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TMC: breaking new ground through hard work and creativity

Creating a ground-breaking new product is not a matter of some genius inventor with one brilliant idea. Usually, it involves a group of dedicated professionals conducting a series of experiments, then faithfully reporting the data and thoroughly analyzing the results. It’s a challenging long-term process with not just one, but several solutions and eureka moments. No one knows this better than Ryan van Zandvoort, TMC Employeneur and Research Engineer at BMC in Geleen

Ryan van Zandvoort joined TMC in October 2014. Currently, Ryan and his seven teammates at BMC are developing new materials to help save energy in the home. ‘Last October, we started work on a new type of coating for glass windows. We call this a “smart coating”. It is capable of switching its structure between two states, depending on the ambient temperature. The switching allows the coating to reflect infrared radiation at elevated temperatures. In summer, it helps to keep the house nice and cool. In winter, it keeps the warmth inside and lets the infrared from the outside in, which will save on heating bills!’

Like any pioneering product development, creating this novel coating has its challenges. ‘The coating can be applied as an extra layer in a double-glazed window,’ Ryan explains. ‘Creating a type of coating that helps maintain temperature levels in-house throughout the changing seasons is only one part of the process – of course you also need to be able to see through it. We always have to look for the right balance between efficiency, optics and the switching temperature.’

Recently, the team moved to a bigger location in Geleen. ‘We had been working at smaller labs,’ Ryan explains. ‘But we discovered we needed more space. Of course, moving took up some time, and we also acquired some new technology, so for a few weeks we couldn’t devote as much time to our research as we would have liked to.’

At the moment, it looks like everyone is settled at the new location and the new lab is now fully operational. ‘Our aim is to present the results at the end of this year or the beginning of 2018,’ Ryan says. ‘From this moment on, it’s full steam ahead. That’s how we all like it best.’

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