Materials, failure and foreign particle analysis

Do you have a product or installation that fails during use? Do materials degrade faster than they should? Do you have a product with contamination that shouldn't be there? TNO helps producers and users to rapidly get to grips with these type of problems. We provide support in the form of microscopic and materials research, with the aim of preventing similar problems in the future.

At TNO we work in close coordination and cooperation with our customers.
We can carry out a range of studies for you, including:

  • Identification of failure mechanisms and the underlying causes of damage.
  • Determination of  the mechanism and underlying root cause of environmentally related degradation processes such as contamination, corrosion, fouling, leakages or wear.
  • Identification of contamination, dust, and foreign particles found during production and in environmental compartments such as water, air and soil.
  • Identifation of production and/or usage defects. This relates to all manner of production faults, such as: impurities in PET bottles, crystal formation in concrete, glass particles in products, deposits in pipes, corroded metals.
  • Advice on product repair, process optimization and materials selection, with a view to preventing future damage .
  • Providing second opinions and consultancy services relating to materials.

Microscopy and Materials

The experts of the Environmental Modeling Sensing and Analysis  (EMSA) team specialize in studying unknown substances and small particles in difficult matrices and low product concentrations. Our Microscopy and Materials specialists have extensive knowledge of a range of materials:

  • traditional materials (metals, plastics, ceramics, glass),
  • natural materials (wood, paper, plant materials),
  • emerging new materials (nanomaterials, hybrid materials).

Our experts have extensive knowledge of materials processes and risk assessments of harmful emissions into the environment. TNO has state-of-the-art equipment which, combined with the right experts to operate it and interpret the results, enables us to work on complex issues. Where appropriate we work with experts in other specialist areas within TNO.

Materials Assessments

With the knowledge and techniques it has at its disposal, TNO can also perform other relevant studies, such as:

  • Materials characterization: investigating whether the composition of a product or material is what it should be, chemically as well as microscopically.
  • Particle analysis: analyzing the composition of a product or material, with emphasis on microscopy and electron microscopy. We can see small particles in solids or liquids, and distinguish and isolate them, enabling us to determine which substances a product contains.
  • Fibre analysis: TNO is a national and international expert in the field of asbestos and mineral fibres.

Microscopy for biological applications: analysis of biological samples using electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis (EDX) combined with microscopy (including fluorescence microscopy and Fourier Transform Infrared Microscopy).

Environmental modelling, sensing & analysis

Thérèse Maarschalkerweerd BSc


Thérèse Maarschalkerweerd BSc

  • Failure analysis
  • Environmental forensics
  • Particle size distribution
  • Particle analysis
  • Fibre analysis

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