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Monday, 17 February 2020

Do you use DOE?

Friday, 13 January 2012 | Posted by: Sonja Schulte, European Coatings Journal

DOE - is the abbreviation of "Design of Experiments" and is used by many R&D labs in order to reduce the time required to develop coatings. This at least is the theory. Recently, I came accross a survey in the internet on expericences with DOE. Opinions are divided. Some say it is a good tool, especially for new comer others are frustated while using it. Despite the fact, that DOE is well established in other industry and that this technique is known in the coatigns industry is known for years it is still not fully accepted in the coatings industry. Is exprience more important and faster than statistical methods?

Nearly 10 years ago the article "High-Throughput Experimentation in Organic Coating and Thin Film Research: State-of-the-Art and Future Perspectives" by Stefan Schmatlloch, Eindhoven Univeristy of Technology and Dutch Polymer Institute has been published (Macromol. Rapid Commun. 2004, 25, 95–107). They presented a suite of examples where DOE is already used in the coatings research and concluded: "High-throughput screening is taking root in the field of coatings and thin-film research, following the successful example of drug discovery research. The complexity of the parameter space, the difficulties associated with formulation and application of viscous components, and the complexity of property screening tests (e.g. optical properties, adhesion, wear resistance, hardness and vapor permeability) are creating specific challenges. However, several successful examples have demonstrated the advantages of a high-throughput approach in this research field. Time and resource savings, product enhancement, novel product developments as well as the creation of knowledge have been reported. Nevertheless, there are still several unmet challenges. In particular, optimized coating-application methodologies and computational solutions need to be developed. High-throughput experimentation will live up to its promises if complete, more widely applicable workflows (including hardware as well as software) can be constructed enabling the deduction of structure-property relationships."

Clearly the authors addressed also some challenges, but, especially in times where resources are limited DOE seems to be very attractive method to speed up processes. Sure, you have to invest some money and time before you benefit of DOE. Many formulators also state, that only experience in formalation is really important and irreplacable. What do you think about DOE?


Sonja Schulte
European Coatings Journal
Sonja Schulte
Editor-in-Chief, Science & Technology
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