Technique 28

Substance Field Analysis

Learn how substances interact with fields to form solutions.


Substance field analysis (SFA) is a way to model an existing system with the intent of identifying its deficiencies, then addressing them using innovative strategies. There are five strategies that can be used to address the inadequacies of the system. One of the five SFA strategies, for instance, could prompt an engineer to add a luminophore substance to the refrigerant substance in a cooling system, thereby making leaks visible that would otherwise go undetected.

This technique comes in handy when the innovation opportunity is (1) well-defined and (2) contains at least one deficiency in the system. In some cases, you may need the help of an expert to apply this tool—unless, of course, you have the applicable knowledge and skills. Or, if your problem is simple enough, what we give you here should be sufficient.


TRIZ (the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) practitioners usually apply SFA in conjunction with the 76 Standard Solutions, a compilation of just that: 76 standard solutions that are organized into five classes. But this classical categorization scheme can be onerous and difficult to understand and apply—for most people who aren't engineers by trade and well versed in TRIZ techniques. Even engineers admit that this technique can be complex. In addition, the SFA modeling conventions vary among TRIZ practitioners.

Iouri Belski, TRIZ Master (Diploma No 75), and ...

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