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Expert analysis of materials and surfaces: Our materials testing


The materials testing unit of thyssenkrupp Steel is one of the top addresses when it comes to testing and analyzing steels, metallic coatings, pre- and post-treatments as well as consumables and charge materials.

From sample preparation and routine testing to answering the most complex questions - our interdisciplinary team of specialists including engineers, materials testers and laboratory technicians offer internal and external customers a comprehensive range of services for every requirement.

Custom material solutions and services for all aspects of steel have always been part of thyssenkrupp Steel’s range of capabilities. Faced with constantly rising requirements - for example for more efficient lightweight construction and tighter safety standards - steel processing companies increasingly need expert advice and support in the analysis of materials. This can include for example help with the selection of methods, the interpretation of steel microstructures and defects, as well as analyses to describe and explain specific mechanisms.

All these services and many more are provided by the DIN EN ISO / IEC 17025 accredited materials testing unit of thyssenkrupp Steel. And as well as meeting the highest quality standards, the services are extremely convenient: Customers who need a routine analysis of material characteristics or have a complex question can simply contact the laboratory by email. Inquiries are answered within just one workday, and planning can then begin immediately. Customers discuss details of the procedure and the scope of testing with our experts and are informed of the amount of specimen material required. Once the test material reaches the responsible laboratory in Duisburg or Dortmund, the agreed tests are carried out and a test report is sent to the customer – fast, reliable, and certified.

Material tests

Our experts use their know-how to support the development processes of internal and external customers with metallographic and metallurgical defect analyses. In addition they provide advice on the selection of suitable materials. Depending on requirements, different material-specific testing methods are used.


Tensile tests

thyssenkrupp Steel’s materials testing laboratories offer a very wide range of tensile tests over a temperature spectrum from -40 to 1,000 degrees Celsius. These serve to determine material properties such as yield strength, tensile strength or elongation at fracture in the form of a specific stress-strain curve. The concrete methods used are:

  • Miyauchi shear test
  • Modulus of elasticity
  • Biaxial tensile test
  • ARAMIS 3D strain measurement

Wear tests

At the customer’s request, the materials characterization laboratory carries out various wear tests to determine the wear behavior of specific metallic materials. Tests include:

Rotating wheel abrasive wear test to ASTM G65-16
This method is used to find out how a specific material behaves in standardized abrasive loading conditions. The test can be carried out in dry (ASTM G65) or wet conditions (ASTM B611 and according to ASTM G105). If required, the customer can obtain an assessment of the material’s wear resistance compared with other materials.

  • Wear pot test
    The wear pot test is used to analyze the wear behavior of metallic materials under abrasive loads in near real-world conditions. This very versatile test method allows large variations in the test parameters, such as angle of flow, abrasive material, relative speed, dryness/wetness, and inclination of the vessel.
  • • Drop tower tests
    For professional crash tests, the materials characterization unit uses the drop tower at the research laboratory in Dortmund. With a drop height of up to ten meters, a maximum falling mass of up to 236 kilograms and a maximum impact velocity of 50 kilometers per hour, the tower is suitable for various tests including force and displacement analyses. A high-speed camera is used for slow-motion recordings to assess deformation processes.
    • Analysis of the energy absorption behavior of structures and materials
    • Measurement of crash-relevant characteristics, support with material selection
    • Validation of FE simulations (deformation, failure, hardening)
    • Visual assessment of crease formation, crack resistance
    • Test specimens are longitudinal and side impact beams of different materials, geometries and joining methods
    • Axial and bending loads

Surface analyses

The materials testing laboratories offer customers a broad spectrum of surface analyses using routine to highly specialized test methods. These include for example coating measurements and analysis of coating structure as well as imaging processes to examine lateral distributions.

Examples include:

  • Paint adhesion and corrosion resistance tests
  • Step-load test
    This method is used to investigate hydrogen embrittlement, also known as stress corrosion cracking. A press-hardened specimen is notched by laser and then subjected to an electrocoating simulation. The maximum notch tensile strength in air without corrosion load is then determined as a reference value. A load is then applied to the specimen at 50 percent of the maximum notch tensile strength for 24 hours, after which the experts gradually increase the load by 5 percent every 30 seconds. A specimen is considered capable of withstanding a load if it completes the step time without fracture.
  • Wet chemical analysis
    This method is used for the wet-chemical, voltage-controlled separation of metallic coatings. It can also be used to determine the chemical composition of a material. A gravimetric analysis of the coating is also possible.
Glow Discharge Optical Emission Spectroscopy
  • Glow Discharge Optical Emission Spectroscopy (GDOS/GDOES)
    Glow discharge optical emission spectroscopy is a surface analysis method used for passivation and phosphate coatings and for assessing strip cleanliness. It is also used to analyze the layer structure of metallic coatings and for the analysis of substrates. Its advantages are high detection sensitivity, very good quantifiability, high-speed measurement, and simple specimen preparation.

The process in detail – from the inquiry to the certificate

Process in detail

General inquiry




thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG

Kaiser-Wilhelm-Strasse 100

47166 Duisburg, Germany

+49 (0)203 52-0

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