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DEKRA Labor Bretten Chemieprüfung

Laboratory sites
DEKRA Automobil GmbH, Germany



Handwerkstr. 17

70565 Stuttgart

Anfahrt / Route

Material testing and damage analysis

Material testing and damage analysis

In our accredited laboratories we test structures and properties of metal alloys, plastics and composites. For manufacturers, insurance industry and retail we carry out comprehensive damage investigations to distinguish between misuse, mounting and material defects. Our experts detect overload, fatigue and stress on materials, for example caused by corrosion or material defects.

Are you interested in our services? Contact us!

Microstructure analyses, hardness tests and fractured surface examinations

Metallographic material examinations are used to analyse and prevent material damage. In our accredited materials laboratory, we use scanning electron microscopy (SEM/EDX) to examine components for wear or corrosive attack, measure the depth of corrosion and carry out solder seam examinations on printed circuit boards.

Metallographic testing

Your benefits of metallographic testing in the DEKRA laboratory

  • Precise grinding and microstructural examinations of all materials and material combinations
  • Detailed structural examination of the materials used
  • Issuing of acceptance test certificates
  • Comprehensive damage analyses and determination of material defects

Finest structural analyses with SEM-EDX

We use electron microscopes, such as SEM/EDX and FE-REM/EDX (Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope), to examine surfaces and fractured surfaces, with magnifications of up to 100,000 times. This makes it possible to carry out investigations in the nanoscale.

By means of connected EDX analysis (energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy), we also determine the chemical composition of coatings, corrosion products, phases, inclusions, particles, fillers and individual layers for you. We also use radio spectrometry (OES) to determine whether the target material was used for your component or whether there are material defects.

Metallographic test procedures

  • Hardness tests according to Vickers, Brinell and Rockwell
  • Hardness curves for determining the surface hardness depth, case hardness depth and nitriding hardness depth
  • Stress corrosion cracking testing of copper alloys
  • Weld seam testing (including DIN EN ISO 5817)
  • Grinding burn test
  • Determination of decarburisation depth (DIN EN ISO 3887)
  • Fracture surface analysis / fractography
  • Determination of the heat treatment condition
  • Examination of non-conductive samples in low vacuum

Microscopic examination and chemical alloy analysis

  • Light microscopy, stereomicroscopy
  • Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-REM / EDX)
  • Coating thickness measurement (DIN EN ISO 1463)
  • Grain size determination (DIN EN ISO 643, ASTM E112)
  • Pore content determination
  • Content of non-metallic inclusions in steels with image series (DIN EN 10247)
  • Graphite formation (DIN EN ISO 945-1)
  • Carbide formation in steels (SEP 1520)
  • Element distribution images (mapping and line scan)
  • Particle analyses
  • Spectral analysis of metal alloys based on iron, aluminium, copper, nickel, zinc and titanium using spark spectrometry (OES)
  • CS combustion to determine the carbon and sulphur content of inorganic samples (cast iron)
  • Element analysis by ICP-OES (after digestion)
  • Determination of purity (DIN 50602)

Determination of mechanical and material properties for damage prevention

Plastics tests provide you with detailed material characteristics and information on the behaviour of the materials under different environmental conditions and applications. In our accredited plastics laboratory, we test raw materials, granulates, O-rings, coatings and products. These include films, fabrics, roofing membranes, seals, consumer goods and packaging materials as well as plastic components for construction and industry.

Plastic testing

Your benefits with DEKRA for plastics testing

  • Reliable identification of plastics
  • Safety in the use of tested plastics and suitability for specific requirements
  • Comprehensive material tests of O-rings
  • Identification of damage causes and material failures

Comprehensive polymer analytics for the long-lasting application

Our plastics experts determine the environmental behaviour by means of media resistance tests, UV weathering and environmental simulation tests. We also determine the causes of damage by examining fractured surfaces, cracks, deformations and coatings, as well as comparative thermal analyses. Our laboratory experts also answer questions on hazardous substances requirements and recycling, recyclates and microplastics.

Plastics identification and composition testing

  • Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) for polymer identification and the determination of ageing and oxidation processes, local analysis of thin layers, organic particles or impurities using IR microscopy
  • Analysis of fillers, fibres, impurities, coatings and particles by EDX analysis
  • Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) according to DIN EN ISO 11358 for the determination of decomposition rates of polymers and content determination of highly volatile components, additives and fillers (for example plasticisers, fibres, carbon black or chalk)
  • Analysis of evaporating gases by thermogravimetry using TGA-IR coupling
  • Density (DIN EN ISO 1183-1)
  • Viscosity number of thermoplastics
  • Layer thickness and layer structure
  • Harmful substance analyses (RoHS, PAH, REACH, POP)
  • Migration tests (food contact)

O-Ring testing

Determination of material properties

  • Visual inspection of O-rings according to DIN ISO 3601 Part 3
  • Compression set on standard specimens and prefabricated parts (DIN ISO 815)
  • Dynamic differential thermal analysis (DSC) according to DIN EN ISO 11357 for determination of glass transition temperature, melting temperature, enthalpy of fusion and crystallisation
  • Curing behaviour of duroplasts
  • Thermal and chemical storage tests
  • Hardness tests according to Shore A / Shore D (DIN EN ISO 868, DIN ISO 48-4), IRHD-M (DIN ISO 48-2) and Micro-Shore A
  • Tensile, impact and flexure tests including sample preparation (e.g. DIN EN ISO 527, DIN 53504)
  • Determination of notched impact strength according to Charpy (DIN EN ISO 179-1)
  • Artificial irradiation and weathering of plastics (DIN EN ISO 4892-2, ASTM G154-12a)
  • Media resistance tests
  • Preparation and evaluation of sections, thin sections and microtome sections
  • Examination of surfaces and fractured surfaces by scanning electron microscopy

Determination of material characteristics

To determine the hardness or fracture strength of metals, plastics or composites, we examine standardised specimens as well as complex components. The precise sample preparation before testing is of great importance for the subsequent evaluation of the results.

Mechanical-technological testing

Your advantages from testing in the DEKRA materials laboratory

  • Test benches and test set-ups for individual questions
  • Production of standard specimens and specimens with special dimensions (undersize specimens) in our own in-house workshop with CNC machines
  • Specimen preparation for complex component geometry
  • Comprehensive range of material tests with precise results

Customised testing concepts for individual requirements

The accredited DEKRA materials laboratory offers you customized mechanical-technological material and component tests for a wide range of materials and products. This includes examinations of mechanical connections, weld seams and machine components. In addition, we examine consumer goods such as foils, aluminium foils and bags.

Mechanical-technological testing procedures

  • Tensile test, compression and bending test
  • Hot and cold tensile test (temperature tests)
  • Monoaxial and biaxial tensile test on wire mesh, metal wire cloth and cable nets
  • Notched bar impact test
  • Hardness testing according to Rockwell, Brinell, Vickers and Shore
  • Micro hardness test to establish hardness curves (edge hardness, case hardness or nitriding hardness depth)
  • Fatigue test
  • Fold test
  • Stress analysis using DMS technology
  • Simulation of technical heat treatment / temperature behaviour

Material characteristics of consumer articles

  • Tensile strength and elongation at break of film products, bags, gloves and paper articles
  • Basis weight and thickness
  • Layer structure
  • Tensile shear strength of adhesive joints
  • Dart drop test
  • Jog test
  • Testing of child use and care articles (DIN EN 14350-1)

Determination of material defects and causes of damage

Systematic damage analyses based on material-related investigations provide information about the causes of damage and possible material fatigue. We offer manufacturers, the insurance industry and trade extensive damage investigations to distinguish between misuse, assembly and material defects. Our accredited laboratories carry out material analyses and damage investigations according to VDI 3822. We test metallic materials, plastics, composite materials and ceramic components.

Damage and failure analysis

Your benefits from damage analysis material testing at DEKRA

  • Detection of cause of damage and material defects
  • First-class laboratory analysis with the entire spectrum of material analyses
  • Court-proof reports and plausibility checks on the damage event and the amount of damage
  • Advice on damage prevention and test concepts

Damage analysis with precise test methods

We use the latest laboratory technology such as electron microscopy (SEM/EDX analysis and mapping), microscopic examinations, metallography, hardness tests, infrared spectrometry (FT-IR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), gas chromatographic (GC-MS) and chemical analyzes (spectral analysis, ICP-OES, ion chromatography), plastics tests and tensile tests.

In addition to material analyses, we also examine surface residues, particles, fibres and operating fluids.

Laboratory tests for damage investigation

  • Damage analysis of products, components, machine and device components as well as connecting elements made of plastic, metal, ceramics or composite materials
  • Inspection of structural damage
  • Determination the cause of material breakage
  • Examination of corrosion phenomena and corrosion residues
  • Testing of aging and embrittlement of plastics
  • Examination of defects in soldered connections of electrical components and circuit boards
  • Investigation of tap water damage and sanitary damage, for example on flexible hoses, fittings and pipes
  • Inspection of structural damage
  • Analysis of fire damage to metal structures
  • Examination of welds
  • Residue analysis, particle analysis of surfaces and chemical analysis of solids and liquids

Our laboratory service for insurance companies and loss adjusters

Every case of damage is different - standardized and efficient laboratory processes are all the more important:

  • Fast feedback on your request
  • Transparent pricing and quick quotations
  • Support with sampling, packaging and dispatch of test samples, provision of checklists and sample accompanying forms
  • Accredited laboratory tests including photo documentation with high-resolution images
  • Understandable and meaningful test reports
  • Training for field staff and experts

In any case, you will receive court-proof damage assessments.


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