Sometimes I watch cooking shows on TV. Everything seems so easy there.
They take a steak out of a refrigerator. It’s already marinated.
Then they top it with various fresh spices that all happen to be conveniently growing in small colorful pots, right on the kitchen counter. And look, the steak’s ready for grilling. Wow. It’s that simple.
And of course, the grill is already burning hot and ideally tempered. Great! Now all that a TV cook must do is put the steak on the grill and, in several minutes, gets a perfectly grilled steak.
Hungry and inspired by the show, I go to my kitchen to make myself a perfectly grilled steak topped with fresh spices.
I open the fridge, and then it hits me. I don’t have any marinated steaks in the fridge.
Hmmm… maybe a couple from the freezer will do?
I defrost them and then I realize that I don’t have all – make that any – of the spices required in the recipe…
You can imagine the rest of the story.
Sure, I like to cook, but the thing is that instead of making a perfect steak in minutes the process takes several days, or at least hours.
In fact, making a perfect steak requires inspiration, ingredients and equipment, all of which are ready at the exact moment you want and need them.
When inspiration hits you for duchess potatoes, you can’t just start cooking – you must first peel the potatoes. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to clean the kitchen in the end.
Formulating is like cooking
Now you’re probably asking, what does this have to do with the formulation of coatings? A fair enough question. Well, formulating is like cooking.
You need all the essential elements to start formulating a coating: inspiration (or sometimes an order from a colleague or a client), raw materials and the right equipment or tools.
And now you can start formulating, right? Wrong!
Before actually entering the lab, you have to do a lot of homework, rifle through a stack of papers and collect data on every raw material you plan to use. And make some calculations. And a similar quantity of paperwork awaits you after you successfully complete the job. The inspiration is gone by the time you open the first technical data sheet. All that fiddly work stands between your inspired idea and making the idea a reality.
It’s just like my cooking.
Fortunately, I hate preparatory work so much that I decided to put an end to it. Or at least minimize it. Once and for all.
No, I haven’t invented anything to help you in the kitchen (yet… but come to think of it, that’s not a bad idea).
My colleagues and I first focused on research and development of paints and coatings. We have developed a digital platform called the Allchemist that enables us to act when inspiration hits us.
It helps us find raw materials more quickly, virtually mix them and develop a formulation, as well as create safety data sheets and labels for the product, all in a matter of minutes. As quickly as your mind can carry you, the Allchemist is your co-pilot.
Ever since we use the Allchemist for preparatory work, we can get to the lab work much faster.
Allchemist.net is available online. Anytime. Anywhere. You just need an internet connection and a web browser.
And the best part is that it’s available to you. Just go to www.coatings.allchemist.net and start researching.
Or should I say “cooking”?