Our core team
We are a highly experienced team with a wide-ranging skill set including chemistry, chemical engineering, physics, maths and computer science. This enables us to rapidly synthesise materials, process small scale samples as well as test, analyse and interpret a wide range of material properties.
Our science team is friendly, knowledgeable, supportive and approachable. We are always ready to deal with your needs quickly and effectively and can work with you to provide specific tailored solutions to your requests.
Our analysis techniques are cutting-edge, created by a talented in-house software team who maintain our own suite of specially developed chemometrics software, which is a powerful tool when used in conjunction with our sensing technology. This provides rapid and low-cost analysis.
Chemistry laboratory at Unit 5
Our new chemistry laboratory houses: three fume hoods for polymer synthesis; a thermal analysis suite (including both Differential Scanning Calorimetry, DSC with temperature range -180°C to 725°C, and Thermogravimetric Analysis , TGA); a small-scale extruder (Brabender); a large press for producing test samples and potentiometric titration equipment.
The type of analysis we can carry out as examples we can determine:
- Melt behaviour, curing behaviour, crystallinity and the glass transition temperature of polymer (DSC)
- The degradation behaviour of a sample (degradation temperature, degradation rate - these can be determined in air, nitrogen or other inert gases)
- pH, acid, epoxide, hydroxyl and amine numbers of a range of both solid and liquid materials
- Blending, extrusion and pelletisation of small scale development samples
Materials laboratory at Unit 17
The materials laboratory contains: a spectroscopy suite (Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR); Raman; UV-VIS-NIR; Optical Emission Spectroscopy (OES)), and a mechanical testing suite (universal tester with tensometry and puncture resistance test; durometer; scratch tester). This laboratory also houses the equipment that we use to develop our plasma technology.
The type of work we can carry out:
- Materials identification - type, structure, properties
- Ageing analysis – spectroscopy indicates chemical changes in materials due to ageing; this can be linked to material strength by using the tensometer and our bespoke chemometrics package
- Failure analysis – chemical changes can indicate the reason for sample failure
- Impurity identification – independent spectral analysis to determine contamination
Our experience covers a wide range of polymers, from natural to synthetic. From this expertise we are able to develop advanced materials including self-healing polymers, nanomaterial composites and bespoke coatings, to name a few.
We also work with industries on polymer ageing studies and characterisation.
Examples of typical work we carry out on behalf of our clients:
- Improve the electrical performance of cable or transformer insulation due to the addition of nanomaterials
- Produce self-healing polymers which will repair themselves when damaged. Our first product is likely to be used in high voltage power cables
- A chemical treatment that once polymerised will stop water ingress into underground pit systems
Spectroscopy at Gnosys is one of our most well-established capabilities including: Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR); Raman; UV-VIS-NIR; Optical Emission Spectroscopy (OES); Ultra Violet (UV) spectroscopy. Our chemometrics package (Transchem) allows us to combine spectroscopic data with other properties (for example tensile strength, elongation at break, viscosity, Tg, ageing time) to produce calibration models which enable the property of the material to be predicted accurately. These models can be used as quality assurance tools, to predict product lifetime or measure small changes in product chemistry.
Typical work we carry out on behalf of our clients:
- NDT (non-destructive testing) of samples - spectroscopy uses light to give chemical information. We can do this in our laboratory or at a client site - using our portable equipment for FTIR, Raman or UV-VIS-NIR
- Models provided for clients that help them to establish how long their product will last
- Information provided about the chemistry of samples received and prediction of impurities, contamination and indicators of ageing, for example
Our software development team has worked with us to produce a bespoke chemometrics package which enables us to analyse our spectroscopic data in much greater depth. We have also developed marine and aviation telemetry systems and sensor integration software.
Typical work we carry out on behalf of our clients:
- Gas sensors which monitor exhaust gases
- Inspection of materials in the field using drones and sensor technology
How we work
Our analysis team support the innovation work carried out at Gnosys. Often, we are asked to develop new analytical methods to support the synthesising of advanced materials. We pride ourselves on our problem-solving skills and breadth of experience.
A client approached us to help solve a food authentication problem. Initially we were provided with a large spectroscopic data set, which on its own was of limited use. By applying our spectroscopic and chemometrics expertise, we were able to use this data to identify protein, water, salt and fat content. From this analysis of the data, we advised our client and recommended a significantly better method for collecting data more effectively.
A client came to us with a materials processing challenge. Our approach was to combine thermal behaviour analysis (DSC) with Raman spectroscopy to determine the differences in crystallinity between the very similar materials. Using our spectroscopic and thermal analysis expertise, we could correlate small spectral changes to the different chemical environments. From this we were able to establish not only the percentage crystallinity of the samples but also the type of crystal structure of the material. This helped our client with the processing of their material.