Materials Technology and Heat Treatment

Our activities also include materials technology and heat treatment of metallic materials.

Our research group

Heat treatment is a key step in the manufacturing process of high-quality components and tools to achieve optimal properties and durability. Understanding the correlations between the manufacturing process, the microstructure and the properties is the key to continual improvement of materials and production processes.

Range of services

Our materials technology and heat treatment laboratory is your partner for the optimisation or evaluation of various heat treatment procedures. The range of procedures covers everything from the hardening and tempering of steel, to thermo-chemical treatments, to the annealing of titanium and the hardening of aluminium or copper-based alloys. We analyse the success of heat treatment by using mechanical materials testing methods – such as tensile, impact and hardness profile tests – as well as metallographic testing, scanning electron microscopy and depth profile measurements of chemical composition using glow discharge spectroscopy.
We would be pleased to make our expertise and laboratory infrastructure available to you. Cooperation can take various forms depending on the subject, prior knowledge, scope and complexity of the tests:

  • Services and consulting mandates
  • Requests for projects to be tackled as student theses
  • Projects funded by third parties, such as Innosuisse, for more extensive studies (research projects)

Areas of expertise

Our current projects focus on the following areas:

  • General heat treatment in a vacuum and under protective gas
  • Thermo-chemical procedures, such as case-hardening, nitriding etc.
  • Soldering processes
  • Material and damage analysis
  • Materials testing and characterisation


We have the following facilities available to use for the optimisation of manufacturing and treatment processes and materials testing and characterisation:

  • Schmetz IU 72/1H/2RV/6-bar vacuum furnace for hardening and tempering (air-hardening steels) including deep-freezing (down to -180°C), annealing, soldering etc., maximum temperature 1350°C, nitrogen quenching up to 6 bar, other quench gases can be used, partial pressure, low, medium or high vacuum, useable volume of 400 x 400 x 600 mm, max. 200 kg, process log (temperature, pressure, gas)
  • SOLO 321-7/60 conveyor-belt furnace for annealing stainless steel, soldering and bright annealing of air-hardening steels, maximum temperature 1150°C, heated length 600 mm, cross-section max. 60 x 30 mm, protective gases (including flammable gases, e.g. H2)
  • Various laboratory furnaces for the development of protective gas technologies
  • Equipment for tensile, pressure, bending and hardness testing (HB, HV, HRC), micro-hardness testing (HV), indentation hardness testing and impact testing
  • Laboratory facilities for metallographic sample preparation
  • Metallography and image analysis using light microscopes and scanning electron microscopy
  • Various equipment for the chemical analysis of metallic materials: carbon/sulphur analyser, nitrogen/hydrogen analyser, XRF hand device, glow discharge spectrometer, EDX detector in the scanning electron microscope


Contact us or meet our experts in person at various events. Collaboration produces win-win outcomes for everyone concerned – your company, society and the university.