In the RMS Foundation the following methods of analyses of metallic, ceramic or polymeric materials are at your disposal. All testing services have been accredited according to ISO/IEC 17025.
X-ray fluorescence analyses (XRF) of metallic and non-metallic materials
The qualitative and quantitative energy dispersive and wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence analyses (XRF) serve to determine the composition of metallic and non-metallic materials (all elements from sodium to uranium).
Inorganic analysis using inductively coupled plasma - mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)
ICP-MS is a very sensitive technique applicable to a large variety of inorganic analytical tasks. A total of 70 elements can be simultaneously quantified down to trace levels in the ppb (part per billion; ng/mL) or sub-ppb range. For solid samples or organic matrices, chemical digestion methods are applied prior to Analysis.
Energy dispersive microanalyses (EDX)
In the qualitative and quantitative analysis of the surface of solid or powdery materials, the energy dispersive spectroscopy by X-rays (EDX) on the electron microscope is used to identify the elements from bor to uranium contained in the sample surface. The quantitative analyses allow determining the content of selected elements.
Equipment: Zeiss EVO MA25 with Oxford x-Max 50 Detector
Please read more on "energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy" in our Newsletter No. 6
Determination of C, S, H, N, O and Ar content in metallic materials
This analysis is based on the inert gas fusion (IGF) principle, which involves melting of the sample material in a graphite crucible at high temperatures. The principle is also commonly termed a melt extraction (ME) It is used to determine the carbon, sulfur, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and argon content of metallic or non-metallic materials.
Infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR)
Infrared spectroscopy (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy FT-IR) for the identification of organic compounds, polymers, adhesives, greases, oils, etc. A fully automated FT-IR microscope with motorized ATR crystal (ATR = attenuated total reflection) is available for measurements on microscopic samples (solids, powders, liquids) in the measurement modes transmission, reflection and ATR.
Calorimetric analyses (DSC)
This differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) is used to measure a specimen’s enthalpy variations when heated, cooled or at a constant temperature. This method enables not only to measure the temperatures at which the variations in enthalpy occur, but also the heat of reaction in a quantitative way. The measurements can be realised in different gas atmospheres using various heating or cooling rates.
Microcalorimetric measurements of solutions and solid materials (non-accredited service)
The measurement of the heat emitted by a chemical and/or physical reaction permits to pinpoint the heat-flow data in the milliwatt range and on isothermal conditions continuously as a function of time. During the measurement, the specially constructed «Admix» injection ampoule enables to mix and inject the liquids on isothermal conditions in order to investigate, for instance, the first phases of a cement reaction.
Determination of the residues on ignition of polymers
The incineration or calcination method is used to determine the residues on ignition or the ash of polymers as well as the textile-glass and mineral-filler content of fibreglass reinforced plastics.
Determination of viscosity
Serves to determine the inherent viscosity and molecular weight of PE and polylactides.
Particle analysis (laser diffraction, optical microscopy)
The particle analysis is a way to qualitatively or quantitatively determine the particle size distribution in powders, suspensions and emulsions. Furthermore, the characterisation of particle debris from wear tests is viable. Different measuring principles are available:
In the Laser Diffraction principle, the particles are irradiated by a laser beam. A characteristic annular intensity distribution is produced after transmission of the specimen by partial diffraction. This intensity distribution is detected and transformed to a particle size distribution by calculation (Theory of Mie or Fraunhofer). The principle allows for the qualitative determination in a range of 0.017– 2000 µm (wet) or 0.04 – 2000 µm (dry) respectively. Ultrasonic agitation aids for a good dispersion.
Particle size and shape can be determined by filtration and documentation as well.
Equipment: Beckman Coulter LS 13320 (Laser Diffraction principle) / Particle characterization by filtration and documentation using light microscopy and SEM
Please read more on «Particle size measurements» in our Newsletter No. 17
Coating thickness measurement (eddy current and magnetic induction method)
Non-destructive coating thickness measurement according to the eddy current method (DIN EN ISO 2316) and the magnetic induction method (DIN EN ISO 2178). Due to automatic substrate material recognition and the integration of both methods, non-magnetic coatings on steel and iron (Fe) and nonconductive layers on non-ferromagnetic metals or nonconductive substrates can be measured. The method permitted a determination of the coating thickness in a range of 0 – 2000 µm (Fe) respectively 0 – 1200 µm (NFe). With a measurement stand a precise and exact measurement even on small samples is possible.
Electrical conductivity measurement of non-ferrous metals
Fast, non-destructive and precise measurement of the electrical conductivity of non-ferrous metals using various frequencies. Determination of the hardening condition of precipitation hardenable alloys (e.g. Al, Cu).
Corrosion measurements (electrochemical methods)
These measurements are used to determine the local corrosion properties of real surfaces of metallic materials using the EC-pen. Pen tip: A = 1.5 mm2.
Equipment: EC-pen with Jaissle potentiostat
Please read more on «Corrosion and Corrosion Measurement» in our Newsletter No. 3
Leachables and extractables (ISO 10993)
Inorganic leachables and extractables from medical devices or device components are quantified by inductively coupled plasma - mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) following extraction in a temperature-controlled incubator shaker according to ISO 10993.