Destructive material inspection

Certainty thanks to reliable analyses

Are you concerned about the quality
of your components?

Destructive material inspection assists you while ensuring the quality of your components and identifying causes of damage. Our experienced experts analyse both metallic and non-metallic materials such as ceramics, plastics and composite materials, irrespective of the sector in which these materials are used. We quickly provide you with an analysis result; this result contains practical answers to your questions and in this way assists you during the optimisation of your processes.

+49 7022 2796-681

Specimen preparation in destructive materials testing

Optimise your processes with informative analyses

Destructive inspection provides you with irreplaceable information for checking and optimising production processes, for preventing damage or investigating causes if damage occurs and during product development. Our large range of analysis systems enables us to find the optimal solution for the specific task for each individual customer and to obtain informative results by means of the combination of various methods.

Fast, reliable

measurement results

  • Metallography
  • Light microscopy
  • Scanning electron microscopy (with EDX analysis)
  • Laser scanning microscopy
  • FIB-SEM microscopy
  • Weld seam analysis
  • Solder seam analysis
  • Microstructure analysis
  • Analysis of corrosion behaviour
  • Coatings and coating systems
  • Vickers and Brinell hardness testing
  • Spark emission spectroscopy (OES)
  • Tensile, compressive and bending tests
  • Surface topography and surface roughness

Applications for destructive material inspection

Microstructure analysis on metallographically prepared section

Microstructure analysis

The analysis of microstructural and structural characteristics on a metallographically prepared specimen provides information about the state of tempering and the microstructure, deformation, segregation and contamination. We assess particle sizes and boundaries, porosity, intermetallic phases as well as non-metallic inclusions and phases.

Hardness testing for quality assurance and damage analysis

hardness testing

Vickers and Brinell hardness testing are among the most important analytical methods for metal components. With our state-of-the-art measuring systems, we determine the hardening depth and the hardness curve reliably. Any embrittlement of the material can also be reliably identified and the possible failure of the component averted.

Weld seam testing for quality assurance and damage analysis

Weld seam inspection

The heat applied during welding can make metals brittle. During Weld seam inspection, we prepare, based on several Vickers or Brinell hardness measurements, a hardness curve for the heat-affected zone of the item inspected, check the weld seam geometry and undertake a comprehensive microstructure analysis.

Solder seam testing for quality assurance and damage analysis

Solder seam inspection

Solder seams are assessed in accordance with the standards for compliance with existing tolerances and evaluation groups. Surface irregularities are assessed based on a visual inspection and internal solder seam defects are evaluated using a metallographically polished specimen so that weak spots are identified reliably and can be avoided in future.

Investigation of corrosion types for damage analysis


With the aid of damage analytical methods, we analyse a very wide range of corrosion types and show you possible causes. Our experts have the necessary detailed knowledge of the related application to be able to analyse corrosion behaviour and evaluate the behaviour of the material in its surroundings.

Determination of unknown materials and inclusions in samples

Material identification

For the identification of unknown materials and inclusions in samples and components, we use various reliable, practically-proven methods to be able to provide you with a reliable result. During EDX analysis, material identification at the elementary level is also possible using a scanning electron microscope.

Investigation of surface roughness and surface topography

Surface roughness

Using a laser scanning microscope, we analyse without contact the surface roughness and topography of metals, polymers, semiconductors, ceramics, multiple coating systems and much more. We can then evaluate the quality and functionality of the surfaces as well as any material wear or cavities and depict our findings in three dimensions.

Investigation of protective and functional layers


For the analysis of protective and function-related coatings, we use numerous analytical techniques to determine the coating thickness, the fusion line, the surface topography, the roughness, the microhardness and much more. It is also possible to evaluate the surface of the coating and to determine the material composition of the coating.

Measurement of coating thicknesses with the laser scanning microscope

Layer thickness measurement

Layer thickness measurement on composite polymers can also be undertaken using a laser scanning microscope with a resolution in the range of a few nanometres. The reliable and highly accurate three-dimensional depiction of the individual layers of the related workpiece is also possible using this proven analytical method.

Scanning electron microscopy for high-resolution visualisation of structures

Scanning electron­microscopy 

Scanning electron microscopy  permits the high-resolution and three-dimensional depiction of surfaces and structures as well as the determination of the chemical composition of the sample (EDX analysis). FIB-SEM microscopy makes possible sample preparation in nanoscale for the in-depth analysis of microstructures and coatings.

Tensile, compression and bending test for material analysis

Tensile/compressive/bending testing

Tensile testing forms part of the classic repertoire of destructive material testing, as do compressive and bending testing. With modern test equipment, comprehensive knowledge of the relevant standards and extensive practical experience, our experts ensure the individual tests are undertaken correctly.

Spark emission spectroscopy for determining the alloy composition of metallic materials

Alloy composition (OES)

Using spark emission spectroscopy (OES) we analyse individual alloy elements such as iron, aluminium, copper, zinc, magnesium, titanium, cobalt or nickel both qualitatively and quantitatively for their composition. These results are compared with the limits listed in the standards and the steel code or your specific requirements and evaluated.

Applications for destructive material inspection

Highly precise analytical methods
by application

Added value at quality analysis


Even at short notice, we offer you quick, precise destructive inspection of your components and materials on our two sites.


Excellent know-how, extensive experience and a high-end range of equipment guarantee high-quality measurement results.

Range of equipment

The right equipment is available for every destructive material test. Here we rely on products of German quality from ZEISS.


The accreditation of our inspection methods and laboratories signifies for you always the highest degree of certainty, dependability and objectivity.

With extensive experience, excellent metallographic technology and sound expertise, our experts obtain the best from every analytical method so that you can rely on excellent results.

+49 7022 2796-681

DAkkS accreditation according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025

Accredited test laboratory for materialography

Our analytical methods for the destructive inspection of non-metallic and metallic materials, weld seam and solder seam analysis on metallic materials, layer thickness measurement, measurement of edge oxidation and determination of particle size, porosity analysis in metallic materials and coatings, particle analysis of non-metallic, carbon-based, organic and mineral particles, hardness testing, hardness curves and direct hardness measurement on metallic materials are accredited by Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH (DAkkS) in accordance with DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025. We are one of the few test laboratories in Europe in which all specialist areas have been successfully accredited.

You can read more about the advantages our accreditation offers you here:

Read more

Applications for destructive material inspection

Whether steel, aluminium, ceramic or plastic: all materials are subject to signs of wear or can have manufacturing-related defects. With the aid of destructive material inspection, we identify undesirable anomalies and damage in components and parts and give you the necessary knowledge to rectify expensive sources of defects. Customers from numerous industrial sectors trust in our expertise.

Analysis areas - Automotive sector
© Vaceslav Romanov -


For the automotive sector, we provide numerous services in the area of destructive material inspection. Along with the microscopic inspection of component surfaces, Vickers hardness testing and hardness curve testing are particularly important. We analyse the causes of corrosion as well as the causes of fractures and other physical damage to the material. In addition, we use various methods for the characterisation of signs of wear and surface anomalies.


Analyses for electronics production
© Patrick Daxenbichler -

Electronics manufacturing

During the manufacture of semiconductors and other high-performance electronics, we analyse the delicate coatings on wafers, chips and other components in depth and assess the material composition as well as the condition of solder joints or microstructures. For the preparation of cross-sections almost completely free of mechanical and thermal effects, we use a high-resolution field-emission scanning electron microscope  with focused ion beam and femtosecond laser from ZEISS.


Analysis for medical technology
© Monstar Studio -

Medical technology

It is crucial that the inner walls of stents and other medical products to be placed in the human body have an absolutely smooth surface to prevent the formation of clots and other life-threatening complications. Scanning electron microscopy permits not only the checking of the surface roughness and general characterisation of the surface topography, it also permits verification of adhering contamination.


Frequently asked questions

What is destructive material inspection?

During destructive material inspection, the selected materials are checked for their chemical and physical characteristics. Destructive inspection includes, e.g. microstructure analysis, spark emission spectroscopy, various tensile/compressive and bending tests, as well as torsion testing or notch impact testing.

Are components really no longer useable after destructive inspection?

Yes, during destructive material inspection the components inspected are, as a rule, changed so significantly or completely destroyed that they can no longer be used afterwards. An exception may be Vickers or Brinell hardness testing. The indenters used in these methods only damage the surface of the component slightly such that it may still be possible to use, in particular, larger components. For this reason these methods are often termed conditionally non-destructive material inspection.

What is the difference between destructive and non-destructive material inspection?

During non-destructive material inspection, the component is checked in a manner that does not permanently change or damage the material. It can therefore be used completely normally after the testing. Non-destructive inspection methods include 2D X-ray inspection and 3D-computed tomography, the tactile metrology and optical metrology, as well as eddy current inspection or visual inspection.


the right partner for

destructive material inspection

Which component or material can we test for you?
We would be pleased to advise you about the numerous possibilities and combined analytical methods. The goal: the best, most cost-effective and most efficient analysis of your sample.

Call us, we look forward to hearing from you!