Search standard for testing available at SKZ


Durable – reliable – safe
Everyday life without plastic products is impossible. Therefore it's important that they fulfill their tasks as good as perspected. We are happy to perform the necessary quality assurance tests for this purpose.

Test methods

Tested safety
Safety and outstanding quality are good sales arguments for your products. In our accredited test laboratory, we test and certify a wide range of different plastic products using numerous test methods.

Product certification

Confidence bonus for certified products
Test seals increase confidence in a product and the associated tests for quality assurance. Our accredited test laboratory will also test and certify your products.

Sponsors and Partner
Test methods
Product certification
Damage analysis
SKZ Whitepaper
Circular Economy
Enabler projects
Quality policy
Certification procedure
Our Mission


In plastics testing, microscopy plays a decisive role in the analysis and evaluation of material properties, as in most cases these are significantly influenced by the microstructure and surface structure. A wide variety of microscopic techniques are available in our laboratories, which can provide a wide range of information about a component, e.g. processing quality, ageing condition or degree of damage, as well as possible weak points or causes of damage.

Martina Schubert
Project Manager | Special Services and Expert Reports
Ulli Eisenhut
Group Manager | Special Services and Expert Reports

Further details on this test method

Sample preparation

In our test laboratory, different methods are used to prepare samples for microscopy.

  • Direct sampling from test specimens, components or granulates
  • Production of thin sections using microtomy
  • Production of microsections by embedding, grinding and polishing
  • Preparation of cryogenic fractures
  • Production of cross-sections, e.g. for foil samples
  • Incineration for filler analysis  
Lighting, contrast and detection

Types of lighting

  • Incident light
  • Transmitted light
  • Sidelight
  • Segmentable ring light

Contrasting types

  • Bright field
  • Dark field
  • Polarization
  • Polarization with retardation plates

Detection types in scanning electron microscopy (SEM)

  • Secondary electron detector (SE) for topography contrast
  • Backscatter electron detector (BSE) for material contrast
  • InLens detector for low-voltage operation
  • VPSE detector for low-vacuum investigations
  • EDX detector for elemental analysis
Technical test equipment
  • Stereomicroscope: 5x to 63x magnification
  • Classic light microscopes: 25x to 1,000x magnification
  • Digital light microscopes: 20x to 1,000x magnification, motorized specimen stage, 3D display and automatic image stitching possible
  • High-resolution field emission scanning electron microscope (FE-REM): up to 900,000x magnification, resolution < 5 nm, coupled with EDX detector for element analysis
  • FTIR microscope
Typical applications of microscopy
  • Surface characterization
    Surface analyses are particularly relevant when it comes to characterizing functional materials or high-quality visible parts, which are used in medical technology or the automotive industry, for example. 
  • Microstructure analysis 
    The microscopic examination of microstructures and/or filler size distributions is used for almost all types of plastic and enables the establishment of structure-property relationships. 
  • Stress optics 
    By using polarization filters, stress-optical examinations can be carried out which allow comparative statements to be made about the internal stress state of transparent plastic components. 
  • Failure analysis
    In the event of material failure or damage to plastic components, microscopy can be used to analyze fracture surfaces, cracks and damaged areas in order to determine possible causes of damage or identify weak points. This is crucial in order to develop suitable solutions and avoid future failures.

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SKZ · German Plastics Center
Friedrich-Bergius-Ring 22
97076 Würzburg

Telefon: +49 931 4104-0

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Training Center
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European Center for Dispersion Technologies (EZD)
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Via Buonarotti 175
20900 Monza, Italy

Telefon: +39 039 281561

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Plastics Bavaria Equipment & Systems srl
Str. Iancu Jianu, nr. 26
500178 Braşov, Romania

Telefon: +40 268 412 559
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SKZ – Testing GmbH
Friedrich-Bergius-Ring 22
97076 Würzburg

Tel. +49 931 4104-0

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