New testing laboratory for residual stress analyses at the University of Kassel


Starting immediately, industrial companies can have their highly stressed components tested at the accredited lab of the University of Kassel. This contributes, for example, to the development of safe parts in the automobile or aviation industry.


For many years, within the scope of the Center for Border Layer Analysis and Technology (ZerTech), the Institute for Materials Technology/Metallic Materials has performed analyses for worldwide industrial project partners. This encompasses the analysis of all metallic and many other crystalline materials with various methods, thus making the testing lab the third largest of its kind in Germany. Now, the German Accreditation Body (Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH ) has accredited ZerTech in July 2017 as testing lab for residual stress analyses. For many industrial companies, this is a prerequisite for joint R&D projects. 

Residual stresses are inner stresses in materials. They occur as a result of manufacturing without the influence of external stresses when, for example, the surface of a workpiece cools off faster than the core. Although the stresses are invisible to the eye, they can impact a component’s resistance. Therefore, residual stress analyses are an important step in the development of safe components and contribute to accident prevention. 

“For residual stresses, as in many areas of life, the following applies: Small cause, large effect,” as described by Dr. Wolfgang Zinn, Head of ZerTech. Already small errors or adjustments in the component manufacturing process can lead to substantial changes in the residual stress condition and thus ultimately have disastrous effects on machine safety and reliability, as when a gearwheel suddenly fails, for example. 

Research about the causes and effects of residual stresses is conducted in the laboratories of the Institute for Materials Technology. In order to measure them safely – as prerequisite – new residual stress analysis methods and evaluation routines (that use X-rays) were developed in recent years together with research partners. Time and again, new scientific issues were also derived from testing assignments commissioned by the industry.

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