Workshop “Microstructural Characterization and Quality Assurance”

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans-Georg Herrmann (Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Frank Muecklich (Saarland University, Steinbeis Material Engineering Center Saarland)  
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernd Valeske (Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing)

Saarland University, Campus Saarbrücken
3rd April 2014, 13:00 – 18:30, Building D3.3
4th April 2014, 09:00 – 13:00, Fraunhofer IZFP

Workshop costs: free of charge
Target group: Researchers, enterprises and experts of the Greater Region
Registration: Please register here » (the number of participants is limited)
Here you can download the agenda of the workshop »

One of the key elements in materials quality control is microstructure characterization, as it relates production process settings with the final functionality of a material. Hence, precise and objective microstructure characterization provides essential information that allows tailoring functional properties of the material through adjustment of processing parameters and raw materials composition.

Furthermore, when dealing with state-of-the-art components that are made with new materials, quality control during the whole product life-cycle is getting essential in order to guarantee efficient and high quality production, proper operational stability, safety and reliability as well as optimum in-service performance of such components. Quality control using innovative methods of nondestructive testing (NDT) which are integrated in the production process with its different process steps (molding, forging, machining, assembly and joining, surface finishing) can offer excellent possibilities when high tech materials are thought to max out their mechanical, optical or chemical properties. Safe operation or advanced repair procedures for mixed-material assemblies can be inspected and even monitored with innovative NDT techniques. 3D-visualization and automated contactless inspection of complex shapes are a prerequisite for going to the limits of such modules and component parts, especially in light-weight design with ultra-highstrength steels, high performance light metals and alloys - and of course, for fibre reinforced materials (e.g. CFRP, GFRP).

This workshop provides a platform for discussion and idea exchange between researchers, enterprises and experts from the Greater Region. It gives researchers the opportunity to share their expertise and industry representatives to discover new advancements in the area. The participants will address any questions and challenges to the scientific community, thus creating an opportunity for networking and initiating new cooperation projects.
The workshop will cover such areas as:

  • Image Processing and Analysis
  • 2D and 3D Microstructure Characterization
  • Tomographic Methods in Material Science
  • Nondestructive Materials Characterization and Testing (NDT)
  • Validated NDT applications for most relevant industrial sectors, e.g. automotive/aviation/rail industry.

In addition, the workshop programme includes a tour through the laboratories of the Chair of Functional Materials at Saarland University and the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing, where the most advanced equipment for microstructure characterization and nondestructive testing will be presented. We also invite you to a workshop dinner at the end of day one at the restaurant Stiefelbräu in Saarbrücken, where we can enjoy traditional food and beer from the region.

Microstructure Characterization (Day 1):
Traditional methods of microstructure analysis attracts by their simplicity in terms of analysis efforts and equipment required for the analysis. Such evaluation of materials microstructure is usually performed using 2D micrographs, often by simply comparing them to reference images. However, examining planar sections in such a way does not allow an objective assessment of the material internal structure and its properties due to the limited information accessible from this 2D data and the subjectivity inherent to the assessment process by individual experts.

Development of high-performance materials with well-tailored microstructures imposes a need in advanced characterization techniques, such as microstructure tomography, capable of quantifying structural material features in a reasonably precise way. Depending on the size of microstructure constituents, X-ray, Synchrotron, Focused Ion Beam (FIB) or Atom Probe Tomography (APT) can be used in order to characterize the microstructure and to understand its formation and influence on functionality of the material as well as to improve the existing methods of 2D characterization.

Nondestructive Testing (Day 2)
Brand-new developments of non-destructive testing and inspection techniques will be presented and validated applications for their use in material intense industrial sectors are shown (automotive / aviation / rail industry etc.). Also, advanced NDT methods for material characterization will be covered. Besides expert talks, there will be the possibility to have a look at the R&D labs and current innovations at Europe’s leading NDT institute – the Fraunhofer IZFP, located at the Saarland University campus.