Testing and analyzing building materials: basis for developing innovative, sustainable building materials

For us, testing and analyzing existing building materials is the basis for developing innovative, sustainable building materials - such as a functional facade panel made mostly from secondary raw materials. Products like these can only be successfully developed by people who have access to robust technologies for testing building materials and versatile solid state analytics.

Our researchers are experts when it comes to testing building materials as well as to analyzing and characterizing inorganic mineral substances used in the construction, cement, and pit & quarry industries. In our extensively-equipped laboratories, we conduct physical, chemical and mineralogical tests on raw materials as well as on a wide range of other materials, such as building materials.

Comprehensive analytics: diverse testing criteria, methods and areas of application

Part of our work includes assessing mechanical properties such as compressive and flexural strength, as well as the durability of building materials (alkali silica reaction, freeze-thaw (salt) resistance). We also examine materials by X-ray analysis and implement various optical and x-ray methods to investigate microstructures.

Our particular strength lies in our interdisciplinary cooperation with expert colleagues in natural sciences and engineering. With Fraunhofer IBP as a partner, an experienced team of scientists is at your side to help you develop and optimize products as well as analyze damage patterns.


Solid state analytics

To analyze solids, our experts use the latest methods of X-ray diffraction and spectroscopy. This allows them to non-destructively characterize both powdered samples and macroscopic molded samples in order to obtain comprehensive information about their chemical-mineralogical composition.


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 contains state-of-the-art measuring equipment, allowing us to reliably determine these features.


Rheology and processing

The initial properties of a building material (e.g. concrete or mortar) are an important criterion and largely determine its later use. Conforming to the relevant standards, our experts ascertain these properties to pave the way for application-optimized building materials.


Particle characterization

To comprehensively characterize particles, our scientists analyze their morphology, particle size distribution, chemical-mineralogical composition, zeta potential, specific surface characteristics and porosity as well as how they are incorporated three-dimensionally into matrices.


Material properties

Our experts know: Material parameters such as strength or thermal conductivity are decisive properties that much determine the later use of building materials. When it comes to developing building materials, determining strengths on a microscale can also be helpful.



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