The research work of professors Christian Krä, Wolfgang Prechtl, Christoph Strobl and Ulrich Tetzlaff falls back on a remarkably well-equipped materials laboratory. Two light microscopes and a scanning electron microscope with EDX-analysis are available. Alloy analyses can be performed with x-ray fluorescence and spark spectrometers.
Micro-/ Macro-hardness tests in order to determine mechanical properties are complemented by two tensile testing machines (max. 250 kN) and two impact testing machines (max. 300 J). A differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) helps to analyze the thermal behavior of plastics and the melting properties of light metals and plumb. Various hardening furnaces allow a heat treatment of up to 1350°C. Furthermore, some crucible furnaces for melting experiments and a small forge round off the equipment of the materials laboratory.
The equipment of the welding laboratory ranges from traditional autogenous welding over various gas-shielded welding processes and a spot-welding gun to a laser welding machine. Electro-plating and PVD devices are particularly used in the field of surface technology. A tribometer enables the investigation of various friction partners under various test conditions.
In cooperation with the institute Haus der Technik e.V. in Essen, the competence field “Materials and Surface Technology” organizes for many years now a three-day damage seminary in spring and fall. The educational offer of the competence field includes all aspects related to metal materials with focus on the investigation of damage cases, questions regarding corrosion, wear and high-temperature applications.
Most of the research work is performed in the field of surface technology. This focuses on the development of anti-corrosive coatings for high-strength steels and on the oxidation protection of hot-running components.