Between Carbon and Sulphur

Between Carbon and Sulphur

Take a look into the metallic materials laboratory in Vrchlabí where experts test manufactured components every day. The tests they perform are important in approving components for serial production. See the instruments they use in this laboratory – in addition to microscopes, they also have, for example, a saw.

2. 1. 2018 Škoda World Innovation & technology

Metallic materials laboratory

The following tests are made here: measuring surface and core hardness, quenching depth, verifying chemical composition.



The tested quenched components are first sectioned using a metallographic saw, which cuts samples to the required size and prepares them for subsequent polishing.


Encasing press

The cut component is inserted into a special instrument where it is put into a mould and encased under pressure in plastic, thereby producing a small “puck”.



Using special diamond grinding and polishing discs, the sample “puck” is burnished to a mirror sheen, beginning with the coarsest polishing material and ending with the softest.


Microhardness meter

The prepared sample’s surface and core hardness and quenching depth are measured while piercing with a defined pressure. All of this is performed in a fully automated mode with 2D or 3D model output.


Metallographic microscope

This captures a sample image with magnification up to 1000× so that the laboratory can evaluate the structure of the tested material.



Samples can be stored in this glazed box for extended time periods. Conditions in the desiccator maintain stable temperature and humidity and protect the tested samples from corrosion and other damage.


Combustion analyser

Within a small cup inside the combustion analyser, a one-gram sample is burned along with tungsten. The content of carbon and sulphur in the given sample is determined from the resulting flue gas. The percentage representation of the elements within the metals indicates the degree of their quenching.