Material tests

We carry out material tests with competence and reliability in our well-equipped material test laboratories. We also have a vehicle equipped as a mobile test lab which allows us to carry out tests directly at our customers’ premises.

We have many years of experience in this field and are able to offer our customers and partners target-oriented solutions in all questions of material testing. This applies to material tests of components and materials in various industries such as machinery and plant engineering, automotive, rail vehicle construction, traffic engineering, civil engineering, chemical industry, metallurgy, energy supply technology, gas and oil industry, as well as other industries.

Our range of services include individual parts, series and on-line testing, assessments, research and development, technical advice as well as welding technology and monitoring.

Our services include:

  • Destructive tests (individual and series)
  • Non-destructive tests (individual and series)
  • Examination of damaged parts
  • Assessments, studies and consulting
  • Welding inspection
Material testing laboratory
Material testing laboratory
X-ray laboratory
X-ray laboratory
Microscopy laboratory
Microscopy laboratory

Destructive tests

In the modern industry, material tests are an important and indispensable part of quality assurance. Destructive materials tests serve the monitoring of thermal processing or the determination of chemical and physical material characteristics. We offer the following services in the field of destructive material tests:

Metallography

Typical microsection of unalloyed steel C45
Microsection
Microscopy
Microscopy
  • Qualitative and quantitative metallography
  • Determination of the ferrit and austenite grain size of steel and ferrous materials
  • Microscopic tests of stainless steels for non-metal inclusions with picture series
  • Structure assessments of welds
  • Grain size determination, phase fractions of metallic materials

Equipment technology:

  • Universal microscopes and stereo microscopes
  • Modern specimen preparation technology
  • Photographic recording technology and facilities for the output of video prints
  • Powerful image processing and archiving systems

Mechanical material tests

Stress crack
Stress crack
Small load hardness test
Small load hardness test
Mechanical test devices
Mechanical test devices
  • Determination of mechanical and technological parameters by means of pulling and pressure tests
  • Technological bend tests
  • Charpy impact tests (temperature range -80°C up to +100°C)
  • Hardness tests acc. to Vickers, Brinell and Rockwell
  • Determination of the hardness profile measurements and hardening depth of thermally treated parts
  • Cupping tests on plates and bands
  • Special mechanical tests (pull-off forces, penetration forces, mounting forces)

Equipment technology:

  • Universal testing machine Fmax = 100 kN
  • Impact testing machine PSW 3000 with a capacity of 300 J (Charpy impact tests are possible in the temperature range from -80°C up to + 100°C by means of temperature equipment)
  • Hardness tester HPO 250 for hardness determination acc. to Vickers and Brinell
  • Low load hardness tester with a load range from 0.01 N up to 10 N

Atomic emission spectral analysis (AES)

Laboratory spectrometer
Laboratory spectrometer
  • Preparation of acceptance test directories and material certificates
  • Determination of the weldability
  • Determination of the alloy content
  • Determination of the purity level
  • Determination of the Ni equivalent
  • Determination of the Cr equivalent
  • Determination of the nitrogen content in the steel
  • Determination of the cold crack resistance for thermomechanically treated steels
  • Realisation of tests or identity and mixed-up components

Laboratory spectrometer “Spectrolab“

The equipment system analyses the following chemical elements in the metallic sample matrix:

  • C / Mn / Cr / Mo / V / Ni / Cu / Si – carbon equivalent
  • Ti / B / Co / Nb / W – alloying elements
  • Al / Si / Mn – deoxidisation elements
  • S / P / N – level of purity
  • Pb / Sn / Mg – special alloying elements

Other test methods

  • X-ray fluorescence analysis (RFA)
  • X-ray diffractometry (RDA)
  • Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
  • Electron probe (EP)

Non-destructive tests

There is a wide range of techniques and methods for non-destructive material tests. Non-destructive test methods are often used as verification during the production process or as intermediate tests during the development and production process. We are happy to help you with the selection of suitable test methods for your application, and with the preparation of test specifications and test instructions. We offer the following services in the field of non-destructive tests.

X-ray test and und gamma radiography

X-ray test of a pipeline
X-ray test of a pipeline
X-ray test of a vehicle part
X-ray test of a vehicle part

Testing of:

  • Weld seams
  • Cast parts
  • Weld test specimens
  • Pressure vessels
  • Uncommon materials

Equipment technology:

Testing in:

  • Pipeline engineering
  • Structual and bridge engineering
  • Weld test specimens
  • Pressure vessels
  • Uncommon materials
  • Modern X-ray technology (suitable for mobile operation and highest precision at the laboratory)
  • Gamma radiography device Gammamat SE
  • Philips X-ray DC voltage system MGL 161

Ultrasonic defectoscopy

Ultrasonic test of a weld seam
Ultrasonic test
Oscillogram
Oscillogram
  • Weld seam tests (cracks and incomplete side wall fusion)
  • Weld seam tests on pressure vessels
  • Weld seam tests on pipelines
  • Lamination tests on hot-rolled plates and profiles
  • Wall thickness measurements on construction parts which are only accessible from one side
  • Tests on cast and forged parts

Equipment technology:

Amongst others, digital ultrasonic testing instruments Echograph 1085, Epoch III as well as a wide range of standard and special test probes (the measured values and ultrasound screen images can be saved and transmitted to a computer).

Surface crack test – dye penetrant test

The dye penetrant test is a testing method for the detection and verification of irregularities such as cracks, pores, incomplete fusions, overlaps etc. on metallic and non-metallic components which are open towards the surface. The procedure can be used for all components whose surface isn’t extremely porous, and which are not sensitive to the penetrant.

The non-porous, cleaned surface is coated with a coloured or fluorescent contrast medium which is able to penetrate the finest cracks and pores due to the capillary attraction. Subsequently, the component surface is cleaned. The fluorescent penetrant remaining in recesses such as cracks and pores will be visualised by means of UV light. For coloured penetrants, a so-called developer with a high colour contrast to the penetrant is applied, which makes the contrast medium remaining in the recesses visible. The evaluation of the crack pattern is effected visually.

Surface crack test – magnetic particle inspection

The magnetic particle inspection is a procedure for the detection of surface-open cracks and near-surface defects on components made of magnetisable steel and cast iron.

After the application of a magnetic powder, the components is magnetized by applying electric tension or introducing an external magnetic field. Due to the low magnetic conductibility of air in comparison with the ferromagnetic component, the field lines will escape the component mainly at material separations. This causes the formation of visible magnetic powder lines at cracks and cutting lines. The magnetic power is applied either wet with water or oil as a carrier medium, or dry as a powder, and it can be seen due to the fluorescence or the colouring/colour contrast.

The procedure is particularly suitable for components with a complex and irregular geometry. Customers for surface crack tests are mainly working in automotive engineering as well as pipeline and container construction.

Damage inspections

Another focal point of our service range is the inspection of damages regarding material problems of different types.

Task, realisation, evaluation

Tasks and goals of damage inspections

The damage analysis mainly serves the identification of reasons for the failure of a component or material. Moreover, it is used to prevent further damages by retroactions on the constructions, material selection, production processes, test methods and operating conditions as well as by inspection and, if necessary, replacement of vulnerable components of machines, devices, equipment and systems that are in operation.

Information on the damage case

Detailed and reliable information simplify the damage inspection significantly and largely prevent incorrect assessments. This is why we always try to inspect and document the damage on-site. But of course, we also gather information with the necessary diligence for sent-in damaged parts in order to create an exact damage analysis.

Realisation of the inspection

The procedure and scope will be coordinated with the customer. In doing so, the suitable test procedures will be specified. The most important procedures for damage inspections can be divided into the main groups metallography, fractography, mechanical test and chemical analysis.

Evaluation and recording

The procedure, test results and conclusions are summarised in a damage report. The test results are evaluated and possible remedial actions are identified and recommended.

Possible damage cases

  • Various mechanical damages to metallic materials and/or components
  • Material defects
  • Excessive stress
  • Construction defects
  • Unsuitable or wrong material selection
  • Production defects, production-specific material definition
  • Moisture damages, corrosion effects
  • Tribology (friction, lubrication, wear)
  • Synergetic acting of different factors
  • Material breaches, cracks, material characterisation, chemical characterisation
  • Mechanical deformations
  • Surface damages
  • Coating errors
  • Quality of weld seams
  • Welding errors
  • Adherend failures
  • Thermal damages, heat treatment processes
  • Wear and tear damages
  • Material fatigue, and others

Metallography

Weld seam
Weld seam
Polished specimens
Polished specimens

The metallographic inspection of sections is one of the routine tests carried out at every damage inspection due to its versatile applications. Sections are divided in macrosections and microsections.

For the production of macrosections, a material sample is precision-ground and etched with corresponding macro etchants. This is a good way to visualise macrostructures such as number and composition of layers of a weld seam as well as welding defects, hardening zones of surface hardened or case-hardened parts, and cast structures.

For the creation of microsections, a material sample is precision-ground, high gloss polished and then etched with corresponding micro etchants to visualise the structural condition of a material. With a light microscope and suitable magnification, the fine structure of microsections can be evaluated.

In many cases, this allows us to draw a conclusion regarding certain characteristics of a material as well as irregularities or distinctive features. From the visible structure, it is possible to draw conclusions regarding the production method and the state of heat treatment of the reviewed material.

Fractography

Fractured surface of a wire strand
Fractured surface of a wire strand
Structure of a fatigue failure
Structure of a fatigue failure

The focus of a damage inspection is the identification of the cause of damage. By means of systematic inspection of fractured surfaces using macro and micro fractography, it is often possible to prove which strains are causing damages. For macro fractography, we use the visual inspection as well as the macroscopic inspection using the stereo microscope.

The micro fractographic evaluation of surfaces is carried out using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). With micro fractography, we can examine, for example:

- whether it is a fatigue failure
- whether a brittle or ductile forced fracture is present
- if the fracture was aided by the influence of hydrogen or corrosion
- if there are microscopic surface damages and how they are structured

When it comes to the evaluation of different surface fractures, the inspection under the SEM is indispensable. Due to the large magnification, it is possible to obtain precise information on the structure of the fractures and changes to the surface.

In combination with an energy dispersive analyser (EDA), it is possible to carry out element analyses, concentration gradients and elemental mapping images at different magnification stages. This enables, for example, the determination of the chemical composition of corrosion products or finest structural constituents, with which conclusions can be drawn regarding factors causing the damages, material irregularities or particularities.

Mechanical tests

Mechanical tests support the damage analysis in two areas:
They gather the actual material values and compare them with the specified target values.
Tests for the simulation of mechanical overstrain are carried out using corresponding test procedures.

For hardness measurements, we have hardness tester for the procedures according to Vickers, Brinell and Rockwell. Moreover, we can realise tests within a load range from HV 0.01 to HV 1 using a low load hardness tester.
For the determination of mechanical and technological characteristics, we have a computer-assisted traction engine. We are also able to realise Charpy impact tests within a temperature range from -80°C up to + 100°C.</p

Chemical analysis

A chemical analysis gives information about the composition of the used material and on possible material confusions. Our laboratory spectrometer “Spektrolab” analyses 22 chemical elements in the metallic sample matrix.

Assessments and consultation / welding technology / contract research

In addition to material tests, we offer the following services:

Consultation and expert services, welding technology

We offer consultation on questions on materials engineering and material tests as well as in the field of welding technology, and prepare assessments in these areas (e.g. assessments on damage inspections that can be used in court).

Our services:

  • Consultation on materials, material tests and welding procedures
  • Development of test instructions and welding technologies
  • Welding supervision (determination of welding technologies, consultation regarding the selection of materials, development of test instructions, preparation of welding instructions for the processing of the materials)
  • Preparation of production documentation according to DIN ISO – 9000
  • Preparation of assessments, test certificates and attestations

Contract research, application tests, problem analysis

Contract research:

  • Application tests for special testing problems
  • Development of complete equipment and process engineering solutions for quality test procedures that can be integrated into the production
  • Advice and consultation on the selection of procedures and equipment technology for non-destructive quality tests

Application tests and problem analyses:

  • Detection of geometric irregularities in metallic materials (crack test, detection of bubbles and the inclusion of foreign objects, form deviations etc.)
  • Quality evaluation of layers near the surface (hardness, hardening depth, residual stress and others)
  • Determination of layer thicknesses as well as the adhesiveness of coatings
  • Quality evaluation of weld seams
  • Detection of material confusions

Downloads (in German language)

Material Inspection

27_Werkstoffpruefungen.pdf [1,62 MB]
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