Damage analysis – Evaluating causes
and effects experimentally

Despite new, innovative production technologies and manufacturing routines, cases of damage
are still occurring as a result of product defects, Installation errors or incorrect operation.

Causes may be material based and/or production related. In addition, a faulty design can cause product failure
or damage can result from loads or external influences. In some industries, a tolerance for damage also belongs
to the safety concept.

Through a rigorous systematic approach, we can examine the direct cause of the damage by utilising material
analysis methods. Out experienced materials engineers will assist you in order to determine the cause of damage
to your machinery, systems, plants and components.

Our portfolio



Whether for quality assurance, damage analysis or for research and development - in our accredited materialography laboratories we take a close look at both metallic and non-metallic materials of different composition with qualitative and quantitative characterization methods. This also includes the sample preparation procedures and the analysis, evaluation and documentation of the microscopic examination results.

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Non-destructive testing

We use numerous non-destructive testing methods to investigate the damage during component tests, in the investigation of damage cases, as a tool of quality control and especially for maintenance and repair. Qualified according to ISO 9712 and EN 4179 standards, we carry out testing and inspection activities for almost all sectors, including aviation.

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Materials Testing Metals

Our material specialists accompany you in the implementation of your test programs as well as standardization, approval and certification of materials or manufacturing processes. We stand by your side during the entire test procedure, from the consultation, test planning and sample production, over the test itself up to the finished test report.

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Activities of experts

Expert assessor activity Despite new and innovative production technologies and manufacturing routines, cases of damage are still occurring with often dramatic consequences. There could be many causes for this: Material failure, defects [...]

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Material Testing for Plastics and Composite Materials

From the base material through the manufacturing technology to the approval of the finished product - our material tests are DAkkS and NADCAP accredited. This includes static, cyclic and dynamic tests as well as static long-term tests, including sample production.

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Medical Devices

In the approval and development of medical devices, we support in particular with strength and wear tests of joint endoprostheses, osteosynthesis products, traumatology products, surgical instruments and skin adhesives according to standard or special test

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Construction Products

Whether product conformity, quality and safety standards, material characterization, service life and condition assessment - IMA Dresden plays a major role here. The independent, recognized and accredited certification body, testing center, and inspection body will assist you with any questions about requirements, test procedures, and requirements of applicable standards, regulations, and laws.

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Powerful for every vehicle type - our strength tests, approval tests or development tests are proven to be reliable for testing the operational strength and service life of automotive components, media-conducting systems, electrical components and materials.

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At our testing and development center, we test all rail vehicle components and materials for strength and service life. In terms of product and operational safety as well as quality assurance, we bundle the forces of testing and test design in our company with measurement, calculation, simulation and proof of strength as well as construction.

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Whether it's for life-time certification or certification of the aircraft component, IMA engineers test, simulate, or calculate any design group of an aircraft, such as aircraft, for reliable results. B. hull works, structures, tail units, trolleys and engines and interior components.

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Wind Energy

In the development and approval process, we support manufacturers of wind turbines, component manufacturers in the development and approval process and power generation companies in validation, damage analysis, product optimization and structural monitoring. Materials, structures, components or structures are extensively tested, including characterization, strength testing, durability testing and system tests.

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Materials databases

The databases of our WIAM® product line provide material information and characteristic values ​​that are used reliably for material selection, design, standardization, calculation and simulation. The data pool draws on material and fundamental experiments from the last five decades, and new materials are systematically integrated.

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Training and Seminars

Benefit from our cross-industry know-how: In training courses and seminars directly at your company or at our site, you will receive extensive specialist knowledge - from courses for non-destructive testing (ZfP / NDT) about the FKM guideline "Computational Strength Verification of Machine Components" to software user training for WIAM® fatigue RIFEST.

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Software and Software Solutions

We have solved the management of data and documents from processes in the areas of research and development, simulation and calculation, laboratory, quality management, process development and production planning - with the WIAM® database systems we offer suitable software solutions with flexible data structures, display options and evaluations.

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Possible causes of damage could be:

  • Construction (errors in design, deficiencies in execution)
  • Material/material selection (type, batch)
  • Manufacturing and production (processing errors, heat treatment, connection technology, lubrication technology)
  • Operation (mechanical, thermal, media, corrosive, tribological load)
  • Environment (weather, external currents, radiation, microbial load, load introduction)
  • Combinations of the aforementioned factors


Damage Analysis by means of materialography

We will identify the type of damage for you and determine the reason why this occurs. In doing so, we also utilise
mechanical technology related, physical, material analysis and materialographic examination Methods.

The following test technology is thereby available to us:

  • Materialographic preparation technology
  • Stereo microscopes, reflected light microscopes and light penetration microscopes
  • Digital computer-aided image documentation and image processing
  • Scanning electron microscope with connected EDX analysis
  • Hardness measuring devices (HBW, HV, HRC, UCI)
  • Surface profiling device for recording roughness profiles
  • Spark emission spectrometer for chemical analysis of metallic materials
  • Testing technology for implementing tensile, compression and bending tests

Damage Analysis by means of thermal analysis

Damage patterns on plastic products can be additionally characterised by thermal analysis, such as determining the glass transition temperature, melting temperature, crystallinity, thermal stability or the melting behaviour. Statements can be derived with regard to the cause of the damage and the mechanisms of damage due to thermal load or stress.

Testing methods

  • DSC (Differential Scanning Calometry)
  • TMA (Thermal Mechanical Analysis)

Damage Analysis by means of non-destructive testing

We can support you in the non-destructive analysis of metallic materials and fibre composites, as well as in component examinations,
either in our own laboratories or also on-site at your company.

Our testing personnel are certified in accordance with ISO 9712 and/or DIN EN 4179.

We are qualified for the following procedures:

  • Ultra sonic test (UT)
  • Eddy current test (ET)
  • Magnaflux test (MT)
  • Penetration test (PT)
  • Optical test methods (ARAMIS, PONTOS)
  • Visual inspection
  • Tap test
  • Thermography (TT)

Clarification of product failure cause

Despite careful testing as well as design, production and manufacturing, faults and damage can still occur on products when the intended method of operation is also complied with. It is therefore essential to investigate and clarify the causes of damage and effects which the fault will create by means of systematic examinations.

For this purpose, we bundle the interdisciplinary efforts from of our testing areas and support industry, expert assessors and courts in the detection of all potential influences on the cause of damage. The basis for this is created by the VDI Guideline 3822 for systematic damage analysis.

Service provided:

  • Documentation of the damage pattern
  • Determining the utilised materials, micro-structure and mechanical coefficients
  • Evaluating the status (fracture surface, surface area, corrosion, design principle, manufacturing, production and jointing technology)
  • Inspecting the design, version and implementation of comparative experiments
  • Creating detailed test reports with examination results


Expert assessor activity

Do you need expert assessor support in investigating the damage? Then we will be pleased to assist you with our own recognised specialists.
Or do you need a legally valid expert assessment? We will be pleased to provide you with publicly appointed and
sworn experts and expert assessors.
Are you an expert assessor and need support? We substantiate the results of your expert assessment based on detailed investigations and
their interpretation.

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