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DIFK Deutsches Institut für Feuerfest und Keramik GmbH

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Accredited according to DIN EN ISO / IEC  17025:2018 by the DAkkS accredited testing laboratory. The accreditation applies to the test methods listed in the certificate (indicated with *).

Deutsches Institut
für Feuerfest und Keramik GmbH

Your partner for fast, confidential and precise refractory material testing and customer consulting.

  • Worldwide Leading Laboratory

    DIFK Deutsches Institut für Feuerfest und Keramik GmbH is one of the worldwide leading laboratories in the field of material testing of refractory and ceramic raw materials, products and system solutions.

  • Accredited by DAkkS

    The laboratory is accredited by the DAkkS according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025:2018. Common chemical, physical, mineralogical and high temperature measuring methods are used according to international standards and rules e.g. DIN, EN, ISO, ASTM, JIS, ABNT, API, UOP, CIR, etc.

  • 40 Years Experience

    Maximum customer orientation, promptness and reliability have characterised the working methods of DIFK GmbH for more than 40 years. The experienced and consistently trained employees work together with the best possible equipment of a modern laboratory.

  • Full Service

    Advising customers on standard testing tasks, on solving individual problems and on the selection of the most suitable testing methods are at the centre of the dialogue to maintain maximum customer satisfaction.

  • Customer Focus

    DIFK has also specialized in customised test methods, especially at temperatures > 1000 °C and advises its customers competently on all questions concerning to refractory materials, products and their applications.

DIFK Material Testing Services

To describe the material properties and to give a comprehensive understanding of the material behaviour under application conditions, the materials must be studied using appropriate methods and procedures:

Technologically most advanced equipment can be used for all measurements of refractory raw materials, refractory products and refractory linings. The DIFK portfolio includes more than 100 standardised test procedures.
The determination of all state-of-the-art physical properties at ambient temperature such as density, apparent porosity, cold crushing strength, particle size distribution, pore size distribution of shaped and unshaped refractory materials are part of DIFK wide range of services.

One of the special features of DIFK services are physical testing procedures at high temperatures. All relevant physical properties at temperatures up to 1700 °C can be determined under oxidised, reduced or protected atmospheres:

  • Refractoriness Under Load
  • Thermal Conductivity
  • Hot Compressive Strength
  • Creep in Compression
  • Thermal Shock Resistance
  • Abrasion Resistance up to 1400°C
  • Hot Modulus of Rupture
  • Simultaneous Thermal Analysis
  • Hot Stage Microscopy

The wear of refractory linings in contact to iron and steel melts as well as non-ferrous melts and their metallurgical slags can be detected and quantitatively evaluated.
The gas corrosion behaviour of refractories in carbon monoxide, hydrogen and various CO-H2 reducing atmospheres within atmosphere-controlled furnaces can be determined. For the solution of your individual tasks and challenges, we develop your individual customised test procedure.

High resolution X-Ray diffractometry (XRD) is used to evaluate your samples qualitatively or quantitatively down to the trace range. From standardized analysis methods to customerspecific requirements, we offer a flexible selection of evaluation methods.
Our standard portfolio for X-Ray diffraction analysis includes:

  • Qualitative Phase Analysis
  • Crystallite Size Estimations
  • Quantitative Phase Analysis using Rietveld Analysis and/or external/internal Standard Method
  • SWeRFcs Analysis on Silicate Materials
  • In-situ XRD at Temperatures up to 1100°C

The microscopic equipment of DIFK GmbH ranges from a simple stereo magnifier to reflected-light, transmitted-light and polarisation microscopy to state-of-the-art field emission electron microscopy (FE-SEM) with connected energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) for elemental analysis.
Our standard portfolio for microscopic analysis includes:

  • Structural Analysis
  • Wear Mechanisms
  • Material Defects
  • Customised Methods

Advanced chemistry methods such as X-Ray fluorescence (XRF), combustion analysis for carbon, sulphur and nitrogen analytics, traces analysis by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) and ion chromatography (IC) are used for qualitative and quantitative determination of elements from lithium to uranium.
The standard chemical analysis portfolio includes:

  • XRF element determination of all common ceramic and refractory materials
  • Ion chromatograph for the anion analysis of e.g. fluoride or chloride
  • IR spectrometers for sulphur and total carbon (Leco CS744 and Leco RC612) for carbon phase characterisation (inorganic/organic)
  • Methods for wet chemical evaluation including inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) spectrometer.
  • Nitrogen determination by combustion analysis using thermal conductivity (Leco TN 400) as part of the complex evaluation of nitride-bonded silicon carbide.

Refractory Partner Organisations

The German Refractory Industry Association e. V. has represented the interests of German manufacturers since 1949. As a business association, the DFFI is in dialogue with all social groups. As a link between the individual interests, the association represents the positions of the industry in public.

The Forschungsgemeinschaft Feuerfest (FGF) conducts research and development projects across a broad spectrum of areas, ranging from basic research and publicly funded cooperative research all the way to individual collaboration undertakings in the field of product and process engineering.

Thanks to the close networking relationship with the industries involved in the use of refractory materials, all research and development processes are practice- and results-oriented. A major focus of the work is on the development of high temperature materials testing methods that go far beyond the existing testing systems.

The ECREF develops education and training programmes at both basic and advanced level that are accurately tailored to the needs of the industry. The programmes, which are organised in association with the European refractory industry, come in a wide variety of events. This transfer of knowledge and know-how is key to raising the level of qualification across the industry with a long-term perspective.

The Centre organises and conducts scientific seminars, colloquia and similar events so as to enable the regular exchange of expertise with a view to promoting the development and production of new and enhanced refractory products.

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The team of DIFK GmbH employees undergoes continuous development in mandatory training measures defined by the accreditation procedure according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025:2018. These training courses cover the quality-relevant workflow and, especially, the handling of all established and lately introduced measuring methods in high temperature processes.

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Customer focus

We do not only give advice to our clients regarding the selection of appropriate measurement methods to solve their individual enquiry, but we also provide support during sample collection and specimen preparation. If necessary, we discuss the results of the completed measurements with our clients.

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Fast processing

The results and test reports are made available to the customers within the shortest possible time periods, even in the case of comprehensive analyzes. By doing so, we help our customers to fulfil their commitments in due time.

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Service portfolio

DIFK GmbH uses state-of-the-art machinery and evaluation software based on pertinent provisions and testing standards. Consequently, we provide our customers with excellent results: maximum precision and reliable reproducibility. Thanks to our testing expertise in all four disciplines we deliver optimum productivity to realise the principle "Everything from a single source - all in one".

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The reliability of DIFK GmbH is ensured by a system of independently implemented measures, such as accreditation according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025:2018, external monitoring of all calibrations and adjustment of all measuring equipment, regular participation in collaborative trials with partners throughout Europe as well as external monitoring of all safety devices in the laboratories.