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Formulations, measurements and solutions for industry

Case Studies

Marketing Demonstrators - Personal care
Product Development - Medical
Developing Understanding - Agriculture
Measurement & Analysis - Petrochemicals
Problem Solving / Trouble Shooting - Pharmaceutical
Formulation - Powders
Patent Analysis - Medical
Science for Marketing - Cleaning products
Problem Solving / Trouble Shooting - General
Consultancy - Oil industry

Marketing Demonstrators - Personal care

Maintaining market leadership is critical for many of our customers.  To this aim we have carried out a number of feasibility and proof of principle studies for a global manufacturer of personal care products.

This “innovation marketing” focussed on their customer needs is key to maintaining brand success and ultimately increased sales/profits.

Formumetrics carried out a number of extensive prior art searches, detailing current products, patents and published literature with respect to key or novel ingredients.  The data was collated and interpreted with respect to the new product variant and provided in detailed reports.

Using our extensive colloidal knowledge we could make recommendations to the company for ways forward and in many cases a number of “proof of principle / marketing demonstrators” were produced. [Back to top]


Product Development - Medical

A successful small business, marketing medical devices, wanted to develop more understanding of their products with the outcome of improving their existing product and ultimately the development of future technologies.

The company's current product was investigated / tested to establish a benchmark, enabling us to develop an improved product in a systematic manner.

Some of the techniques and expertise employed were unavailable within the customers own company, such as rheology. Formumetrics carried out extensive rheological profiling and contact angle, wetting measurement’s to mimic the devices properties during use by the patient.

The experimental data, along with consultancy to explain the finding, provided a greater understanding of the current product and enabled a research programme to be established to systematically change the properties of the device until optimised in terms of costs and product deliverable. [Back to top]


Developing Understanding - Agriculture

A successful plant protection product manufacturer had developed a new compound which exhibited improved functionality compared to their existing products.   The company wanted to gain a greater understanding as to why the new compound performed better.

To this aim we collaborated with the company acting as an expert research facility.

A  range of experiments were designed and carried out to attain a clearer understanding of the new system, these included partial and full formulation studies and simulating real-life situations for the measurements.  

For example wetting and spreading of the formulation on a surface with leaf-like properties.

This study enabled the company to develop a greater knowledge of their system and support the process of applying for authorisation for use. [Back to top]


Measurement & Analysis - Petrochemicals

Scientific equipment and instruments can be expensive, and often it is more commercially viable to outsource the measurements.  

Formumetrics provides a cost-effective means of obtaining the data required to:

- gain a better understanding of a product
- to provide an external quality control to your own in-house measurements or
- to offer an unbiased opinion to ascertain if an instrument is suitable for your product development needs prior to purchase.

A number of companies use this service, including a world-leading innovative engineering company and a global petrochemicals company.  

Using our equipment and highly trained staff, the engineering company requested a number of specialist measurements to supplement their in-house testing and development.  Due to the  comprehensive knowledge and experience of Formumetrics staff we can provide sample measurement and meaningful data, interpreting the results and in many cases are able to suggest and explain the effects of pre-treatments, sample handling, instrument limitations and effects of contaminants or diluents.

The petrochemical company use Formumetrics as an expert outsourcing facility to provide an external quality control and to carry out a large number of repeat measurements to aid in their product optimisation.
Formumetrics use the same specification of instrument that the customer has in-house enabling quality control and auditing to take place.  Formumetrics fully understand the limitations of the instrument and appropriate sample handling. [Back to top]


Problem Solving / Trouble-shooting - Pharmaceutical

An ingredient change in a successful product may be necessary for a number of reasons:

- Complying with the regulations of the country in which a product is on sale
- Change of supplier to a more commercially viable alternative
- Original ingredient has been discontinued (or specifications changed)

A number of companies have approached Formumetrics to collaborate in identifying replacement ingredients.

One pharmaceutical company requested that we gave them unbiased testing, interpretation and appraisal of a new replacement ingredient. In a global and fast moving market it is not unusual for successful products / ingredients to undergo slight formulation changes to maintain competitiveness. 
In this case, the original ingredient had been discontinued; an alternative ingredient had already been identified and incorporated into their formulation.
Firstly, the company's current product was investigated to establish a benchmark, enabling us to compare various parameters to the new product in a systematic manner.  We were able to show that the change in ingredient had not affected the product stability or its effectiveness. [Back to top]


Formulation - Powders

The incorporation of a new ingredient into a formulation can be time consuming, with a need to balance the formulation performance and the cost, in order to maintain competitiveness.   

Developing a knowledge of how each component in a formulation interacts with the others is essential. Formumetrics has been involved in many early stage formulation studies. Examples of such studies include the incorporation of active powder ingredients, which may be a pharmaceutically active ingredient, an agrochemical, an adjuvant or a pigment.

A recent client approached us with a project involving a range of pigment powders. The client wanted to establish which solvents or solvent blends would effectively wet each of the powders and hence establish an order of preferential wetting.  

We utilised the Washburn method to fully investigate the wetting behaviour and surface energies of the powders using a range of solvents and solvent blends. This information/measurement data enabled us to establish which solvent blend gave optimum wetting of the pigments, allowing the company to make an informed choice of blend based, not only on the wetting performance within the acceptable parameters, but also on the cost. [Back to top]


Patent Analysis - Medical

Formumetrics are regularly involved in early stage research projects with academic collaborators from a number of leading Universities.

One such collaborative project concerned the feasibility of developing a portable, high-quality water testing device suitable for use in both developed and developing countries. 

Using our expertise in colloid science and our vast experience of technology transfer we conducted a comprehensive patent search, we sourced potentially suitable materials, and consequently were able to make suggestions of low-cost materials and technologies that could be utilised. [Back to top]  


Science for Marketing - Cleaning products

Many companies already have fantastic products, but need to let people know that these products exist; either to secure financial backing (in-house project funding or venture capitalist) or to increase sales.  For large multinational companies their dominance in the marketplace is often enough for consumers to try their new product or variant, but often research groups within a large company must all compete for the R&D funding.

For smaller companies dedicated/focussed/proactive marketing is needed, either to persuade customers to purchase their products or to secure external funding to develop the product or brand.

Formumetrics can offer impartial testing of products and comparison studies against competitor products.

In a recent project with a company that manufactures glass cleaning products, we were contracted to help prove the effectiveness of a cleaner by measuring the contact angle of water on glass, before and after cleaning. Product layer thickness, time of application, rub-in time, and method of rub-in were all assessed. This data provided the company with scientifically justified marketing material to highlight to their customers just how well their product performs. [Back to top]


Problem Solving / Trouble-shooting - General

A problem we are often asked to investigate is a change in viscosity of a product or ingredient, giving rise to:

  • batch to batch variations - leading to the rejection of a whole batch, to customer dissatisfaction or to a product recall
  • product thickening in vats - causing manufacturing problems or the loss of ingredients  

Sometimes a company has limited resources (time or staff) or does not understand the mechanism or chemistry behind their instability problem. Formumetrics can help to develop an understanding of the issue and work with a company to identify and solve the problem.

Using our extensive background knowledge we can devise a programme to establish the cause of the instability.  Formumetrics would typically study an example of a “good” and “bad” product, this may include the development of a full rheological profile, sizing and size distribution and/or the determination of zeta potential. Our expertise enables us to develop an understanding of the system with a well thought out, systematic experimental programme which includes consideration of the best experimental conditions and handling of the product e.g. maintaining an equivalent ionic background when measuring particle size. [Back to top]


Consultancy - Oil industry

Formumetrics staff have an extensive knowledge of colloid science and good laboratory practices gained from working in both an academic and industrial environment.  Companies often utilise our expertise to streamline their processes or laboratory operations.

For example, Formumetrics has recently consulted with an enhanced oil recovery company by visiting their overseas sites in order to analyse each site and their current in-house process. Using this knowledge, we were able to make recomendations for improvement and work alongside the company to develop standardised laboratory protocols and ensure adherence to Good Lab Practice (GLP) standards. [Back to top]

Registered address: Laboratory address:
Formumetrics Ltd Formumetrics Ltd
S-Park One Laboratory W303
​Bristol and Bath Science Park School of Chemistry
Dirac Crescent University of Bristol
Emersons Green Cantocks Close
Bristol BS16 7FR   Bristol BS8 1TS
+44 (0) 117 370 7760  




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