Load-specific materials testing

© Fraunhofer IWM, Graphic: Gebhard|Uhl

Mechanical properties

Using our testing machines and hydrogen autoclave technology developed in-house, we offer tests to determine fatigue, crack growth and fracture toughness under static and dynamic load in a hydrogen atmosphere up to 1000 bar and at temperatures between -196°C and +400°C. We determine the material characteristics using standardized test specimens as well as special geometries such as hollow specimens and custom-made specimens developed specifically for your load case.

In addition, we can determine the tensile, fatigue and crack growth properties of materials under a compressed hydrogen atmosphere up to 100 bar with our micro specimen technology (cross-sections smaller than 1 mm²). With this technology, we offer you a solution for characterizing the smallest components and particularly critical points in the component (e.g. in the edge zone of weld seams).

In addition to material testing under pressurized hydrogen, we also carry out material tests with electrochemically loaded test specimens. This eliminates the need for complex autoclave technology and allows complex multi-axial stress states to be simulated and examined.

More information on mechanical properties:

Lifetime Concepts for Hydrogen Applications



Using thermal desorption spectroscopy (TDS) and hot gas extraction, we offer investigations to determine the hydrogen content in materials and the trapping energies of metallic microstructures.

We offer measurements of the diffusion coefficients of hydrogen through metallic and polymer samples using an electrolytic permeation measuring cell or a vacuum test bench with gaseous compressed hydrogen up to approx. 250°C for metallic membranes and approx. 100°C for polymers and calculate permeation reduction factors for barrier layers.

In addition, we investigate hydrogen permeation in sliding contact using an electrochemical measuring cell under tribological load.

More information on the subject of permeation:

Tribological and Functional Coatings


Friction and wear

With our versatile testing equipment and methods, we characterize and interpret the friction and wear behavior of materials and components under customer-specific load cases with and without the influence of hydrogen. For example, the qualification of the tribological behavior of rolling and plain bearings under hydrogen atmospheres up to 300 bar or the testing of high-temperature wear under hydrogen atmosphere of valves and seat rings for large gas engines. We also investigate the degradation of lubricants and the hydrogen absorption of materials and lubricants.

More information on friction and wear: 

Tribological coatings


Lubricants and elastomers in frictional contact

We analyze the  aging of lubricants in a hydrogen atmosphere and characterize changes in tribological properties as a result of ageing. We determine the influence of the lubricant formulation on the release of hydrogen in tribological contact.

In addition, we offer investigations into the aging of elastomers in a hydrogen atmosphere and the characterization of changes in tribological properties as a result of aging.

More information on lubricants and elastomers in frictional contact: 

Tribological coatings


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