Further non-destructive testing methods



At the NDT test lab of Fraunhofer IKTS, other non-destructive testing methods besides the accredited ones are continuously developed and applied in practice.


Thermographic measurement of a CFRP specimen with titanium rivet.

Thermography uses an infrared camera to examine the heat propagation in the test object. This very fast method for testing of surface defects can be applied to components of different sizes and geometries. For this purpose, the component is slightly heated. This can be done thermally (e.g. hot air), electrically (conduction, induction) or optically (laser, infrared emitter, halogen emitter). The heat propagation is then analyzed. If there is a defect in the component, the heat propagation changes.

In addition, Fraunhofer IKTS offers "ThermoLock", a lock-in thermography system that can detect smallest defects in or at the surface of components. For this purpose, temperature changes induced by external thermal excitations are recorded and evaluated.


Services offered

  • Testing of surface defects (cracks, material inclusions, paint or adhesive delamination) and determination of thermal conductivity
  • Examination of a wide variety of materials such as metals, plastics, composites, sandwich materials
  • Lock-in thermography system "ThermoLock"

Characterization of ultrasonic probes

Ultrasonic probes have a complex design and are defined by characteristics such as frequency, bandwidth and sound field properties. The NDT test lab of Fraunhofer IKTS performs characterization on ultrasonic probes according to DIN EN 12668-2, DIN EN 16392 and additional methods. The evaluation is performed on demand, quickly and precisely. The characterization of sound fields can be carried out according to different methods.


Services offered


  •  Characterization of ultrasonic probes according to DIN EN 12668-2, DIN EN 16392

Penetration test

Penetration tests can be used to detect cracks that are open on the surface. A penetrant is applied on the surface, which penetrates into the defects through capillary effect. A developer is then applied, which dissolves the agent and enhances the contrast. In this way, even microcracks are clearly visible.


Services offered  

  • Testing for defects open on the surface
  • Testing of metal and non-metal materials (also ceramics and plastics)
  • Testing by means of dye penetration testing (red-white) and fluorescent penetration testing
  • Detection of surface cracks depending on roughness, with polished surfaces from a crack width of 0.5 µm

Magnetic particle inspection

Magnetic particle inspection with fluorescent particles on a steel beam.

Magnetic particle inspection is suitable for inspecting ferromagnetic components for surface defects. The component is magnetized and then wetted with a liquid containing colored or fluorescent iron particles. In the process, the iron particles arrange themselves on the stray fields generated by surface defects and make them visible.


Services offered

  • Testing for near-surface cracks on ferromagnetic materials (e.g. steel, nickel and cobalt alloys)
  • Detection of very fine hairline cracks
  • Crack detection depending on surface roughness, crack width > 0.1 µm, crack depth > 2 µm