Building Construction and Component Testing

- Tasks / Main focus
- Special facilities
- Contact person

Department 21 Building Construction and Component Testing is subdivided into the following Units:

  • Unit 211  Metal Construction, Welding Technology
  • Unit 213  Concrete Construction, Composite Construction, Fastening Technology
  • Unit 214  Lightweight Construction, Glass Construction, Facades

The department investigates metal constructions, reinforced and unreinforced concrete structures, composite constructions, lightweight constructions, glass structures, facades and fastening technology. It determines load capacities and deformation behaviour as well as the suitability, reliability and durability of constructions and their members. Tests are performed also on elements of connection and fastening technology and on welded joints.

Common tasks are the testing and assessment of girders for crane gantries and bridges as well as of demountable bridges, bridge decks and transitions, columns, scaffoldings, prestressing steel, steel ropes and rope connections.

Besides the determination of the load capacities and the deformations of building constructions, examinations of the environmental and climatic impacts on the load bearing behaviour and the durability of constructions, tests of the behaviour under repeated load (fatigue strength) and under high loading rates are gaining more and more significance. For all these tests the department provides regular equipment of material testing as well as with most modern computer controlled hydraulic and pneumatic facilities. Readings are gathered, stored and processed for the further analysis using updated computer technology.

Additionally to the investigations on common constructions of steel and concrete, tests and studies are also performed on:

  • Lightweight constructions
  • Composite constructions
  • Constructions of new materials (glass, ceramics)
  • New connections and joining technology (adhesives, special anchors, new welding procedures)
 Tasks / Main focus
  • Experimentally orientated research projects in all areas of the civil engineering as well as research in the area of fastening technology and welding engineering
  • Development of testing methods and assessment procedures for the suitability and optimization of components, building constructions and structural systems
  • Process engineering in the area of welding (e.g. Friction Stir Welding)

Full scale test on a steel-concrete composite girder with reduced height (slim-floor-girder)


Testing of fastening elements under tension and shear in cracked concrete

  Full scale test on a steel-concrete composite girder with reduced height (slim-floor-girder)   Testing of fastening elements under tension and shear in cracked concrete
Testing / Determining
  • Tests on standard construction members (e. g. stairs) and connections between members and its assessment with regard to reliability and durability
  • Testing laboratory of the unit Metal structures, welding technology accredited according to DIN EN 45001 by the DAP (Deutsches Akkreditierungssystem Prüfwesen GmbH / German Accreditation System for Testing) 
  • Suitability tests on special structures like vibration dampers and ceramic isolators
  • Testing and assessment of glass constructions
  • Analysis of concrete structures by determining of the reinforcement (type, size and position); crack registration and documentation; deformation measurements of metal and composite constructions
  • Assessment of fire damage on supporting construction members
  • Testing of welded specimen (NDT, strength, metallography)
  • Process analysis by means of thermal vision
Investigations / Analyses / Expertises
  • Load capacity tests and suitability tests on construction parts, connections and connection means of steel constructions, glass structures, light metal constructions, composite constructions, scaffoldings and transition joints
  • Static and dynamic tests on prestressing tendons, reinforcement connections, anchorages and adhesive bonded joints
  • Examinations and assessments of steel constructions and composites of steel constructions, concrete construction, reinforced and prestressed concrete constructions, prefabricated members of special materials, armoring, special concrete building system such as fiber concrete and ferro-cement
  • Examinations and assessments of composite and sandwich constructions for roofs, floor slabs, walls, glass constructions, noise barrier elements and facade constructions of every kind including connections and fastening means as well as membranes and pneumatic constructions
  • Judging fire losses on supporting members
  • Load-capacity tests on fastenings of every kind: metal expansion anchors, bonded anchors, concrete screws, anchor channels, headed bolts, plastic dowel, prefabricated joints, connections of and lifting anchors for precast concrete elements, etc.
  • Damage analysis for the complete area of civil engineering
  • Expert activity for supervision, courts, enterprises
  • Consulting / expertises for the optimization of production technologies, examinations for the production analysis on site as well as applications / sample welding and numeric process simulation (FEM) of joining and welding technology
  • Tests on welded samples (strength, metallography)
  • Research for determining the material scientific and procedural events during joining as well as for the development of innovative joining technologies for new materials and for the improvement of quality assurance in manufacturing
  • Approved by Couts of Justice and Public Prosecution Services: Issue of Expert Evidence

Buckling test on a high I-beam with stiffeners


EST-Duplex-Deformation-Unit before and after complete deformation and it's application on a railway engine

  Buckling test on a high I-beam with stiffeners   EST-Duplex-Deformation-Unit before and after complete deformation and it's application on a railway engine
Surveillance / Certification
  • Supervision and certification of construction products: test laboratory, inspection body and certification body, authorized by the German Institute for Civil Engineering (DIBt) to issue certificates of supervision
  • Initial testing of safety relevant constructions and connections and check of the suitability for welding and splicing
  • Examinations for general and special approvals by building authorities
  • Notified body by the building authorities to inspect the suitability of enterprises for welding steel and aluminium in civil engineering
Consulting service
  • Advice on the development of new technologies and details at special constructions
  • Basic expert advice to enterprises, associations, public administrations and private customers
  • Advice about technical application problems and other questions in connection with construction products and building constructions in civil engineering
  • Consultation of companies and organizations on obtaining general technical approvals or European Technical Approvals (ETA)
  • Consultation about the optimization of welding processes and quality assurance in manufacturing

Testing of a facade cladding made of ceramics under distributed loads


Friction Stir Welding on aluminium in process

  Testing of a facade cladding made of ceramics under distributed loads   Friction Stir Welding on aluminium in process
Cooperation in Committees
  • Participation in national and international committees of experts for the elaboration of new regulations (for example DIN, DIBt, CEN), in research unions (DVS, EFB, GFal, DVEh, FAT, FPM, FGW), in associations (SGF, DVS, IIW) and in economic organizations
  • Participation at lectures
  • Demonstration of tests
  • Courses for students
  • Supervised studies, diploma and Ph.D work
  • Industrial placement
  • Publications (e.g. in the "Otto Graf Journal"and magazine "Schweißen und Schneiden")
  • Final research reports on research projects
  • Lectures
 Special facilities
  • Hydraulic cylinders for tensile, pressure, bend and torsion forces with capacities of some N up to 15 MN
  • Universal servohydraulic devices with capacities of 25 kN up to 5000 kN for static and dynamic testing
  • Three-dimensional test equipment (tension, shear and crack-opening) for suitability tests up to 400 kN, reliability tests and seismic tests on fastenings in non-cracked and cracked concrete
  • Equipment for suitability tests (tensile tests) up to 250 kN and reliability tests on fastenings in non-cracked and cracked concrete
  • Big test hall with stationary test equipment up to 15 MN and movable frames, mountable on a strong floor of 6 x 25 m² and 6 x 10 m² for flexible tests
  • Servohydraulic cylinders with capacities of 100 kN up to 2000 kN for static and dynamic tests of every kind
  • Stationary equipment for the repeated load test on single anchors in non-cracked concrete with a possible upper load of 350 kN
  • Various electronic data aquisition systems for static and dynamic tests
  • Facilities for creep, relaxation and shock tests, usable also with climatic conditioning
  • Facilities for weathering tests
  • Facade test wall with an included measuring level for biaxial distributed load applied on facade elements
  • Facilities for the following welding procedures:
    • Friction stir welding (aluminium up to 12 mm thickness),
    • resistance press welding (point and embossed welding),
    • laser beam method (pw-Nd: YAG-Laser),
    • ultra sound welding (conventional methods for metal and synthetic welding, torsion method),
    • conventional glaze welding (MIG, MAG, WIG)
  • Thermal image camera (-25°C until to 2000°C, maximum modulating frequency: 50 Hz)
  • High speed video recordings
  • Climatic chamber for temperature and humidity (EOTA wall)
  • Equipment for determining the load carrying behaviour of scaffolding joints
  • Test equipment for the determination of the horizontal stiffness of scaffolding levels
  • Equipment with compound pendulum and tumbling load
  • Equipment for the non-destructive measurement of prestressing in glass
  • Electronic transducers for recording loads created by pneumatic pressure
  • Airbags with controlled valves for distributed fatigue loading
  • Equipment for loading with depression
Further information

 Contact person


Mrs. M. Gauder

 ++49 (0)711/685-62200

Head of Department

Mr. Dr.-Ing. D. Lotze

 ++49 (0)711 / 685-63585
 ++49 (0)711 / 685-66827

Mr. Dipl.-Ing. S. Keller

 ++49 (0)711 / 685-62206
 ++49 (0)711 / 685-66827


Metal Construction, Welding Technology

Mr. Dipl.-Ing.(FH) B. Hoffmann


 ++49 (0)711 / 685-62214

Concrete Construction, Composite Construction,
Fastening Technology

Mr. Dr.-Ing. V. Birtel


 ++49 (0)711 / 685-62203

Lightweight Construction,
Glass Construction, Facades

Mr. Dipl.-Ing. S. Keller

Mr. Dipl.-Phys. G. Krüger

 ++49 (0)711 / 685-62206

 ++49 (0)711 / 685-62202