Main focus of our services

a) Material characterisation

With our qualified personnel and accredited laboratories, we are able to perform extensive analysis of numerous substances for you, including the chemical and mineralogical composition of cements and the raw materials and constituents of these, as well as of other binders, right down to trace level.
You can rely on the experience we have gained from performing more than 50,000 analyses per year on the following for example:

  • Cements and constituents such as clinker, limestone, blast furnace slag, trass, fly ash, burnt shale and clay, silica fume; sulphate agents, e.g. gypsum, anhydrite; raw meal; kiln dust
  • Mineral raw materials, e.g. clays, marl
  • Lime and lime products
  • Admixtures and additives for concrete and mortar, pigments
  • Fossil and alternative fuels
  • Aqueous solutions, e.g. eluates of concretes and mortars
Physical analyses



Bulk density

EN 459-2

Water demand

EN 196-3
or Punkte method

Water retention

EN 413-2

Penetrometer measurements, penetration

EN 413-2, DIN 4211

Flow diameter

DIN 1164 or ASTM C 185

Standard consistency

EN 413-2, EN 459-2,
or ASTM C 185

Air content of fresh mortar

EN 459-2

Setting time

EN 196-3 or EN 480-2


EN 196-3, DIN 1164,
or ASTM C151

Flexural and compressive strength

EN 196-1

Determination of zeta potential

Electroacoustic measurement method

Thermal analysis

DSC up to 600 °C,
TG/DTA (STA) up to 1500 °C

Determination of net and gross calorific value

Combustion calorimetry

Heat of hydration

EN 196-11

Sulphate resistance

SVA, Wittekindt,
CEN method

Alkali-silica reaction (ASR)

Accelerated mortar bar test (DAfStb, RILEM AAR-2)

Chemical analyses



Standard analyses of cement, clinker and other cement constituents, e.g. CO2 content, ignition loss, insoluble residue, sulphide, chloride, alkalis (sodium oxide (Na2O), potassium oxide (K2O))

DIN EN 196-2

X-ray fluorescence analysis (CaO, SiO2, Al2O3, Fe2O3, MgO, K2O, Na2O, SO3, Mn2O3, TiO2, P2O5, S2-, Cl)

Pressed or fused tablet
DIN EN 196-2

Alkalis in concrete admixtures

DIN EN 480-12

Chlorid in concrete admixtures

DIN EN 480-10

Ion chromatography

DIN EN ISO 10304-1,
DIN EN ISO 14911

Metals, metalloids (trace analysis), possibly including microwave assisted digestion(As, Ag, Al, B, Ba, Be, Ca, Cd, Cr, Co, Cu, Fe, Hg, K, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Ni, P, Pb, Rb, Sb, Se, Si, Sn, Sr, Te, Ti, Tl, V, W, Zn (further elements on request)

DIN EN ISO 17294-2,
DIN EN ISO 12846-2,
DIN EN 13565,
DIN EN 13657,
DIN EN 15587-2,
DIN EN 15411,
DIN 22022-1,
DIN EN 14385,
DIN EN 13211,
EPA 7473, EPA 30b, EPA 12b

Elementary analysis (H, C, N, O, S)

DIN 51721, DIN 51732,
ISO 13878, ISO 20884
DIN EN 15104
DIN EN ISO 16948
DIN EN 15407

TOC and TC

DIN EN 13639

Water-soluble chromate

DIN EN 196-10
or TRGS 613

Fluoride, bromine, sulphite


Aluminium, iron, silicon


Reactive SiO2

DIN EN 450 / EN 197-1

Reactive CaO

DIN EN 450 / EN 197-1

Free lime

DIN EN 451

Determination of pozzolanicity

DIN EN 196-5

Determination of cement main constituents

CEN / TR 196-4

Fuels - Ash

DIN 51719, DIN EN 15403

Fuels - Volatile constituents

DIN 51720, DIN EN 15402

Fuels - Alkalis, halogens, sulphur, nitrate

DIN EN 14582,
DIN EN 15408

Fuels - Total carbon

DIN EN 13639

Fuels - Biogenic component

EN 15440

Fuels - Water

Karl Fischer, ISO 12937

Fuels - Moisture

DIN EN 15414-3, DIN 51718

Fuels - Calorific value

DIN 51900, DIN EN 14918

Analysis of outgassing of volatile components from solids
(VOC, CO, NOx, SO2)


Organic components

GC-MS or IR spectroscopy

BTEX analysis

VDI 2100, sheet 2



Leaching test

DAfStb directive,
DIN CEN/TS 16637-2, DEV-S4 / DIN EN 12457-4

Mineralogical analyses


Methylene blue method

Slag content from counting

Light-optical photomicrograph of thin sections and ground sections

Clinker microscopy

Petrography of aggregates

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and microanalysis (EDX)

Qualitative and quantitative X-ray diffraction / X-ray diffractometry (XRD), Rietveld refinement

b) Consultation and product optimisation

We would also be pleased to advise you on all aspects of product and process optimisation. Our many years of expertise, our wide range of services and our extensive equipment ideally complement one another. We will work out suitable practical solutions for you in the following areas for example:

Product and process optimisation

Characterisation of Portland cement clinkers (influence of firing and cooling conditions as well as of alternative raw materials and fuels)

Causes of incrustation build-up in cement and lime kilns

Sulphate optimisation of cements (setting behaviour / strengths / interaction with admixtures)

Effectiveness of chromate reducers

Characterisation of new binders

Performance of individual cement constituents

Hydration behaviour of cementitious binders

Action of concrete admixtures

Hygienic properties of cement-bound building materials (e.g. in the drinking water sector)

Approval inspection to obtain national technical approval as SR cement

c)  Damage analysis and expert reports

Our experienced interdisciplinary team of scientists, made up of chemists, mineralogists, geologists, physicists and engineers, can advise you on the clarification of damage, for instance in the case of crack formation or surface discoloration on structures and building components made of mortar and concrete. We can assist you with determination of the causes of damage and produce expert reports.

A whole range of high-performance processes is available for the analysis of damaged samples:

Damage analysis and expert reports

Qualitative and quantitative X-ray phase determination

Structural analysis on thin sections employing light microscopy

Structural analysis employing scanning electron microscopy

Phase determination employing thermal analysis

Determination of concrete composition

d)  Laboratory reviews, round robin tests and comparison trials

Laboratory reviews, round robin tests and comparison trials permit the customised identification and economic assessment of optimisation potential for analytical methods and laboratory procedures (from sampling right through to results reporting). Depending on the objective, this involves the planning, preparation and implementation of tailor-made reviews (on-site inspection, analyses of data), round robin tests or comparison trials. In particular you can benefit from our many years of international experience in the fields of physical, chemical and mineralogical analysis.

Our reviews provide you with an independent and reliable assessment of the quality of your analyses and existing potential, as well as specific proposals for improvements.

e) Concrete constituents

1) Cement

see above

2) Aggregates

Our accredited testing laboratories, as well as those of our associates, establish the chemical, mechanical and physical properties of aggregates in line with the applicable standards and regulations. We examine the thermal properties of your material and analyse its weathering properties, for example. In addition, we conduct extensive tests on the alkali reactivity (alkali-silica reaction) of aggregates.

Sampling and petrography




DIN EN 932-1

Reducing laboratory samples

DIN EN 932-2

Procedure and terminology for simplified petrographic description

DIN EN 932-3

Geometrical properties



Particle size distribution - sieving method

DIN EN 933-1

Particle shape - flakiness index

DIN EN 933-3

Particle shape - shape index

DIN EN 933-4

Percentage of crushed and broken surfaces in coarse aggregate particles

DIN EN 933-5

Surface characteristics - flow coefficient of aggregates

DIN EN 933-6

Shell content - percentage of shells in coarse aggregates

DIN EN 933-7

Assessment of fines:
- Sand equivalent test
- Methylene blue test
- Particle size distribution of filler aggregates (air jet sieving)

DIN EN 933-8
DIN EN 933-9
DIN EN 933-10

Classification test for the constituents of coarse recycled aggregate

DIN EN 933-11

Mechanical and physical properties



Resistance to wear (micro-Deval)

DIN EN 1097-1

Resistance to fragmentation (Los Angeles test)

DIN EN 1097-2

Loose bulk density and voids

DIN EN 1097-3

Voids of dry compacted filler

DIN EN 1097-4

Water content by drying in a ventilated oven

DIN EN 1097-5

Particle density and water absorption

DIN EN 1097-6

Particle density of filler - Pyknometer method

DIN EN 1097-7

Polished stone value (PSV)

DIN EN 1097-8

Water suction height

DIN EN 1097-10

Wehner-Schulze method


Thaulow- method - Bulk density of aggregates with dense microstructure

Thermal properties and weathering properties



Resistance to freezing and thawing

DIN EN 1367-1

Magnesium sulphate test

DIN EN 1367-2

Boiling test for "Sonnenbrand basalt"

DIN EN 1367-3

Resistance to thermal shock

DIN EN 1367-5

Resistance to freezing and thawing in the presence of salt (NaCl)

DIN EN 1367-6

Chemical properties



Water-soluble chlorides using the Volhard method (reference method)

DIN EN 1744-1, Section 7

Water-soluble sulphates

DIN EN 1744-1, Section 10

Total sulphur content

DIN EN 1744-1, Section 11

Acid-soluble sulphates

DIN EN 1744-1, Section 12

Acid-soluble sulphides

DIN EN 1744-1, Section 13

Possible presence of humus

DIN EN 1744 1,
Section 15.1

Water solubility

DIN EN 1744-1, Section 16

Ignition loss

DIN EN 1744-1, Section 17

Preparation of eluates by leaching of aggregates

DIN EN 1744-3

Acid-soluble chlorides

DIN EN 1744-5

Influence of recycled aggregate extract on the initial setting time of cement

DIN EN 1744-6

Alkali reactivity (alkali-silica reaction)



Petrographic test



Alkali guidelines of the DAfStb

Percentage of opal sandstone including siliceous chalk

Flint bulk density

Percentage of reactive flint

Accelerated mortar bar test

Alkali guidelines of the DAfStb, TP B-StB 1.1.11

Accelerated mortar bar test

TP B-StB 1.1.12

Concrete test with fog chamber storage (40 °C)

Alkali guidelines of the DAfStb

60 °C concrete test

Alkali guidelines of the DAfStb or RILEM AAR-4.1

WS aggregate testing

ARS no. 04/2013,
V2 method

3) Concrete admixtures

Concrete admixtures are substances added to the concrete in small quantities in relation to the cement content during mixing to alter the properties of the fresh or hardened concrete. These include superplasticisers and plasticisers, air entraining agents, retarders and accelerators, waterproofing compounds and stabilisers, for example. The substances are characterised in accordance with the standards listed in the following table. Special testing services are given by way of example.



Suitability testing for concrete admixtures

DIN EN 480, DIN EN 934

Electrochemical corrosion test

DIN EN 480‑14

Suitability testing of grout for pre-stressing tendons

DIN EN 934-4, DIN EN 445

VDZ can also offer assistance with the approval and certification of corresponding products.

4) Additions

Additions are finely distributed substances added to the concrete to enhance certain properties. Additions are classified as virtually inactive substances (type I, e.g. stone dusts) and pozzolanic or latently hydraulic substances (type II, e.g. fly ash or blast furnace slag).
The substances are characterised in accordance with the standards listed in the following table.



Testing of fly ash

DIN EN 450-1

Testing of silica fume

DIN EN 13263-1

Testing of ground granulated blast furnace slag

DIN EN 15167-1

VDZ can also offer assistance with the approval and certification of corresponding products.

5) Steel fibres

Steel fibres are straight or formed fibres which can be homogeneously introduced into the concrete and enhance certain properties, for instance tensile strength and flexural strength.
The following tests can be performed at the VDZ laboratories:



Tensile strength of steel fibres

DIN EN ISO 6892-1

Flexural strength of steel fibre concrete beams to determine performance classes

DAfStb directive "Steel fibre concrete"

Flexural strength of steel fibre concrete beams

DIN EN 14651

6) Pigments

Pigments are substances used to colour building materials on the basis of cement and cement/lime mixtures.
The substances are characterised in accordance with the standard given in the following table.



Testing of pigments

DIN EN 12878

f)  Fresh and hardened concrete including durability

Our concrete laboratory, accredited in accordance with ISO 17025, is provided with extensive technical equipment for the performance of all important tests on fresh concrete and hardened concrete as well as mortar in accordance with the standard series DIN EN 12350 and DIN EN 12390. Concrete compositions can be optimised and special testing procedures developed on customer request.

Testing of fresh concrete and fresh mortar




DIN EN 12350-1

Consistency - slump test

DIN EN 12350-2

Consistency - Vebe time

DIN EN 12350-3

Consistency - degree of compactability

DIN EN 12350-4

Consistency - flow table test

DIN EN 12350-5

Fresh concrete density

DIN EN 12350-6

Air content using pressure method

DIN EN 12350-7

Consistency of fresh mortar (flow table/Hägermann table)

DIN EN 1015-3

Water content using kiln drying method

DIN 1048-1

Rheological analyses:
- Dynamic viscosity
- Yield value
- Saturation point
- Production of flow curves


Determination of zeta potential

Electroacoustic measurement method

Expansion and Bleeding of Freshly Mixed Grouts for Preplaced-Aggregate Concrete in the Laboratory


Flow Table for Use in Tests of Hydraulic Cement


Flow of Hydraulic Cement Mortar

ASTM C1437,
implementation standard for ASTM C230

Time of Setting of Hydraulic Cement by Vicat Needle


Testing of hardened concrete and hardened mortar



Making and curing specimens

DIN EN 12390-2

Compressive strength

DIN EN 12390-3

Flexural strength

DIN EN 12390-5

Tensile splitting strength

DIN EN 12390-6

Density of hardened concrete

DIN EN 12390-7

Depth of penetration of water under pressure

DIN EN 12390-8

Surface tensile strength, adhesive strength, tensile adhesion strength

DIN 1048-2; ZTV-ING;
DAfStb repair directive: Part 3, Annex C

Modulus of elasticity

DIN 1048-5; EN 12390-13

Dynamic modulus of elasticity

Grindosonic method

Moisture content and dry-bulk density

DIN 1048-5

Flexural strength of steel fibre concrete beams to determine performance classes

DAfStb directive "Steel fibre concrete"

Flexural strength of steel fibre concrete beams

DIN EN 14651

Taking of drill cores and examination for compressive strength

DIN EN 12504-1

Non-destructive testing of compressive strength (rebound number)

DIN EN 12504-2

Composition of hardened concrete

DIN 52170

Examination of pore structure employing mercury intrusion porosimetry and water absorption

DIN 60133, in accordance with DAfStb, no. 422

Crack recording, use of gypsum marks


Forcing-out of pore solution and chemical analysis


Non-destructive determination of concrete cover


Static Modulus of Elasticity and Poisson’s Ratio of Concrete in Compression


Creep of Concrete in Compression

ASTM C512,
with cooperation of third parties

Examination of pore structure and development of heat of hydration



Determination of air void characteristics in hardened concrete

DIN EN 480-11
DAfStb, no. 422

Water absorption at atmospheric pressure / at 15 MPa

DAfStb, no. 422

Capillary water absorption

DAfStb, no. 422
DIN EN 480-5

Pore content and pore distribution in concrete, mortar and hardened cement paste employing mercury intrusion porosimetry

DIN 66133

Measurement of permeability to gas

DAfStb, no. 422
RILEM TC 116-PCD, Part B

Determination of heat of hydration of cement

DIN EN 196-9

Heat of hydration and compressive strength development of concrete

Thermos flask test

C-value determination for cement

DAfStb, no. 422

Examination of shrinkage of concrete and mortar



Autogenous shrinkage

Shrinkage cone method
Shrinkage ring method
Corrugated tube method

Drying shrinkage

ISO 1920-8
DAfStb, no. 422

Shrinkage ring method
DIN 52450
DIN EN 12617

Restraint stress as a result of shrinkage

Shrinkage ring method

Shrinkage cracking tendency

VDZ method

Length Change of Hardened Hydraulic-Cement Mortar and Concrete

ASTM C157 / C157M

Use of Apparatus for the Determination of Length Change of Hardened Cement Paste, Mortar, and Concrete

ASTM C490 / C490M,
implementation standard for ASTM C157 / C157M and others

Determining Age at Cracking and Induced Tensile Stress Characteristics of Mortar and Concrete under Restrained Shrinkage

ASTM C1581

Autogenous Strain of Cement Paste and Mortar

ASTM C1698

The durability of concrete has always been a principal aspect of the analyses performed at the VDZ laboratory. The focal points of the studies include:

  • Resistance to carbonation
  • Resistance to chloride penetration
  • Freeze-thaw resistance and freeze-thaw resistance with de-icing salt
  • Abrasion resistance
  • Sulphate resistance
  • Alkali-silica reaction
Durability analyses



Freeze-thaw test and freeze-thaw test with de-icing salt

- CIF/CDF Test
- Slab test
- Cube test
- Beam test

DIN CEN/TS 12390-9,
DIN CEN/TR 15177,

BAW Code of Practice "Freeze-thaw test"

Chloride migration coefficient

BAW Code of Practice "Resistance to chloride penetration",
NT Build 492, 
EN 12390-18

Chloride diffusion coefficient (profile grinding)

DIN SPEC 1176, EN 12390-11

Carbonation depth

DAfStb no. 422, EN 12390-10,
EN 12390-12, EN 13295

Characteristics based on degree of hydration for prediction of concrete durability

VDZ method

Wear test using grinding wheel according to Böhme

DIN 52108
DIN EN 13892-3

Testing of mortars and concretes for resistance to sulphate and sea water attack

Civieltechnisch Centrum Uitvoering Research en Regelgeving Aanbeveling 48 (CUR 48), SIA 262, Annex D

Penetration resistance of concrete to water-polluting substances (FD and FDE concrete)

DAfStb-Rili BUmwS

Electrical Indication of Concrete’s Ability to Resist Chloride Ion Penetration

ASTM C1202

ASR resistance (ASR performance test) and residual expansion potential



60 °C concrete test with alkali supply

TP B-StB 1.1.09 RILEM AAR-12

60 °C concrete test (without alkali supply)

NF P 18-454 RILEM AAR-11

38 °C concrete test


60 °C concrete test on two drill core halves (with or without alkali supply)


40 °C fog chamber storage of drill cores


Our methods

a) Process optimisation

  • Technical analysis of the clinker burning process/the entire rotary kiln plant
  • Weak point analysis
  • Chemical and physical analysis of all materials, checking and optimisation of clinker and cement quality
  • Optimisation of kiln plant operation
  • Diagnosis and consultation in the event of incrustation build-up

b) Optimisation of product quality

  • Chemical/mineralogical recording and assessment
  • In-depth study of the influence of burning and cooling conditions as well as of raw materials and fuels on product properties

c) Enhancement of energy efficiency

  • Determination and analysis of energy demand taking into account plant-specific production processes
  • Production of complete and sequential energy balances, benchmarking with respect to the VDZ database and BAT values
  • Identification and quantification of savings potential
  • Consideration of CO2 abatement measures
  • Determination of potential for cost savings

d) Measurements in high-temperature processes

  • Measurement of gas composition, dust content and temperatures in the range up to 2000 °C and dust content up to 500 g/Nm³
  • Sampling of solids and liquids

e) Alternative fuels and alternative raw materials

  • Conducting of combustion-technology studies on the use of alternative fuels and raw materials
  • Effects and material cycles (sulphur, chlorine, alkalis)
  • Analysis of alternative fuels
  • Thermographic flame investigation using a mobile thermographic system
  • Production of proposals for optimisation of the burner setting and the use of alternatives

f) Process technology modelling

  • Simulation studies with practice-oriented process model
  • Assessment and design of plant conversions
  • Assessment of planned operational activities before implementation
  • Determination of data not measured (e.g. kiln profiles with regard to temperatures, gas composition, chemical/mineralogical material transformation etc.)
  • Effect of operational changes and process-modifications on clinker quality

Your benefits

  • Sustained optimisation of the production process
  • Maintenance and enhancement of cost-effectiveness and competitiveness
  • Consultation taking account of the latest developments
  • Internationally experienced plant specialists to diagnose weak points and develop solutions
  • Specific energy efficiency analyses for the identification of potential opportunities for savings in the production process
  • Benchmarking of data gathered by comparison with the VDZ database and BAT (best available techniques)
  • Accredited and quality-assured measurement procedures
  • Results are presented in comprehensible form in a report
  • Integrated study of kiln operation, product quality and environmental performance taking into account economic aspects
  • Incorporation of the latest findings from research and technology
  • Simulation studies with practice-oriented process model
  • The VDZ process model can be used as a substitute for tests on the kiln system which could result in damage

Weitere Dienstleistungen, die für Sie interessant sein könnten.

Environmental analysis

The VDZ laboratories are equipped with high-performance analytical devices for the examination of environmental sam-ples (solids or solutions) to establish the amount of environ-mentally relevant components or the release of environmentally relevant substances. We analyse samples from our own projects with regard to environmental relevance and also offer the same service for samples from external customers.

To the service

Damage analysis

Do you have a problem with a damaged concrete structure? We will analyse the damage and assess the actual state of your structure. On the basis of the results obtained we can plan the protection and maintenance work required for your structure.

To the service

Reference materials

We can supply you with a variety of reference materials for use in the laboratory to help you check and assure the quality of your analyses. Materials for the analysis of cements and alternative fuels are currently available. We can provide a standard ASR test cement for checking the alkali reactivity of aggregates.

To the service

Laboratory reviews and laboratory training

A plant laboratory has to perform analyses which are both precise and efficient to be able to guarantee a consistently high level of quality in production. With their experience of research and practical work, our experts can carry out regular checking of your laboratory procedures and test methods as a means of identifying further potential for optimisation.

To the service

Performance of cement

We can offer you various comprehensive services for the purpose of optimising the performance of cement. In doing so we provide you with full support throughout the entire process. Our interdisciplinary teams of experts have many years of experience gained from customer projects around the world and also further their knowledge by working on practical research projects.

More information

Concrete technology

Our experienced team of experts provides answers to all questions relating to the production and processing of concrete. We can offer the full spectrum of important testing and consultation services, together with complex expert reports, ranging from structure management and material and durability tests right through to sustainability assessments and approval inspections.

More information

Person to contact

Do you have questions regarding this service?

Dr Christoph Müller
Concrete technology

+49-211-45 78-351

Thank you for your interest in our publication: