IR TOM - Testing thermal shock resistance

Refractory material is needed in all devices that handle hot materials or open flames. From a medieval clay oven to a giant steel smelting furnace, everything depends on reliable heat protection. But while a broken refractory lining of a clay oven is relatively easy and quickly to be fixed by a skilled craftsman, such malfunctions can cost vast sums of money when occurring in industrial plants.

It is hence vital for this application to characterize refractory materials in terms of their resistance against thermal shocks, which are the common reason for breakage.

Our task

  • Heating small areas of material samples very quickly in a defined atmosphere
  • Acquiring data on temperature, heat conduction and the emergence and progression of cracks
  • Repeated measurements at a time on multiple samples of the same type to obtain statistical certainty

Our solution: IR TOM

Within a chamber, floodable with different gasses, nine samples are held with a minimum of their surface being in touch with the surrounding holder. One after the other they get heated in their centre until damages of a certain extent occur. The process is observed visually, acoustically and via two pyrometers facing different areas of the sample.


  • Controllable rate of heating and cooling
  • Selectable environment
  • Complete and chronologically correct optical, acoustic and thermal recordings
  • Statistical certainty instead of one shot statements