Cutting-edge research for the future
Controversial issues in society and politics such as renewable energy, new technologies e.g. nanotechnology or the use of resources can only be discussed based on reliable analytical data. Added value of many products and processes in terms of quantity and quality depends on Analytical Sciences. Our activities include methodological and instrumental aspects of various test and measurement methods.
Our activities within this focus area include trace analysis and chemical composition, surface and interface analysis, non-destructive testing and spectroscopy structure analysis and materialography, sensor technology and quality assurance.
The following sites feature a few selected stories about our activities in analytical sciences.
Chemical composition and trace analysis
BAM develops a broad range of methods, recognition structures and tools for the chemical characterisation of substances, mixtures and samples from very different fields of application. In the chemical composition and trace analysis area, we provide advice regarding all questions concerning the reliability, accuracy, and precision of chemical analysis techniques, as well as quality assurance and testing in chemical-analytical laboratories. Our main tasks are the development and assessment of reliable processes for the chemical analysis of earth, water, sewage and waste; the development and production of reference processes and materials for environmental and consumer protection; and material analysis.
Surface and interface analysis
In the surface and interface analysis area, we are working towards gaining a comprehensive understanding of border and surface effects. We specifically focus on safety-related questions concerning material technology and chemistry. The goal is to translate our findings into technological advances. Examples of our work are the evaluation of metal corrosion, flow processes or the structural composition of materials.
Non-destructive testing and spectroscopy
One of BAM's main areas of expertise is non-destructive testing and spectroscopy. Any intervention into an existing system can have a significant impact on it, which is why the development and application of methods for non-destructive testing are of huge importance for capturing environmental parameters, incipient material failures, or process parameters. Spectroscopic techniques are particularly suitable for taking measurements during operation, or for measuring unique objects such as significant art and cultural artefacts. The important point of such processes is that the object should ultimately show no trace of the investigation, and should remain fully functional.
Structure analysis and materialography
The connection between the structure and properties of materials lies at the heart of structure analysis. Materialography is mostly an imaging technique and concentrates on processes using analytical instruments, such as electron microscopes, X-ray methods, and atomic force microscope processes. Our goal is to help researchers and users understand the interrelationship between structures and properties, and to further develop the underlying substances, in order to make the use of structure-based substances safer and more reliable.
Sensor technology refers to the science and application of sensors for measuring and checking properties and changes to technical or biological systems. The range of areas covered by this includes the impact of traffic loads on bridges, processes for the detection of air pollution, and determination of the spread of flammable gases following traffic and industrial disasters. Alongside simple rapid tests that can be used in almost every relevant situation, sensors will in future play a prominent role in an increasing number of areas of daily life, in environmental monitoring, and in process control.
Whether measurements have been obtained from simple rapid tests, a host of far-spread sensors or from complex laboratory devices, they are only helpful for users, interested parties or clients if they can be measured correctly, reliably and in a replicable manner. Only then are statements or decisions made on the basis of this data credible. BAM is one of the leading authorities worldwide in the area of quality assurance in technology and chemistry.