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Materialography

Countless new products are based on new materials and innovative manufacturing processes, whose success would not have been possible without materialography, i.e. the visual representation and evaluation of inner microstructures, the associated improvement of material properties, optimisation of processes and quality assurance in production.

Whether the objective is quality assurance, damage analysis or research and development, in our accredited materialography laboratories we examine both metallic and non-metallic materials of different compositions using the appropriate qualitative and quantitative characterisation procedures.

This includes the test preparation process and the use of all microscopic methods from light to electron microscopy for the analysis, evaluation and documentation of microscopic research results. The investigations can be supported and supplemented by further materials analysis, technological and physical procedures on request.

Our portfolio

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Damage analysis

Determining causes and effects experimentally - we assess damage cases and thus support the cause clarification. Our experienced engineers help you to investigate undesirable damage phenomena in detail - for example, by materialography, acoustic damage detection or non-destructive testing methods.

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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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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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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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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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Railway

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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Automobiles

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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Aerospace

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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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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From mechanical engineering, the metal and plastics industry, energy and medical technology, insurance and surveying to rail vehicle technology and other transport sectors, our materialography laboratories offer all of the current investigation methods on different materials, from steels, cast iron, aluminium, copper and titanium alloys and powder metallurgic materials to plastics and composite materials for conventional and new manufacturing processes, such as additive manufacturing.

From sample preparation to microscopy and material analysis, we assess the material condition, surfaces, edge layers, joins and fractured surfaces for you. As part of our overall approach to the materials, we offer you the opportunity to asses the relationships between the technology parameters and the structural properties, for example when optimising your production technologies.

Sample preparation

Careful preparation forms the basis for microstructure characterisation, This requires the utmost accuracy, manual dexterity and skill, garnered over many years of well-founded training and practice. Only then can the properties of the material be determined and evaluated properly.

Our mechanical manufacturing centre allows us to produce material samples using non-destructive sample separation and preparation techniques (e.g. separation, embedding, sanding and polishing) in line with requirements and specifications. This applies whether you are dealing with high-strength metallic materials, ceramics, plastics or composite materials.

  • Wet and abrasive cutting methods
  • Waterjet cutting
  • Automated grinding, turning, milling and drilling processes
  • Eroding
  • Blast cleaning
  • Cold- and light-curing embedding processes (high edge definition)
  • Manual and automatic grinding and polishing processes
  • Conventional and modern etching methods for microstructural contrasting

 

Materialography

The following materialographical and supplementary testing methods are available in order to be able to carry out investigations into material quality, microstructure formation, surface and edge layer structure, weld seam quality or possibly damage characteristics. Based on this, we can answer your questions regarding development, quality assurance and damage assessment.

  • Light and scanning electron microscopy incl. EDX analysis
  • Evaluation of the microstructure
  • Evaluation of the surface, separation cut, welded and soldered seam quality
  • Determination of grain size
  • Determination of purity level
  • Measurement of layer thickness
  • Changes in surface layer (carburisation, decarburisation, alpha case, corrosion, oxidation, alloy depletion)
  • Determination of cell sizes (PUR)
  • Evaluation of homogeneity and carbon black dispersion (PE)
  • Roughness and profile measurements
  • Hardness testing (macro/small load/Micro)

Standards

General metallography

ASTM E 3Standard Guide for Preparation of Metallographic Specimens
ASTM E 340Standard Practice for Macroetching Metals and Alloys
ASTM E 407Standard Practice for Microetching Metals and Alloys
DIN EN 3114-001Aerospace series – Test method – Microstructure of (α + ß) titanium alloy wrought products – Part 001: General requirements
DIN EN 3114-002Aerospace series – Test method – Microstructure of (α + ß) titanium alloy wrought products – Part 002: Microstructure of bars, sections, forging stock and forgings

 

Edge layer changes

ASTM E 1077Standard Test Methods for Estimating the Depth of Decarburization of Steel Specimens
DIN EN ISO 3887Steels – Determination of depth of decarburization (ISO 3887:2003)
DIN EN 2003-009Aerospace series – Test methods – Titanium and titanium alloys – Part 009: Determination of surface contamination
ASTM F2111Standard Practice for Measuring Intergranular Attack or End Grain Pitting on Metals Caused by Aircraft Chemical Processes

 

Layer thickness measurement

DIN EN ISO 1463Metallic and oxide coatings – Measurement of coating thickness – Microscopical method (ISO 1463:2003)
ASTM B 487Standard Test Method for Measurement of Metal and Oxide Coating Thickness by Microscopical Examination of Cross Section

 

Purity of steels

ISO 4967

(2013-07)

Steel – Determination of content of non-metallic inclusions – Microscopic method using diagrams

ASTM E 45

(2013)

Standard Test Methods for Determining the Inclusion Content of Steel

DIN 50602

(1985-09)

Metallographic examination; microscopic examination of special steels using standard diagrams to assess the content of non-metallic inclusions

 

Determination of grain size

DIN EN ISO 643

(2013-05)

Micrographic determination of the apparent grain size (ISO 643:2012

ASTM E 112

(2013)

Standard Test Methods for Determining Average Grain Size

 

Roughness measurements and profilometry

DIN EN ISO 4287Geometrical Product Specifications (GPS) – Surface texture: Profile method – terms, definitions and surface texture parameters
DIN EN ISO 4288Geometrical Product Specifications (GPS) – Surface texture: Profile method – Rules and procedures for the assessment of surface texture
DIN EN ISO 13565-1Geometrical Product Specifications (GPS) – Surface texture: Profile method – Surfaces having stratified functional properties – Part 1: Filtering and general measurement conditions
DIN EN ISO 13565-2Geometrical Product Specifications (GPS) – Surface texture: Profile method – Surfaces having stratified functional properties – Part 2: Height characterization using the linear material ratio curve

 

Hardness testing

DIN EN ISO 6506-1Metallic materials – Brinell hardness test – Part 1: Test process
ASTM E 10Standard Test Method for Brinell Hardness of Metallic Materials
DIN EN ISO 6507-1Metallic materials – Vickers hardness test – Part 1: Test process
ASTM E 384Standard Test Method for Microindentation Hardness of Materials
DIN EN ISO 6508-1Metallic materials – Rockwell hardness test – Part 1: Test process
ASTM E 18Standard Test Methods for Rockwell Hardness of Metallic Materials
DIN EN 2002-7Aerospace series – Metallic materials; test methods – Part 7: Hardness testing

 

Chemical composition testing

Our materialography laboratories have various spectrometers for qualitative and quantitative elemental analysis. We can identify materials and components with regard to the type of material or check the element content requirements according to the standard or specification. With local analytics, it is possible to analyse individual metallographic constituents, corrosion products, operating residues or wear particles, for example.

  • Optical emission spectroscopy (F-OES) for steels, aluminium and copper alloys (Co-, Ni-, Ti-materials and cast iron on request)
  • EDX analysis (local element analysis) in connection with scanning electron microscopy

 

Tribological testing

The friction and wear behaviour of metals, ceramica, plastics and composite materials or coatings can have a considerable influence on the functionality of a part or of the entire component.

Our test laboratory determines the behaviour in use of the test objects for you, taking into account the technological parameters and attainable material properties, and advises you on how to optimise the technology, application and service life of your product. The focus is on recognising the effective wear mechanisms and replicating the tribological systems in model test arrangements. Here we vary load parameters such as force, speed, temperature, intermediate, lubricant and climate, and record the measuring figures with comprehensive electronic measuring technology. The evaluation may be supported by material analysis and physical procedures.

  • Testing the abrasion resistance of various materials
  • Determining the friction coefficient
  • High-speed abrasion test
  • Component oriented test rigs
  • Evaluation using gravimetry, roughness and profile measurement
  • Surface and microstructure assessment with microscopic processes

 

Standards

DIN ISO 4649Rubber, vulcanized or thermoplastic – Determination of abrasion resistance using a rotating cylindrical drum device.
ASTM F 1978Standard Test Method for Measuring Abrasion Resistance of Metallic Thermal Spray Coatings by Using the Taber Abraser

 

Corrosion testing

Environmental and chemical influences during the production and use of your materials and components can adversely affect the quality of the products. In our test laboratory, we determine the loading capacity of the test objects under real and extreme conditions in accordance with generally accepted standards or to your individual specifications.

  • Resistance testing against intergranular corrosion for steels (Huey test, Strauß test) and aluminium materials (ASSET test)
  • Resistance testing against layer corrosion (exfoliation) for aluminium materials (NAMLT test)
  • Resistance testing against intergranular corrosion and/or pitting corrosion for metals in the aviation industry
  • Mechanical and technology testing under the influence of different media
  • Evaluation using gravimetry, roughness and profile measurement
  • Surface and microstructure assessment with microscopic processes

Standards

DIN EN ISO 3651-1Determination of resistance to intergranular corrosion of stainless steels – Part 1: Austenitic and ferritic-austenitic (duplex) stainless steels – Corrosion test in nitric acid medium by measurement of loss in mass (Huey test)
DIN EN ISO 3651-2Determination of resistance to intergranular corrosion of stainless steels – Part 2: Ferritic,austenitic and ferritic-austenitic (duplex) stainless steels — Corrosion test in media containing sulfuric acid, processes A (Moneypenny-Strauß test), B and C
ASTM G 66Standard Test Method for Visual Assessment of Exfoliation Corrosion Susceptibility of 5XXX Series Aluminum Alloys (ASSET Test)
ASTM G67Standard Test Method for Determining the Susceptibility to Intergranular Corrosion of 5XXX Series Aluminum Alloys by Mass Loss After Exposure to Nitric Acid (NAMLT Test)
ASTM F2111Standard Practice for Measuring Intergranular Attack or End Grain Pitting on Metals Caused by Aircraft Chemical Processes