Testing and analysis of building materials

Bundling expertise for best results

In order to develop innovative building materials, such as a functional façade panel made mostly from secondary raw materials, robust methods for testing building materials and a comprehensive range of solid-state analysis equipment are required. Our scientists are experts when it comes to testing building materials, as well as specialists in analyzing and characterizing inorganic materials for use in the construction, cement, pit and quarry industries.

The extensive equipment in our laboratories allows us to conduct physical, chemical and mineralogical tests on raw materials and also on a wide range of building materials. Among others, we assess mechanical properties such as compressive and flexural strength, as well as the durability of building materials (alkali-silica reaction, resistance freeze-thaw (salt) cycles). We also evaluate materials by X-ray analysis and implement various optical methods to analyze microstructures.

Our particular strength lies in our interdisciplinary expertise in natural sciences and engineering. Therefore, our customers can rely on a team of experienced scientists to provide competent advice and support on issues concerning product development & optimization and damage analysis in the construction sector.

Raw materials analysis

Before a primary or secondary raw material can be used to in a building material, it must first be thoroughly investigated and characterized. For this, Fraunhofer IBP has a comprehensively-equipped laboratory for testing building materials, as well as a wide range of measuring instruments for carrying out solid-state and X-ray analysis.

Setting behavior and hydration

The setting behavior and hydration of binding agents decisively affect the development of a building material’s strength and thus ultimately its final hardness. Our building materials laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art measuring facilities, allowing us to reliably determine these features.

Rheology and processing

The initial properties of a building material are an important processing criterion, thus governing its application to a large extent. In compliance with the relevant standards, our experts determine these properties to pave the way for an application-optimized building material.

Surface analysis

When developing building materials, it is essential to consider their surfaces and internal structures. In our optical laboratory, we can examine materials macroscopically and microscopically and determine their surface properties.

Mechanical properties

Building materials are primarily defined by their mechanical properties. The determination of compressive strength, flexural strength or modulus of elasticity forms the basis for  monitoring and developing building materials. Thanks to our proven expertise in building materials testing, we give our customers tailored advice and support.

Durability

Durability defines the service life of a building material and is therefore an important indicator of its sustainability. Our core skills lie in determining frost-thaw resistance and investigating detrimental reactions taking place inside building materials.