Material Testing Lab

From Emissions in the Interior to Chemical Resistance

Materials in the interior of cars have to comply with legislation and meet specific requirements. Emissions from these materials have a direct impact on the nose, eyes and well-being of the driver and passengers. Our specialist material testers, engineers and scientists test and evaluate emissions from plastics and other surfaces in accordance with all the current regulations to determine their suitability for use in specific areas. They also run combined material and component tests.

Our material test lab is based at four networked locations in Germany: Tappenbeck, Ehningen, Cologne and Mönsheim. Here we have access to the comprehensive Bertrandt testing infrastructure and separate lab facilities for special requirements. As well as our readily available testing capacity, our customers also value our advice on material properties and test processes. Our main focus is on the automotive industry, but we also work with other mobility sectors, such as aviation and rail.

Testing for interior emissions in vehicles

The key test criteria for the outgasing behavior of plastics include legal thresholds, odor expectations that may vary from country to country and each manufacturer’s specific requirements. Our test lab investigates and validates plastic emissions in appropriate testing facilities and with the help of pollutant analyses, such as fogging and formaldehyde tests. For odor tests, we use our panel of highly trained odor experts. 
This allows us to test both material samples and entire component parts for their emission behavior. The material testing includes all common plastics, but also leather types which emit differently and therefore require different test criteria, e.g. for odor testing. Since in the interior of vehicles the emissions of all components as a whole play a role, we also offer measurements of the gases in the entire vehicle for all vehicle classes. We apply both German DIN standards, for example DIN 75201B, and industry-specific standards, including VDA 278 and VDA 275.

Individual advice and process support

The team at the material test lab has close links with associated Bertrand departments, such as Testing, Design and Development, and brings together component, tool and system skills. This enables us to provide a complete solution for almost any problem from under one roof. We also evaluate individual issues on the basis of DIN standards or the customer’s testing regulations, for example in the form of preliminary investigations of materials or test components.

We can provide expert advice and process support for suppliers which are working for the first time with a specific car manufacturer on the basis of our in-depth understanding of the manufacturer’s standards and testing processes.

The entire bandwidth of surface tests

Trim parts and surfaces in vehicles are constantly exposed to significant stresses and must be correspondingly resilient. We subject materials to all types of tests from combustion behavior (for example DIN 75200) and temperature resistance to mechanical and chemical testing (for example scratch tests, tensile tests, chemical resistance, UV aging) and the assessment of antistatic properties. We can also bring in testing expertise from elsewhere in the organization (for example environmental simulation).

Helping to develop tomorrow’s testing requirements

Because of our lab and materials experience, our familiarity with our customers’ businesses and our comprehensive parts expertise, we are able to work with customers to develop new standards and testing requirements and to run the resulting tests in-house. One example is new types of vehicle use, such as carsharing, which involves different stresses being put on the vehicle interior and surfaces. We can act as a testing partner and work with the manufacturer to develop new material concepts and test standards on the basis of existing quality requirements.

Important features in brief

  • Special component test chamber for interior emission measurements/evaluations of individual parts.
  • Complete vehicle emissions test chamber that complies with legal standards (e.g. MOLIT 2019-144)
  • HPLC – High-performance liquid chromatography
  • GC-MS – Gas chromatography – mass spectrometry
  • GC-FID – Gas chromatography with a flame ionization detector
  • Fogging test device
  • Crockmeter
  • Scratch test device
  • Test cylinders
  • Accredited for selected tests (ISO 17025, ISO 9001)
  • Certification for interior emissions for various manufacturers, for example VW 50180
  • Regular qualification using round robin tests
  • Implementation of DIN standards, such as DIN 75201B,
    and industry standards, such as VDA 278 and VDA 275

Your Contact

Karl-Heinz Weinberger

Vice President Operations – eMobility Testing Solutions