Customers come to us for materials consultant services outside of the plastics space. I was a little surprised at first, but over the years we have been able to help with many different types of problem. As a PhD chemist I have a deep understanding of structure – property relationships. So, for example, if you need a liquid with a very high refractive index, then I know what to look for and what databases to search. Then, I can check other properties like toxicity, flammability, price and availability. We can obtain samples on your behalf, to obscure your identity and then find suppliers when you move to scale-up and production. Typically, we can find you the right chemical in one to four weeks, depending on how strict your set of requirements is. Sometimes it’s even possible to offer a same-day solution.
Some examples of how Phantom Plastics’ materials consultant services have helped customers:
• Identification of specialty liquids with a comprehensive set of requirements (physical, chemical, optical, electrical etc.)
• Creating new smart materials a thermoplastic that changes transparency when heated / cooled etc. and more…
• Coatings related issues including adhesion, scratch-resistance, Lotus-Effect and more
• Finding new applications for existing materials, e.g. taking materials from one industry and using them in another
• Locating specialty materials for applications in cosmetics, packaging, medical and other fields
Plenty of other examples of materials case studies can be found in the drop-down menu for this page and on the New Products Created page. One of the reasons we can solve problems and create new materials in so many fields in deep experience with surface and colloid science which adds to the chemistry and plastics expertise. By having knowledge of adjacent fields, it is possible to make new connections and find solutions that elude others who are confined to one field. A “Polymath” is defined below. Examples from history include Leonardo da Vinci and other prolific innovators.
“A polymath (Greek: πολυμαθής, polymathēs, “having learned much”; Latin: homo universalis, “universal human”) is an individual whose knowledge spans a substantial number of subjects, known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems.”
To give an example, I recently became interested in plastics and the environment. That was a new topic for me, so I started to read the peer-reviewed science to learn more. Within two years I had read over 3000 articles and written the first book to cover materials, litter, waste, ocean plastics, microplastics, degradation and other related topics. By that stage, I had read more than anyone alive (and needed reading glasses) and I shared the findings for free. Truly creative people are veracious learners and that leads to new insights. You can download the book for free at the Plastics Paradox website and see how the science dispels myths that the public have been fed.
Being prepared to read gives that ability to generate solutions far more quickly than trial and error methods. Often clients come to me having wasted years and hundreds of thousands of dollars doing experimental work when the solution was already known and published. One household name company came to me after doing just that and were amazed when within one week of starting work on the project I sent them a copy of a page from a book that showed the exact same answer that had taken them years to rediscover. Many consultants make their money charging by the hour, taking their time to provide the data and by charging you for massive amounts of unnecessary labwork. I have no lab, do not charge by the hour and I check what is already known to save us the frustration of “reinventing”. If you like the sound of a materials consultant who delivers top-class results quickly, then consider giving me a call.