Material Analysis and Component Testing

Specialists from various departments of the IWK can support you in materials analysis and component testing within the framework of applied research and development projects and service projects.

A versatile range of possibilities in chemical and physical methods for the characterization of materials and components from the macro to the micro range enables comprehensive problem solutions around plastics.

Core competencies

The integration of the testing specialists in the technical areas and the associated process know-how (mould making, parts processing) not only provides our customers with a better understanding of a given technical problem within the scope of service orders, but also brings them the additional benefit of concrete solution proposals thanks to many years of practical experience - this makes our offer unique.

  • Mechanical material and component testing
  • Insight on micro and macro level, esp. microscopy
  • Instrumental polymer analysis, organic and inorganic chemical measurement methods
  • Understanding plastics: Failure analysis, aging & durability, materials evaluation.

Mechanical and physical component and material testing

  • Static tensile/compression testing with mechanical and optical strain measurement
  • Three/four point bend testing, ILSS
  • Adhesion testing between materials, e.g. shear tensile testing
  • Notched bar impact testing (1-25 J)
  • Impact testing by means of drop towers (70/300 J), CAI Compression after Impact
  • Hardness testing (HR/HBW/HV/Shore A, B)
  • Dynamic mechanical analysis DMA
  • Determination of electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity*.
  • Manufacturing possibilities of standardized test specimens, e.g. shoulder bars, bonded shear tensile test specimens, ...

Optical and microscopic component inspection

  • Visual inspection by process specialists
  • Component inspection by computer tomography CT and ultrasonic methods
  • Light microscopy with various contrast methods
  • Scanning electron microscopy SEM for high resolution and depth of field

Material and surface analysis

  • Organic material and additive analysis using FTIR and FTIR microscopy
  • Elemental analysis using SEM-EDX
  • Separation methods (extraction, microwave ashing, chromatography*)
  • Surface tension (contact angle)
  • Thermal analysis methods: DSC & DSC-OIT, TGA-DSC
  • Molecular weight determinations with solution viscometers and GPC*
  • Moisture measurement (Karl Fischer titration)

Rheological investigations

  • Melt flow rate (MFR, MVR), flow curves
  • Rheometers for liquid to highly viscous fluids at different temperatures

Resistance simulations

  • Heat and climate change tests
  • UV and weathering tests*
  • Chemical resistance and stress crack tests
  • Corrosion testing in salt spray facility

*) in cooperation with partners

Mechanical testing

  • Universal testing machine 500 N – 250 kN
  • Impact pendulum 1-25J
  • Drop tower
  • Creep (up to 1kN load) and relaxation tests
  • Hardness Testing machines for Rockwell/Brinell/Vickers
  • Shore hardness tester
  • Ball indentation hardness tester
  • Abrasion/erosion test rig
  • Dynamic mechanical analysis DMA (-100 ... 400°C, 0.01 - 200 Hz)

Testing devices for the analysis of the fracture behavior of bonded joints

  • DCB (double cantilever beam)
  • ENF (end notch flexure)
  • MMB (mixed mode bending)
  • T-joint for the validation of the fracture behavior of bonded components

Specialties for elastomers

  • Biaxial testing of elastomers
  • Planar tests
  • Hydrostatic compression testing

Optical and microscopic testing

  • ATOS Compact Scan 5M resp. ARAMIS 3D Camera 6M
  • Computed tomography CT RX Solution DeskTom CT (130kV)
  • OmniScan MX2 ultrasonic flaw detector
  • Optical microscopes, Olympus / Leica
  • Scanning electron microscope (SEM) coupled with energy dispersive X-ray detector (SEM-EDX) Jeol JSM IT200

Material and surface analysis

  • Thermal analyzers Mettler DSC 3+, TGA-DSC 3+, each with autosamplers
  • FTIR spectrometers, coupled with microscope: Thermo Fisher Nicolet iN10 & iZ10
  • Krüss MSA mobile surface analyzer
  • Electrical conductivity: Milliohmmeter MRG10
  • Moisture analyzer Metrohm (Karl Fischer titrator with automated sample preparation

Rheological tests

  • High pressure capillary rheometer: Göttfert Rheograph 25
  • Rheometer Haake Mars 40
  • Melt flow rate MFR, MVR: Göttfert MI-4
  • Liquid viscometer Hunter LVDV-2T
  • Permeability meter (self-made to determine the resin permeability of fibrous structures)

Thermal tests

  • Constant climate chamber C 40/200
  • Constant climate chamber KMF 240
  • Drying oven TR120 & TR450
  • Various precision thermal aging ovens
  • Thermal imaging camera Optris PI 200

Introductory article on the subject of failure analysis

Polymeranalytik vom Feinsten
Affolter, S.: Polymeranalytik vom Feinsten, KunststoffXtra 3/2020, S. 18-19

Schadensanalyse an Kunststoffbauteilen
Affolter S.: Schadensanalyse an Kunststoffbauteilen

Introductory article on the subject of aging of thermoplastics

Long-Term Behaviour of Thermoplastic Materials
Affolter, S.: Langzeitverhalten von Thermoplasten