Accredited NDT test lab

Faster implementation of NDT-methods in practical applications

Valid and reproducible  non-destructive testing requires know-how and experience. A large number of national and international standards, which may differ depending on the respective industry, define the framework for the use of established and new methods. Particularly when optimizing and developing new methods and systems, current regulations must be observed and new procedures or equipment must be set up accordingly.

The Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle (DAkkS) has granted the Fraunhofer IKTS NDT test lab flexible accreditation in categories 1 and 2 according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025 for four non-destructive testing methods. This status, which only very few testing laboratories achieve at all, allows the lab to modify procedures in the field of ultrasonic testing, eddy-current testing and acoustic emission technique as well as to develop them further and to create new methods. This ensures that, after appropriate validation, the new methods can be used by the customer in a similar way to standardized procedures. As a result, new testing technologies are implemented much earlier than standardization processes would normally allow. In the case of visual test procedures, the NDT lab is free to choose from standardized or equivalent testing procedures. This has the advantage that equivalent standards can be used for testing without having to obtain prior permission from the DAkkS.

In this way, methods developed at Fraunhofer IKTS can be validated in the field and then applied in a quality-assured manner.

Scope of accreditation

The accreditation of the NDT test lab applies to manual and mechanized testing procedures (ultrasonic, eddy current, visual testing and acoustic emission technique) on metallic components, fiber-reinforced and ceramic materials and composites.

© Fraunhofer IKTS
Ultrasonic scan of a GFRP board in contact technique.

Ultrasonic testing is a method for examining the volume of samples of various geometries and materials. The method is based on sound waves that are introduced into the material and reflected at defects or edges. It is often used to inspect joints, e.g. welded seams. The characterization of layer thicknesses up to 100 µm is also possible with this method.

The accredited NDT test lab at Fraunhofer IKTS offers ultrasonic testing with the following services:

  • Manual and mechanized testing in immersion technique, contact technique, impulse-echo technique, transmission technique and other techniques by request.
  • Use of different probe types (vertical, S/E and angle, immersion and phased array probes) with different frequencies and further parameters
  • Ultrasonic scan on plane, curved and also rotationally symmetric samples of different materials with image reconstruction (feasible 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 of test concepts and compilation of test instructions
  • Validation of new processes, also developed by the customer
© Fraunhofer IKTS
Eddy-current scan for defect detection on a CFRP component.

The eddy-current method is a very fast electromagnetic test procedure. A small alternating field is coupled into the electrically conductive material with a coil. The interaction in the material allows conclusions to be drawn on surface defects, layer thicknesses and geometric properties. The resolutions are very different depending on the specific task, geometry and material.

The accredited NDT test lab at Fraunhofer IKTS offers eddy-current testing with the following services:

  • Manual testing on components of different geometries
  • Eddy-current scans, also with very high spatial resolution (about 200 µm), on flat components
  • Testing for surface defects, determination of conductivity after calibration as well as layer and wall thickness determination
  • Tests with different sensors (absolute and differential sensors), measuring frequencies up to 100 MHz
  • Development of test concepts and compilation of test instructions
  • Validation of new processes, also developed by the customer
© Fraunhofer IKTS
Visual testing with flexible endoscopes in pipe inspection.

Visual testing is used to examine surfaces for visible defects. In most cases, magnifying glasses or endoscopes are used.

The accredited NDT test lab at Fraunhofer IKTS offers visual testing with the following services:

  • Testing for visible defects such as cracks open to the surface, pores, discoloration
  • Testing by means of endoscopy in areas that are difficult to access (e.g. in pipes) and on components with complex geometries
  • Optical magnifications



Non-destructive materials testing

Non-destructive testing, NDT in short, (or non-destructive inspection: NDI, non-destructive evaluation of materials: NDE) tests the quality of a component without damaging the material itself.


Destructive testing of materials

In destructive testing, selected materials are tested for chemical and physical properties and are destroyed or (superficially) altered in the process. The component to be tested can then no longer be used.


Data protection (confidentiality and data security)

Fraunhofer IKTS places the utmost importance on confidentiality and data security. Samples and data are stored in additionally secured rooms with very limited access. All employees of the accredited NDT test lab are aware of their special obligation to maintain confidentiality and receive regular training.