technician working in a glovebox

Metal forming


Mechanical testing


Heat treatments


Metal forming

Mechanical and thermomechanical treatments of metals and metal alloys are an integral part of modern materials development. For that reason, we use basic knowledge about deformation mechanisms, the (dynamical) recrystallization behavior and the phase equilibria to tailor specific materials properties. The main goal of the investigations is always to develop materials with an outstanding structural properties, partly in combination with functional capabilities.

To realise the preparation of these materials a wide range of deformation methods is available at the IFW Dresden.

rolling milldiameter of the working roll    range of sample dimensions
two-height rollig mill280 mmh = 1 mm - 50 mm; wmax = 100 mm
four-height rollnig mill    110 mmh = 0.1 mm - 4 mm; wmax = 80 mm
(four-height rolling mill)40 mmh = 0.05 mm - 0.4 mm; wmax = 20 mm
12-height rolling mill11 mmh = 0.015mm - 0.1 mm; wmax = 15 mm


Herein: h = height of the strip; wmax = maximum width of the strip. The duo rolling mill (D = 280mm) can be equiped with rolls suitable for (i) RT deformation or (ii) hot rolling with sample temperatures up to 1200°C. The rolls are not heated. 

drawing machinerange of sample diameter    further information
chain drawing benchD = 3 mm - 28 mml = 0.3 m - 3*6 m
chain drawing benchD = 0.5 mm - 6 mml = 0,2 m - 3 m
bull block drawing unit    D = 2 mm - 6.5 mmDbobbin = 600 mm; l = 1 m - 100 m
bull block drawing unitD = 0.5 mm - 4.5 mmDbobbin = 400 mm; l = 1 m - 100 m


Herein: D = diameter of the rod / wire; l = length of the sample; Dbobbin = diameter of the bobbin of the bull block. Drawing is operated at RT, while samples below 1 m can be drawn under liquid nitrogen cooling. We adapt standard lubricants as well as a pressure coating unit (ECOFOM EM20)

forging machine    range of sample diameter      
air hammer    D = 16 mm - 80 mm 


The hammer allows metal forming at RT and hot working of pre heated samples with up to 1200°C. Free-form forging with flat tools is also possible.

swageing machingerange of sample diameter     
4-plunger rotary swager    D = 6,7 mm - 30,0 mm 
4-plunger rotary swagerD = 1,0 mm - 6.7 mm 
2-plunger rotary swagerD = 3,8 mm - 9.0 mm 
2-plunger rotary swagerD = 1,0 mm - 5.0 mm 
2-plunger rotary swager​​​​​​​D = 0,3 mm - 3.0 mm 


Herein D = diameter of the wire. Cold swaging (room temperature or sample cooled in liquid nitrogen) is possilbe in the above mentioned ranges while swaging of hot samples (sample temperature up to 800°C) is possible in the range of D = 2 - 11.6 mm. As the tools are at room temperature, deformation at other temperatures is limited to short samples, only.

Hot extrusion can be performed at up to 600°C with a maximum force of kN. The unit requires samples (or containers) with a diameter of 30 mm. Depending on the sample, deformation to D = 9 mm is possible.

Mechanical testing

The characterisation of the mechanical properties is a key feature for the development of cutting-edge materials with enhanced mechanical properties or to obtain a deeper understanding on the mechanical behaviour of materials, in particular plasticity and the underlying deformation mechanisms. For that reason, mechanical testing is always combined with sophisticated microstructural analyses. The mechanical sample characterisation is performed in a wide spectrum of set-up parameters. 

To realise the mechacical tests of the samples, a number of test facilities are available at the IFW Dresden. Besides those listed below, the reader may wish to also have a look at more test rigs, which are all together part of a joint laboratory.

test unitmaximum load    further information
electromechanical test unit50 kNlaser-specle extensiometer
electromechanical test unit      10 kNT = RT - 1400°C (vacuum or air, compression only)
servo-hydraulic test unit200 kNT = -140°C - 600 °C (air)


Herein: T = temperature. 

test unitmaximum loadfurther information
electromechanical test unit    50 kNf < 10 Hz
servo-hydraulic test unit100 kNf < 100 Hz


Herein: f = test frequency. High and low-frequency cycle fatigue measurements (HCF, LCF) can be performed in strength or elongation controlled mode (max.: 100 kN/100 cycles per second).

test unitmaximum loadfurther information
electromechanical test unit    10 kNT = RT - 1400°C (vacuum or air, compression only)


Herein: T = temperature. Experiments are carried out with constant load in compression.

Heat treatments

Heat treatments are required to adjust the phase composition, which may be desired to be single-phase or a well adjusted combination of phases as e.g. required for precipitation hardening. Hence, the annealing is utilised to obtain well-defined microstructures in the materials under investigation and, thus, to tailor their properties.

To realise the heat treatments, a number of facilities are available at the IFW Dresden.

furnacemax. operation temperatureinside space
forging furnace1200°Cwmax = 400 mm ; hmax = 200 mm; lmax = 600 mm
forging furnace1200°Cwmax = 550 mm ; hmax = 400 mm; lmax = 1000 mm


Herein: h = height;  w = width; l = length. The heat treatments are carried out in air atmosphere.

furnacemax. operation temperatureinside spaceatmosphere
muffle furnace1700°Cw = 120 mm ; h = 80 mm; l = 150 mmAir
muffle furnace1200°Cw = 250 mm ; h = 250 mm; l = 750 mmAr

Herein: h = height;  w = width; l = length.

furnaceinner tube diametermax. sample lengthmax. operation temperautreatmosphere
D10100 mm300 mm1300°CAir (*)
D11, D12120 mm300 mm1300°CAir, N2, Ar
Linn 10040 mm100 mm1000°CVac, N2, Ar, H2 (**)
Long-Tube180 mm1800 mm1200°CVac, N2, Ar, H2 (**)
Hardening furnace100 mm200 mm1300°CN2, Ar (*)

(*) external quenching possible
(**) rapid cooling possible (moving samples out of the hot zone)

furnacemaximum operation temperaturefurhter information
tube furnace800°C (*)in-situ R(T) measurements (**)
tube furnace1000°C (*)special annealing atmosphere: vacuum, H2, etc.
rapid cooling under same conditions possible
Saturn1300°Ccalibration of thermo-couples

(*)To achieve maximum heating rates (approx 5K/s), the sample can be pushed into the hot zone of the furnace.
(**)Samples for resistance measurements have a length of either 40 mm or 100 mm. The diameter of the samples is up to 3 mm, flat samples can be measured with a width of up to 1/10 of its length.