Research > Program No. 4: Material Research

Program No. 4: Material Research

The program is aimed at building a unique workplace to support research in the area of structure and substructure of materials with regard to their degradation changes during exploitation in demanding conditions, particularly due to high temperature, static and cyclic stress, and corrosion-aggressive environments. Activity in the workplace will be mainly linked to the TEO and SSD programs in the area of inactive testing of materials for high temperatures in the applications for GIV and fusion. The results are expected to be also directly applicable in the existing energy industry.


Objectives of the MAT Program

Objective 1
Support of development in the area of ferritic and martensitic steels with application potential in environments with temperatures to 650 °C (materials for steam turbine components with ultrasupercritical steam parameters and for inactive circuits of GIV nuclear reactors).

Objective 2
Support of development in the area of austenitic steel- and high austenitic alloy-based materials for manufacturing of NPP components resistant at high temperatures and pressures in aggressive environments.

Objective 3
Documentation on the impact of degradation mechanisms on properties of the materials of construction designed for components of higher generation nuclear reactors (GIII+, GIV), both in active and in inactive parts.

Objective 4
Development of new technologies for fusion welding of advanced materials for conventional and nuclear energy.



The results will be used by prime manufacturers of perspective primary and secondary circuit components for generation III and IV nuclear power plants. Specifically, these are companies dealing with manufacturing of equipment for nuclear power plants, steam turbine manufacturers and manufacturers in the area of metallurgy, whose production in the next few years will be primarily oriented to the manufacture of massive casting and forging for nuclear energy. Another group of users will include university and research institutions and international special associations (e.g. EERA) to address national and international projects.

The results of research activities will be commercially handed over to:

  • Designers and operators of current and future nuclear installations, and where appropriate, the results will be published in magazines or presented at scientific conferences,
  • Assembly departments of organizations constructing and operating nuclear installations, and where appropriate, the results will be published in magazines or presented at scientific conferences.


Device summary

Laboratories of material research CV Řež Ltd. in Pilsen are situated in 2 floor building with area about 1400 m2. The building is equipped with air-conditioning for operating chemical laboratories, with system for disposal of chemical waste, with planned experimental infrastructure:

Laboratories of the Limit States:

  • Servo-hydraulic machines for high cycle and low cycle fatigue testing, crack propagation monitoring, providing block tests with harmonic loading and changing mean value
    • Inova ±400 kN/±2 kNm for combined loading tensile-compression/torque, temperature up to 800°C
    • Inova ±100 kN for uniaxial loading at temperature up to 1000°C
    • Inova – workplace with two servo-cylinders with capacity 10 and 60 kN on T-groove fitting desk
  • Servoelectric machines for fracture toughness testing, corrosion cracking, accelerated creep testing, combined creep-fatigue in heavy liquid metals environment, slow strain rate test in heavy liquid metals environment
  • Universal electromechanical tensile testing machine with non-contact strain measurement, load capacity ±250 kN, for tensile, compression, 3-point bend tests, high temperatures up 1100°C
  • Electromagnetic resonance machine for high cycle fatigue testing, crack initiation and monitoring of crack propagation
    • RUMUL – Testronic ±250 kN, high temperatures +200 to +900°C
  • Electrodynamic testing machine for small specimens testing and for high cycle and low cycle fatigue tests
    • Instron – Electropuls E10000, combined loading tensile-compression/torque.
      – The dynamic axial loading force of ± 10 kN, static bias ± 7 kN, with torsional moment ± 100 Nm.
      – Frequency range for dynamic tests 0.1-100 Hz.
      – Up to 8 measuring amplifier for supplying force and torque sensors, displacement and angle sensors and deformation sensors.
      – Environmental test chamber at a temperature in the range -150 to 350 ° C
      – High frequency induction heating samples up to 5 mm and 800 ° C on the sample surface.
      – Accessories with a CCD camera to determine the brittle fracture properties using small samples.
  • Instrumented impact pendulum (450 J/150 J) for Charpy impact test on V- and U-notched specimens at temperatures -180 to +300 °C, for dynamic tensile test, for dynamic fracture toughness test
  • Hardness testing machine for measurement according to Vickers’, Brinell’s, Rockwell’s and Knoop’s method, with possibility of measuring series and recording load-indentation depth
    • InnovaTech – Nemesis 9000, load 10 to 2500 N

and other equipment for instrumentation of mechanical testing in corrosion environment (furnaces, extensometers, potentiostats, tensometers, non-contact device for 3D deformation analysis …)

Chemical laboratories

  • Combustion analyser of sulphur and carbon content in metal materials,
  • Extraction analyser of hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen content in metal materials,
  • Glow discharge optical emission spectrometer for analysis of conductive and non-conductive solid specimens with possibility of quantitative depth profiling.
    • HORIBA GD-Profiler 2
  • Potentiostats for electrochemical corrosion experiments, possibility for running DC and AC techniques, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and electrochemical noise measurements.

Materialgraphic laboratories:

  • Fully motorized inverted metallographic microscope with Nomarski DIC
    – image analyzer to evaluate the proportion of phases, grain size, inclusions, thin films, …
  • Stereo microscope with color camera connected to an image analyzer
  • Preparation of metallographic samples (metallurgical saws, automatic grinder-polisher and metallographic Press)
  • Profilometer on the principle of the contactless measurement of three-dimensional surface using a monochromatic laser and optical lenses with an accuracy in the vertical direction and 10 nm and in a horizontal direction to 0.03 micron
    – Measurement of surface topography, depth profiles, surface roughness, …
  • Automatic micro hardness tester
    – Fully automated measurement of hardness (load selection, penetration, sharpening and evaluation of hardness)
    – Measurement of hardness with a load of 10 to 10,000 g
    – Software for measuring hardenability thin layers, welds, …
  • Analytical scanning electron microscope (FEGSEM) with EDX detectors, and EBSD.
    – Scanning electron microscope with a field emission cathode FEG
    – Maximum dimensions of the sample start-ups directly into the working chamber 120x100x50 mm
    – Impact energy 0.2 – 30 keV
    – Resolution in SE at an acceleration voltage of 30 kV ≤ 1.2 nm
    – Chemical analysis by EDX detector
    – Crystallographic analysis by EBSD detector test device for the mechanical and thermal loading of the samples “in-situ” → possibility of observation of structural and topographical changes in real time, max. Load force 2000 N, max. Temperature maintenance of the sample to 600 ° C
    – Analysis of conductive and non-conductive samples
    – Software for the analysis of thin films, chemical composition, crystallography, measurement of lengths, angles, …


Inverted metallographic microscope
Inverted metallographic microscope


Steel 15230 after 2 hours normalization annealing at the temperature 880 ° C, ferritic - pearlitic structure
Steel 15230 after 2 hours normalization annealing at the temperature 880 ° C, ferritic – pearlitic structure


Measurement of depth profiles Measurement of depth profiles
Measurement of depth profiles


Profilometer Profilometer


Scanning electron microscope
Scanning electron microscope


The stand for the mechanical and thermal loading of the samples
The stand for the mechanical and thermal loading of the samples


Fracture of cemented carbide with nanocomposite layer (SEM)
Fracture of cemented carbide with nanocomposite layer (SEM)


Head of the Department