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Technical Themes

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The technological themes we work with

CPI has brought together sophisticated equipment alongside industry experts in key technology areas related to formulation, including:

  • Nano Materials

    SHEQ-enabled handling of nano powders

    Companies can utilise our facilities to handle nano and 2D materials in safety without capital expenditure on safe handling equipment, and can draw on our expertise to develop systems for safe handling of nano materials in their own facilities


    Using low temperature plasma functionalisation, we can optimise the stability of dispersions and create nano-structures to achieve desirable properties and our expertise allows us to select the correct functionalisation for the particle and substrate. Through the addition of compatible chemical groups we can optimise the dispersion of nano-particles into various matrices, such as increasing wettability for optimum dispersion into polar solvents.

    Nano Dispersion

    We have a comprehensive range of mixing techniques to cover a range of dispersion requirements from low to high viscosity at scales ranging from 10ml up to 60 litres.

    Nano particles can be dispersed under a range of shear conditions, from very low shear to provide efficient but gentle mixing without damage to particle morphology, to high shear for breaking down aggregates and distributing them quickly and efficiently.

    Expertise in surface engineering allows us to optimise dispersion through the use of surface active chemicals and ensure that products remain stable. At-line and in-line characterisation, which are unique to our dispersion techniques can be used to assess the level of dispersion throughout a substrate.

    Our equipment is ATEX rated for the processing of flammable liquids.

  • Complex solids

    Our complex solids facility and expertise enables customers to explore novel powder products and processes in a safe and controllable manner.

    Our sensing techniques enable us to determine:

    • Compaction and Flow
    • Mixing effectiveness
    • Agglomeration and Viscosity
    • Moisture content
    • Granule size and Crystal Structure
    • Particle Size and Morphology

    These at line and in line measurement techniques enable companies to develop smart, functional and engineered particles and optimise manufacturing processes, providing opportunities to reduce waste, increase yields and in turn increase profitability.

  • Liquids

    Our expertise and facilities encompass various techniques for formulation preparation and learning fast and thoroughly at small scale, saving companies time and money in the development process. Once a formulation is proven, we enable companies to scale up to industrially relevant levels.

    Companies can also use our expertise in moving from batch to continuous manufacturing processes with characterisation at each step.

    Continuous Processing

    • Scales from 20ml/min to 200ml/min
    • T-piece mixers, microfluidic channels and tubular reactors
    • Crystallisation and precipitation reaction chemistry.
    • Our facilities also hold small and pilot scale oscillating baffled reactors optimised for crystallisation and chemical reactions.

    Batch Processing

    • Dispersion and mixing using low and high shear mixers at lab to 25L scale.
    • Emulsification using sonication, rotor stator and microfluidizer technologies
    • Metal oxides, nano-metals, ceramic materials
    • Emulsions and dispersions


    • Isolation and concentration of products using centrifugation, filtered centrifugation and tangential flow filtration
    • Metal oxides, nano-metals, ceramic materials, emulsions and dispersions
  • High Throughput Formulation and Characterisation

    High throughput experimentation approaches provide a quick and convenient approach for screening of a wide range of formulation space.

    The extensive CPI HTE offering enables end to end high throughput campaigns to be realised. Campaigns begin with an initial design of experiments, moving to safe handling and dispense of a wide range of materials, on and offline mixing, characterisation of liquid formulations, application to substrates, cure and monitoring of cure behaviour, testing of final material properties linking to key product attributes and finally data analytics and modelling to optimise the ideal formulation for a given application.

    Our wide range of screening characterisation tools allow rapid optimisation of formulated products and identification of possible ingredient synergies and potential disruptive technologies.

    Formulation Preparation

    • Mobile liquid handling and pH measurement – 1-25ml;
    • Gravimetric dispensing capabilities, including highly viscous materials – 1mPas – 500Pas, with heating;
    • Solid dispensing capability – Up to 10g by 0.1mg;
    • 6 x 100 mL thermostatically controlled formulation vessels heated and cooled – 20C to 200C. Capability for inert atmosphere or vaccuum.


    • High throughput in-line characterisation for viscosity and
    • Rheology, NIR, PSD, imaging;
    • High throughput study of turbidity of liquids and the
    • Stability of suspended particles over time;
    • Multi position contact angle;
    • High throughput 96 position auto-sampler DSC instrument to study cure;
    • Automated accelerated sedimentation and dispersion analysis at temperatures from 4 – 60 degrees;