Materials tests

We use comprehensive testing and analysis methods in order to determine the properties of materials, auxiliary materials, and operating fluids for use in an extremely wide variety of products. Combined with environmental simulation testing that can be used to test the use of these materials under a variety of environmental conditions, this ensures that we can meet our customers' specific testing needs.

Werkstoffpruefungen

In addition to testing services, our laboratory can assist you in selecting materials and provide you with advice so as to ensure that you remain compliant with all relevant standards. This is especially – but not exclusively – the case for materials used in electrical products. Our long-term experience and comprehensive know-how enable us to support you with the selection of materials suitable for your specific application. Our consulting services are not just limited to plastics. We will be more than happy to provide you with assistance selecting metallic materials, auxiliary materials, operating fluids, adhesives, label materials, printing methods, enameled wires, printed circuit boards, electrical steel, and other materials. During this process, our focus will not only be on selecting a technically suitable material, but also on finding the most cost-effective solution. Moreover, we will not only take into account the requirements that the applicable standards place on materials suitable for a defined application, but we will also consider compliance with all applicable regulations (e.g., substance-relevant regulations such as RoHS II and REACH) and customer-specific requirements.

Upon request, we can offer to take care of your materials management operations. This ensures that only materials that have been validated and tested are being used and that the variety of materials used within your company is being effectively limited with a central materials management system so as to minimize costs and maximize efficiency.

On top of this, we offer a comprehensive range of materials and component testing options.

Consulting for materials
Werkstoffpruefungen

In addition to testing services, our laboratory can assist you in selecting materials and provide you with advice so as to ensure that you remain compliant with all relevant standards. This is especially – but not exclusively – the case for materials used in electrical products. Our long-term experience and comprehensive know-how enable us to support you with the selection of materials suitable for your specific application. Our consulting services are not just limited to plastics. We will be more than happy to provide you with assistance selecting metallic materials, auxiliary materials, operating fluids, adhesives, label materials, printing methods, enameled wires, printed circuit boards, electrical steel, and other materials. During this process, our focus will not only be on selecting a technically suitable material, but also on finding the most cost-effective solution. Moreover, we will not only take into account the requirements that the applicable standards place on materials suitable for a defined application, but we will also consider compliance with all applicable regulations (e.g., substance-relevant regulations such as RoHS II and REACH) and customer-specific requirements.

Upon request, we can offer to take care of your materials management operations. This ensures that only materials that have been validated and tested are being used and that the variety of materials used within your company is being effectively limited with a central materials management system so as to minimize costs and maximize efficiency.

On top of this, we offer a comprehensive range of materials and component testing options.

For detailed information on mechanical tests, please click here >>

Mechanical tests

For detailed information on mechanical tests, please click here >>

Thermische Prüfung

The behavior exhibited by materials when subjected to abnormal heat or fire is crucial when it comes to the operational reliability and safety of a product, and this is especially so in the case of electrical products. Accordingly, a large number of methods that can be used to test the flammability properties of materials can be found in IEC, DIN EN, ASTM, and UL standards. We can perform glow wire tests (GWT), GWFI, GWIT, GWEPT, needle flame tests (NFT), and horizontal and vertical flame tests in conformity with IEC/UL classifications HB, V0, V1, V2, 5VA, and 5VB. Depending on the specific testing method used, these tests are performed on material specimens, components (e.g., UL 5-inch flame test), or complete devices.

Relevant standards:
In addition to customer-specific specifications, various national and international standards such as:
DIN EN / IEC 60695-2-10, -11, -12, -13, 60695-11-5, 60695-11-10, 60695-11-20, 60335-1
UL 94, UL 746C, CSA 22.2 No.14

DUTs and specimens:
Enclosures, devices, components, specimens

Thermal tests - fire tests
Thermische Prüfung

The behavior exhibited by materials when subjected to abnormal heat or fire is crucial when it comes to the operational reliability and safety of a product, and this is especially so in the case of electrical products. Accordingly, a large number of methods that can be used to test the flammability properties of materials can be found in IEC, DIN EN, ASTM, and UL standards. We can perform glow wire tests (GWT), GWFI, GWIT, GWEPT, needle flame tests (NFT), and horizontal and vertical flame tests in conformity with IEC/UL classifications HB, V0, V1, V2, 5VA, and 5VB. Depending on the specific testing method used, these tests are performed on material specimens, components (e.g., UL 5-inch flame test), or complete devices.

Relevant standards:
In addition to customer-specific specifications, various national and international standards such as:
DIN EN / IEC 60695-2-10, -11, -12, -13, 60695-11-5, 60695-11-10, 60695-11-20, 60335-1
UL 94, UL 746C, CSA 22.2 No.14

DUTs and specimens:
Enclosures, devices, components, specimens

Elektrische Prüfungen

When it comes to determining whether plastics are suitable for use as an insulating material in electrical devices, an important electrical property is their creepage resistance. This resistance is determined with a standardized method that is used to measure the comparative tracking index (PTI/CTI A/B) yielded by creepage paths being formed on solid insulating materials when drops of a test solution are dropped on these materials. Our testing system is able to perform the test for voltages of up to 600 V. It is important to note that the PTI/CTI value of a plastic material depends heavily on the additives used and accordingly can vary significantly due to the pigmentation or optimization (e.g., laser pigmentation) used even when the exact same base polymer is involved. Additional electrical measurements in the form of resistance measurements (bulk resistance, contact resistance, etc.), high-voltage tests, and insulation resistance tests are usually conducted before and after environmental simulation tests (climate tests at low/high temperatures and/or humidity). On top of this, we can carry out and monitor an extremely wide variety of performance tests in close coordination with our customers.

Relevant standards:
In addition to customer-specific specifications, various national and international standards such as:
DIN EN / IEC 60112, 60092-504
VDE 0303 Teil 1
IACS E10

DUTs and specimens:
Assemblies, components, material specimens, and devices such as contactors, circuit-breakers, switch-disconnectors, light switches, terminal strips, terminals, etc.

Electrical tests
Elektrische Prüfungen

When it comes to determining whether plastics are suitable for use as an insulating material in electrical devices, an important electrical property is their creepage resistance. This resistance is determined with a standardized method that is used to measure the comparative tracking index (PTI/CTI A/B) yielded by creepage paths being formed on solid insulating materials when drops of a test solution are dropped on these materials. Our testing system is able to perform the test for voltages of up to 600 V. It is important to note that the PTI/CTI value of a plastic material depends heavily on the additives used and accordingly can vary significantly due to the pigmentation or optimization (e.g., laser pigmentation) used even when the exact same base polymer is involved. Additional electrical measurements in the form of resistance measurements (bulk resistance, contact resistance, etc.), high-voltage tests, and insulation resistance tests are usually conducted before and after environmental simulation tests (climate tests at low/high temperatures and/or humidity). On top of this, we can carry out and monitor an extremely wide variety of performance tests in close coordination with our customers.

Relevant standards:
In addition to customer-specific specifications, various national and international standards such as:
DIN EN / IEC 60112, 60092-504
VDE 0303 Teil 1
IACS E10

DUTs and specimens:
Assemblies, components, material specimens, and devices such as contactors, circuit-breakers, switch-disconnectors, light switches, terminal strips, terminals, etc.

Chemische Prüfungen

Our chemical laboratory is able to conduct a comprehensive range of wet chemistry analyses and tests that include, for example, determining the chemical resistance of devices, components, and material specimens exposed to lubricants, corrosion inhibitors, or cleaning agents. Other tests and analyses focus on:

  • Resistance to corrosion (e.g., ammonium chloride test, bimetallic corrosion)
  • Resistance to ozone
  • Resistance to chemicals
  • Exudation and outgassing
  • Fillers, additives, and reinforcement materials in materials
  • Degree of cross-linking (e.g., irradiation cross-linked plastics)
  • Curing behavior (e.g., duroplasts)
  • Viscosity measurements
  • Properties of oils and greases
  • Stress cracking behavior
  • Weight loss (µg range)
  • Moisture content (e.g., in plastics)
  • A wide variety of traditional wet chemistry procedures

Relevant standards:
In addition to customer-specific specifications, various national and international standards such as:
DIN 42115-2, 53521
DIN EN / IEC 60068-2-74, 60898-1, 62321-3-1
VDE 0641-11
DIN EN ISO 175, 22088-1, -2, -3
ISO 4599, 16750-5, 22088-1, 22088-3, 1817

DUTs and specimens:
Devices, component specimens, or material specimens

Chemical tests
Chemische Prüfungen

Our chemical laboratory is able to conduct a comprehensive range of wet chemistry analyses and tests that include, for example, determining the chemical resistance of devices, components, and material specimens exposed to lubricants, corrosion inhibitors, or cleaning agents. Other tests and analyses focus on:

  • Resistance to corrosion (e.g., ammonium chloride test, bimetallic corrosion)
  • Resistance to ozone
  • Resistance to chemicals
  • Exudation and outgassing
  • Fillers, additives, and reinforcement materials in materials
  • Degree of cross-linking (e.g., irradiation cross-linked plastics)
  • Curing behavior (e.g., duroplasts)
  • Viscosity measurements
  • Properties of oils and greases
  • Stress cracking behavior
  • Weight loss (µg range)
  • Moisture content (e.g., in plastics)
  • A wide variety of traditional wet chemistry procedures

Relevant standards:
In addition to customer-specific specifications, various national and international standards such as:
DIN 42115-2, 53521
DIN EN / IEC 60068-2-74, 60898-1, 62321-3-1
VDE 0641-11
DIN EN ISO 175, 22088-1, -2, -3
ISO 4599, 16750-5, 22088-1, 22088-3, 1817

DUTs and specimens:
Devices, component specimens, or material specimens

Oberflächenanalytik

In many applications, the surface of a material can be crucial to the function (friction, contact problems due to corrosion/soiling, adhesion properties for adhesives/surface finishes, surface quality of coatings (pores), color, etc.). This is why it is important to know what the surface properties of a material are in detail. Therefore I²PS offers a series of surface analysis methods.
For example, a non-contact profilometer can be used to examine the macrostructure of a surface by means of a laser area scan that creates a virtual map of the surface. And a chromatic sensor can be used to obtain more detailed insights into the surface by, for instance, measuring surface roughnesses down to Ra1 with a line or area scan. In addition, digital microscopes, optical microscopes, and a scanning electron microscope are available for analyzing surface microstructures. Metal surface coatings (several coatings on top of each other) can be identified and quantified in a non-destructive manner with the use of radiographic coating thickness measurements.
All in all, we will make sure to provide you with the analysis methods that best fit your needs.

Relevant standards:
In addition to customer-specific specifications, various national and international standards such as:
ISO/TR 14368
DIN EN ISO 4287, 4288, 16610-21, 3882, 3497
EN ISO 25178-1, -2, -3, -6, -602

DUTs and specimens:
Specimens, components, devices, metallic and plastic materials

Surface analysis
Oberflächenanalytik

In many applications, the surface of a material can be crucial to the function (friction, contact problems due to corrosion/soiling, adhesion properties for adhesives/surface finishes, surface quality of coatings (pores), color, etc.). This is why it is important to know what the surface properties of a material are in detail. Therefore I²PS offers a series of surface analysis methods.
For example, a non-contact profilometer can be used to examine the macrostructure of a surface by means of a laser area scan that creates a virtual map of the surface. And a chromatic sensor can be used to obtain more detailed insights into the surface by, for instance, measuring surface roughnesses down to Ra1 with a line or area scan. In addition, digital microscopes, optical microscopes, and a scanning electron microscope are available for analyzing surface microstructures. Metal surface coatings (several coatings on top of each other) can be identified and quantified in a non-destructive manner with the use of radiographic coating thickness measurements.
All in all, we will make sure to provide you with the analysis methods that best fit your needs.

Relevant standards:
In addition to customer-specific specifications, various national and international standards such as:
ISO/TR 14368
DIN EN ISO 4287, 4288, 16610-21, 3882, 3497
EN ISO 25178-1, -2, -3, -6, -602

DUTs and specimens:
Specimens, components, devices, metallic and plastic materials

Materialanalyse

When dealing with unknown materials, incoming goods inspections, or complaints, or when checking compliance with the substance restrictions effected in regulations such as RoHS and other environmental protection legislation (e.g., REACH, Proposition 65), being able to reliably identify the composition of a material or the actual material itself can prove to be important.

I2PS offers a variety of analysis options that effectively address this need. Among them, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy is an outstanding choice for the local analysis of compositions, as well as for identifying impurities and analyzing phase separations, phase boundaries, and similar phenomena.

Moreover, we offer Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) for identifying and verifying organic materials. When using this technique, molecular groups are excited with the use of infrared radiation, and the absorption of specific wavelengths in the measured IR spectrum provides each material with a unique "fingerprint." This fingerprint can then be compared with databases (spectrum libraries) in order not only to identify materials, but also to corroborate the absence of various substances/additives. Within this context, we have a comprehensive proprietary database of analyzed materials that spans years of testing and that guarantees unparalleled results in combination with the other tools at our disposal.

When it comes to detailed analyses of the composition of metallic materials, we use an arc spark spectrometer, which makes it possible to identify not only heavy elements, but also lighter ones such as carbon. In this method, a spark is used to vaporize and excite a small part of the specimen material. The spectrum of the resulting light emissions is then analyzed, making it possible to identify elements and element concentrations.

A fast option for determining material compositions on specimens with inorganic components is X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF spectroscopy). This mobile method can be used for RoHS analyses (screening element analyses used to check plastics, metals, etc. for elements prohibited as per the RoHS Directive) as well as to quickly analyze metal alloys. It is particularly well-suited to quick analyses of large numbers of specimens (e.g., in order to verify the concentration of bromine in molded plastic parts). However, its resolution when it comes to lighter elements is weaker than that achieved with optical emission spectroscopy.

In addition, we can perform wet chemistry analyses to check for individual substances or examine compositions at our chemistry laboratory.

Relevant standards:
In addition to customer-specific specifications, various national and international standards and regulations, such as:
DIN EN 16424, 15079
VDE 0042-1-3-1
DIN EN / IEC 62321-3-1
RoHS (2011/65/EU)
DIN ISO 22309
DIN 51008-1
DIN EN ISO 3815-1
ISO 19272

DUTs and specimens:
Specimens, components, devices, metallic and plastic materials

Materials analysis
Materialanalyse

When dealing with unknown materials, incoming goods inspections, or complaints, or when checking compliance with the substance restrictions effected in regulations such as RoHS and other environmental protection legislation (e.g., REACH, Proposition 65), being able to reliably identify the composition of a material or the actual material itself can prove to be important.

I2PS offers a variety of analysis options that effectively address this need. Among them, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy is an outstanding choice for the local analysis of compositions, as well as for identifying impurities and analyzing phase separations, phase boundaries, and similar phenomena.

Moreover, we offer Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) for identifying and verifying organic materials. When using this technique, molecular groups are excited with the use of infrared radiation, and the absorption of specific wavelengths in the measured IR spectrum provides each material with a unique "fingerprint." This fingerprint can then be compared with databases (spectrum libraries) in order not only to identify materials, but also to corroborate the absence of various substances/additives. Within this context, we have a comprehensive proprietary database of analyzed materials that spans years of testing and that guarantees unparalleled results in combination with the other tools at our disposal.

When it comes to detailed analyses of the composition of metallic materials, we use an arc spark spectrometer, which makes it possible to identify not only heavy elements, but also lighter ones such as carbon. In this method, a spark is used to vaporize and excite a small part of the specimen material. The spectrum of the resulting light emissions is then analyzed, making it possible to identify elements and element concentrations.

A fast option for determining material compositions on specimens with inorganic components is X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF spectroscopy). This mobile method can be used for RoHS analyses (screening element analyses used to check plastics, metals, etc. for elements prohibited as per the RoHS Directive) as well as to quickly analyze metal alloys. It is particularly well-suited to quick analyses of large numbers of specimens (e.g., in order to verify the concentration of bromine in molded plastic parts). However, its resolution when it comes to lighter elements is weaker than that achieved with optical emission spectroscopy.

In addition, we can perform wet chemistry analyses to check for individual substances or examine compositions at our chemistry laboratory.

Relevant standards:
In addition to customer-specific specifications, various national and international standards and regulations, such as:
DIN EN 16424, 15079
VDE 0042-1-3-1
DIN EN / IEC 62321-3-1
RoHS (2011/65/EU)
DIN ISO 22309
DIN 51008-1
DIN EN ISO 3815-1
ISO 19272

DUTs and specimens:
Specimens, components, devices, metallic and plastic materials

REM-EDX

Scanning electron microscope (SEM) with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDX)

Our scanning electron microscope uses electron beams for imaging analyses, and we have various detectors available depending on the specific application at hand (SE, BSE, VPSE detector). With magnifications of 20x to 300,000x and an extremely deep depth of field, our SEM makes it possible to obtain highly detailed and accurate images of surfaces from an extremely wide variety of specimens and materials. Accordingly, our SEM is very flexible and can be used for an extremely broad range of applications going from analyzing the fracture grain structure of a hardened steel component (hydrogen embrittlement), to the links between the glass fibers in a polymer matrix, to the microstructure in semiconductor elements, all the way to insect wings, just to name a few examples. Thanks to the use of low-vacuum technology, we can also analyze non-conducting surfaces (such as plastics) in our SEM without the need for sputter coating (which is normally used to cover specimens with a conductive surface).
At I2PS, we often use our SEM for failure analyses, materials analyses, and surface analyses in combination with metallographic structure analysis methods.
Finally, our energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDX) can be used simultaneously with a SEM analysis in order to perform a materials analysis, i.e., to measure element compositions and distributions (point, line, and area scans for analyzing the distribution of specific chemical elements in a specimen). This makes it possible, for instance, to identify structure inhomogeneities and impurities in specimens.

Standards:
As per customer requirements / application

DUTs and specimens:
Metallic and nonmetallic device, component, or material specimens with a wide variety of structures, such as screws, wires, springs, enclosure parts, fragments, contacts, electronic components, castings, metal sheets, metallographic specimens, molded plastic parts, extrusions, contact materials, terminals, connectors, plug contacts, axes, shafts, and much more.

A relatively large specimen chamber (vacuum chamber) ensures that complete devices can be analyzed as well.

REM/EDX
REM-EDX

Scanning electron microscope (SEM) with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDX)

Our scanning electron microscope uses electron beams for imaging analyses, and we have various detectors available depending on the specific application at hand (SE, BSE, VPSE detector). With magnifications of 20x to 300,000x and an extremely deep depth of field, our SEM makes it possible to obtain highly detailed and accurate images of surfaces from an extremely wide variety of specimens and materials. Accordingly, our SEM is very flexible and can be used for an extremely broad range of applications going from analyzing the fracture grain structure of a hardened steel component (hydrogen embrittlement), to the links between the glass fibers in a polymer matrix, to the microstructure in semiconductor elements, all the way to insect wings, just to name a few examples. Thanks to the use of low-vacuum technology, we can also analyze non-conducting surfaces (such as plastics) in our SEM without the need for sputter coating (which is normally used to cover specimens with a conductive surface).
At I2PS, we often use our SEM for failure analyses, materials analyses, and surface analyses in combination with metallographic structure analysis methods.
Finally, our energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDX) can be used simultaneously with a SEM analysis in order to perform a materials analysis, i.e., to measure element compositions and distributions (point, line, and area scans for analyzing the distribution of specific chemical elements in a specimen). This makes it possible, for instance, to identify structure inhomogeneities and impurities in specimens.

Standards:
As per customer requirements / application

DUTs and specimens:
Metallic and nonmetallic device, component, or material specimens with a wide variety of structures, such as screws, wires, springs, enclosure parts, fragments, contacts, electronic components, castings, metal sheets, metallographic specimens, molded plastic parts, extrusions, contact materials, terminals, connectors, plug contacts, axes, shafts, and much more.

A relatively large specimen chamber (vacuum chamber) ensures that complete devices can be analyzed as well.

Mikroskopie und Metallographie

Our metallography services focus on structural analyses (microsections) of both metallic materials – e.g., contacts, screws, metal sheets, sintered metals – and molded plastic parts (e.g., microtomy, transmitted-light microscopy). This is especially valuable when taking into account the fact that the thermomechanical treatment of a component (e.g., influence of heat treatments, process parameters) is reflected in its microstructure. This means that this microstructure can be used to obtain insights into preceding heat treatments (e.g., hardening, quenching and tempering, case hardening, normalizing) or other process parameters (e.g., surface treatment or the development of amorphous zones in semicrystalline plastics due to fast cool-down speeds). Moreover, the microscopic examination of microsections is an important analysis method when qualifying materials and processing methods (e.g., soldered joints, welds, coatings) and when performing failure analyses. In addition, it is often used as a specimen preparation method for more in-depth examinations, such as SEM/EDX analyses used to analyze the chemical composition of individual particles or phases in a structure or to screen element distributions. All results are evaluated by materials experts with years of experience.

Testing equipment:

  • Reflected-light and transmitted-light microscopy (differential interference contrast, bright-field/dark-field), magnification of 16x to 1,000x
  • Stereoscopic microscopy, magnification of 4x to 100x
  • Digital microscopy with image analysis (0x to 200x)
  • Visualizer for macro photos
  • Digital image analysis and photo documentation, phase or particle size distributions
  • Microscopic metrology (e.g., coating thickness measurements, fiber lengths, pore size/distribution)

Specimen selection and preparation:
Specimen preparation with cutting, embedding, grinding, polishing, etching Microtome preparation (e.g., plastics)

Standards:
In addition to customer-specific specifications, various national and international standards such as:
DIN EN ISO 4499, 643
DIN 50600

DUTs and specimens:
Segments from device, component, or material specimens

Microscopy and metallography
Mikroskopie und Metallographie

Our metallography services focus on structural analyses (microsections) of both metallic materials – e.g., contacts, screws, metal sheets, sintered metals – and molded plastic parts (e.g., microtomy, transmitted-light microscopy). This is especially valuable when taking into account the fact that the thermomechanical treatment of a component (e.g., influence of heat treatments, process parameters) is reflected in its microstructure. This means that this microstructure can be used to obtain insights into preceding heat treatments (e.g., hardening, quenching and tempering, case hardening, normalizing) or other process parameters (e.g., surface treatment or the development of amorphous zones in semicrystalline plastics due to fast cool-down speeds). Moreover, the microscopic examination of microsections is an important analysis method when qualifying materials and processing methods (e.g., soldered joints, welds, coatings) and when performing failure analyses. In addition, it is often used as a specimen preparation method for more in-depth examinations, such as SEM/EDX analyses used to analyze the chemical composition of individual particles or phases in a structure or to screen element distributions. All results are evaluated by materials experts with years of experience.

Testing equipment:

  • Reflected-light and transmitted-light microscopy (differential interference contrast, bright-field/dark-field), magnification of 16x to 1,000x
  • Stereoscopic microscopy, magnification of 4x to 100x
  • Digital microscopy with image analysis (0x to 200x)
  • Visualizer for macro photos
  • Digital image analysis and photo documentation, phase or particle size distributions
  • Microscopic metrology (e.g., coating thickness measurements, fiber lengths, pore size/distribution)

Specimen selection and preparation:
Specimen preparation with cutting, embedding, grinding, polishing, etching Microtome preparation (e.g., plastics)

Standards:
In addition to customer-specific specifications, various national and international standards such as:
DIN EN ISO 4499, 643
DIN 50600

DUTs and specimens:
Segments from device, component, or material specimens

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