Failure Analysis

The IHD staff’s expertise and their widely varied analytical possibilities permit identification and clarification of quality assurance issues or trouble-shooting within the scope of damage analyses in most diverse products.

The subject of investigations is, among others:

NOTE: As a rule, IHD experts are acknowledged by the courts as sworn and publicly appointed experts.

Florian Kettner

Dr. rer. nat. 

Florian Kettner

+49 351 4662 498

send E-Mail

Damage on surfaces

Investigations of coatings, layered structures, gluing, discolouration, blisters or misses, e.g.,

  • Surface topography (roughness, waviness)
  • Light, scanning electron, and confocal laser-scanning microscopy
  • Chemical analytics, e.g., spectroscopy (Infrared, UV-Vis), elemental analysis (EDX), and thermal behaviour (DSC, TGA)
  • Impact of environmental conditions by means of artificial lighting, air conditioning, exposure to fluids, gases or mechanical stress

Investigations of raw materials/substrates and their impact on coatings, e.g.,

  • Density profiles and mechanical properties
  • Distribution of adhesives
Damage on Surfaces
Damage on Surfaces

Damage/failure on Materials

[Translate to English:] Schäden an Materialien

Investigations into detachments, delamination or into bonding qualities in materials and products/structural parts, e.g.,

  • Light, scanning electron, and confocal laser-scanning microscopy
  • Investigations into wettability (contact angles, surface tension)
  • Adhesiveness and climatic resistance
  • Chemical analytics of impurities (GC-MS, HPLC)

Investigations into material properties, e.g.,

  • Physical-mechanical properties, such as internal bond, bending properties, swelling in thickness, dimensional change
  • Density profiles and particle analyses
  • Thermal parameters for adhesives (DSC, TGA)
  • Dimensional stability, creep behaviour, durability
  • Pollutants

Issues of concern in production facilities for wood-based materials and products of wood

  • Damage due to deposits and impurifications
  • Premature material failure

Biological and Structural Damage

  • Determination of harmful organisms (fungi, insects, bacteria, algae) by using macroscopic and microscopic as well as molecular-biological methods
  • Determination of wood species
  • Structural investigations into wood and wood-based materials
  • Investigation of coatings and gluings
  • Reflected and transmitted light microscopy
  • Investigations into wood-preservation, expert opinions on damage
  • Mould infestation, accumulation of air-borne germs, hygienic assessments


[Translate to English:] biologische Schaeden

Emissions Behaviour

  • Investigation into emissions behaviour (VOC, ammonia, formaldehyde) of several materials, e.g., Measuring procedures for inline/online emissions and Emissions under challenging conditions
  • VOC analytics of smell pollution
  • Determination of chemical impurifications, e.g., by GC-MS and HPLC
  • Asbestos identification
  • Wood preservatives in housing and internal space

Damage due to Weather Effect

  • Identifying light- or heat-induced ageing effects by investigations performed under alternate climate or exposed to artificial weathering/lighting
  • Light, scanning electron and confocal laser-scanning microscopy
  • Determination of chemical differences between unharmed and harmed areas by way of infrared spectroscopy, EDX analysis and chemical analyses
  • Investigation of microbial discolouration (blue stain, algae)
[Translate to English:] Schaeden durch Witterung

Services Damage Analysis

  • Recording, measuring, documenting and evaluating damages
  • Identifying causes for damage/failure
  • Simulating images and mechanisms of damage/failure
  • Determining harmful organisms
  • Assessing hygiene
  • Elaborating suggestions for removal of damage and remediation
  • Elaborating suggestions for preventing and estimating consequential damage
  • Preparing investigative reports and expert opinions on damage

Product Groups

We perform failure analyses, especially with the following groups of products:

  • Building elements (e.g., windows, doors, façades)
  • Coating materials and coatings
  • Fittings, jointing materials and fasteners
  • Floorings including underlay materials
  • Buildings and internal space
  • Adhesives, insulating materials, foams, and sealants
  • Plastics, laminates, and composites
  • Wood and wood-based materials, including glued wood-based products
  • Furniture
  • Wall and ceiling claddings