oil quality. To overcome these technical issues, chemical additives are used. It is therefore important to have a technique that can identify the most suitable additive.
TURBISCAN Oil Series offers many advantages to analyze the stability behavior of many products.
• Stability of Fuel oil: Analyze stability reserve in 15 minutes thanks to the ASTM D7061
• Stability of Crude oil: Analyze aggregation and sedimentation kinetics of asphaltenes, waxes…
• The efficiency of additives for demulsification: Qualify the best additive in order to demulsify water-in-oil emulsions.
• Stability of drilling fluid: Detect and quantify destabilization phenomena of clay suspensions
• Stability of rolling oil emulsions
Another essential parameter, is the flow behavior, of the polymer chains used as drilling fluids in crude oil extraction. The long chains are subjected to high shear rates while passing through porous media of the rocks. Assuring the continuous properties of these polymers is mandatory to efficiently optimize the extraction processes. FLUIDICAM Rheo gives access to high flow rates in a confined environment and thus, shear rates mimicking the conditions of the extraction processes. It helps to characterize the behavior of polymers such as HPAM, ….
Viscosity is also a key factor in lubrication applications. It impacts heat generation, which is related to an oil's internal friction but also has an impact on oil consumption. The resistance of an oil to shearing during lubrication is also an important factor and especially the ability to resist degradation with use. Measuring viscosity at high shear rates and high temperatures is required in order to control oil performances during lubrication. FLUIDICAM allows high precision and fast measurement up to 80°C, at high shear rates up to 105s-1
Example of Raw Materials
In any industrial application, it is of high importance to control the quality and properties of the raw materials. Special attention should be paid to natural materials, since their properties and composition may vary depending on their origin, storage, and transportation conditions.
RHEOLASER Crystal works with macroscopic and heterogeneous samples providing thermal analysis of phase transitions and crystal structure representative of the whole sample.
The instrument can be used as a formulation tool to rapidly adjust properties of a given wax or oil blend, find the best replacement for fatty raw materials, or simply compare the quality of the material, batch to batch…
Example of Biopolymers
Biopolymers have also received much attention in recent years due to their unique rheological properties, their bioavailability, biocompatibility, and biodegradability. Polysaccharides and plant protein are widely used in the industry but depending on the concentration, emulsions form depletion or percolation networks. Such networks form flocs or droplet networks and can be very sensitive to shear or dilution.
TURBISCAN measures droplet size at rest and monitors, in real-time, flocculation in the native product without the need to dilute and thus minimizing the shear. By measuring droplet size variation, long-term stability or protein efficiency can be predicted
The unique rheological properties of these systems can be qualified and quantified thanks to microrheology, and RHEOLASER Master is the only ready-to-use solution to evaluate the viscoelastic properties of weak structures in a non-intrusive way.
Additionally, flow behavior and shear-related data can be obtained using FLUIDICAM Rheo. This microfluidic rheometer allows fast and simple viscosity measurements with only milliliters of the sample at temperatures between 4 and 80°C.
Many processes in the fabrication of electronic devices use suspensions at the same point. Wafers are polished using CMP slurries, carbon nanotubes are incorporated in various materials to enhance their thermal, electrical or mechanical properties, fuel cells and flat panel displays comprise coated surfaces with nanoparticles, Metal Oxides are dispersed in complex polymers matrix for batteries etc. All of these suspensions show typical colloidal instabilities (sedimentation, agglomeration, aggregation). Therefore, it is important to test their stability in the shortest possible time in order to improve the delay from development to production in a very competitive market. All of these destabilizations can be monitored and quantified using the optical device Turbiscan®. Analyses are done on the real product, without dilution and can be automated and accelerated through temperature increase.