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Fraunhofer IKTS

Fraunhofer IKTS conducts applied research on high-performance ceramics. The institute‘s three sites in Dresden and Hermsdorf (Thuringia), Germany, collectively represent Europe‘s largest R&D institute dedicated to the study of ceramics.

Product, Service, Training Institute


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For more than 30 years, Fraunhofer IKTS has been demonstrating the potential of ceramic materials in a steadily growing range of applications. Their development work is derived from the needs of the nine market-oriented business divisions – supplemented by strategic preliminary research at the highest scientific level.

It is their goal to develop complete system solutions and services but also to solve specific challenges within the processes of their partners from industry and science. Their expertise in characterizing materials, components and systems along their life cycle provides them with a unique data pool to carry out new developments more efficiently and faster.

With state-of-the-art equipment on more than 40,000 m² of floor space, competent staff and result-oriented research management, they offer a contact point for companies and research partners to tap the unique properties of ceramic materials for new and improved applications. 

Products & Services
Ultrasonic testing

Ultrasonic testing is a quality assurance process for volume testing of samples of various geometries and materials. It is often used to inspect joints such as welds. The characterization of layer thicknesses of up to 100 µm is also possible with this method.

The Accredited NDT Center of Fraunhofer IKTS offers ultrasonic testing with the following services:

  • Manual and mechanized ultrasonic testing using immersion technology, contact technology, pulse-echo technology, transmission technology and, upon agreement, other techniques
  • Use of different ultrasonic probes (vertical, S/E and angle, submersible and phased array probes) with different frequencies and other parameters
  • Ultrasonic scan of flat, curved and also rotationally symmetrical samples of various materials with image reconstruction (realizable object parameters: weight < 100 kg, geometry < 500 x 300 x 300 mm)
  • Detection of volume defects with material and process-dependent resolution of Ø ≥ 100 µm
  • Development, optimization and testing of new ultrasound processes including access to simulation calculations
  • Development of test concepts and creation of test instructions
  • Validation of new ultrasonic testing methods, including those developed by the customer
Eddy current testing

The eddy current method is a fast electromagnetic testing method requiring little equipment. It can be used to check for defects and geometry variations as well as to determine layer thickness. One focus is on applications using high-frequency eddy current technology, which are mainly used to characterise low-conductivity materials such as superalloys and composites.

The Accredited NDT Center of Fraunhofer IKTS offers eddy current testing with the following services:

  • Manual eddy current testing on components of different geometries
  • Eddy current scans, also with very high spatial resolution (around 200 µm), on flat components
  • Material characterization and testing for surface defects
  • Determination of conductivity after calibration as well as layer thickness and wall thickness
  • Determination of the drying behaviour of thin functional layers
  • Investigations with various sensors (absolute and differential sensors), measuring frequencies up to 100 MHz
  • Development of test concepts and creation of test instructions
  • Validation of new eddy current testing methods, including those developed by the customer
Acoustic Emission Testing

Sound emission analysis is one of the acoustic non-destructive testing methods in which individual sound emissions are recorded and examined. This takes advantage of the fact that sudden changes in the structure of a material, which can be triggered by various loads (mechanical, thermal, chemical), emit such sound events. The position of the component damage can be determined from the transit time of the signals from the sound-emitting source to a large number of sensors. In composite materials, for example, the underlying damage mechanism such as fibre cracking, fibre-matrix cracking or delamination can be determined by analyzing the signals recorded.

The Accredited NDT Center of Fraunhofer IKTS offers noise emission testing with the following services:

  • Sound emission testing on components of different geometries and materials
  • Investigation of the material behaviour under mechanical stress on coupon samples
  • Development of test concepts and adapted testing and monitoring systems for customer-specific applications of sound emissions
  • Validation of the use of the procedure to support the release of the procedure to the operator
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