Materials Degradation

The group's activity is focused on issues related to the assessment of changes in operational properties of construction materials resulting from the processes taking place during their operation. The area of research concerns the assessment of the rate of microstructural changes resulting from physical or chemical changes in materials caused by long-term exposure to external factors such as the environment, stress or temperature. Due to the fact that the main scope of the group's activity is cooperation with the chemical industry, including refining and petrochemical industries, research focuses on predicting the operating time of production equipment, including reactors and pipelines.

The processes of construction materials degradation in the natural environment and in conditions of operation are a basic aspect in material design. The group conducts research in the field of designing technical devices and structures through numerical modeling taking into account their service life. The team carries out a wide range of research on the properties of metallic, composite and polymer materials in the context of describing their operational degradation. The research interests of the team also include work on the selection of materials and designing structural solutions in order to give them the desired properties and functionality for specific operating conditions and to extend the service life. The conducted research includes the assessment of the impact of fatigue and thermal degradation, photodegradation and aging on the properties of materials.

Research work for industry is a special area of interest for the group. Metallic materials used in the power industry, chemical and refining industries are exposed to structural changes as a result of gas hydrogenation under the conditions of supersaturation and cyclic saturation of the material with hydrogen. Monitoring of hydrogen degradation is possible on the basis of the results of nondestructive testing carried out directly on industrial objects. Among the many research methods that can be used, special attention should be paid to such techniques as acoustic emission, ultrasonic flaw detection, eddy current and measurements of mechanical properties using portable methods. The group specializes in developing procedures for systematic nondestructive control of industrial objects exposed to hydrogen.

The research group conducts advisory, expert and training activities in the field of supervision over periodic tests, technical inspections and implementation of installations renovation. It performs  tasks related to monitoring the proper operation of technical infrastructure. It implements proprietary Operational Control Programs developed individually for each device, which allow to extend the time between repairs and forecast the service life of devices.

Research activities

  • Degradation of the microstructure of metallic materials in the context of loss of operational properties
  • Assessment of the influence of corrosion phenomena on the technical condition of engineering structures
  • Degradation of composite materials, including the impact of environmental conditions on the service life of composite structures
  • Thermal degradation and flammability of composite materials
  • Designing of devices and structures (modeling the structure taking into account the conditions of use - FEM)
  • Use of NDT techniques in testing materials and structures
  • Development and implementation of Operational Control Programs for extending the life cycle of devices and structures
  • Assessment of material properties at various levels of use

Research offer

  • Research and analysis of causes and evaluation of the mechanisms of destruction of materials.
  • Research and analysis of the surface condition of materials.
  • Technical evaluations and opinions on the causes of damage to materials and degradation of structures in industry and transport.
  • Testing on mechanical properties of materials.
  • NDT testing of metallic and composite materials.
  • Testing, qualitative and quantitative characterization of the microstructure of metallic materials and plastics.
  • Aging tests in the climatic chamber.
  • Aging tests in the UV chamber.
  • Assessment of strength properties using ABIT portable methods.
  • Determination of residual life of materials by accelerated creep tests.

Research infrastructure

Nondestructive testing (portable methods)

  • Vallen AMSY-5, AMSY-6 acoustic emission system with 191 testing channels
  • Portable Interunis Uniscope two-channel acoustic emission system
  • Ultrasonic flaw detectors: Olympus Omniscan MX2, Omniscan MX and Focus LT with Phased Array and TOFD system
  • Ultrawave LRT Guided Waves system
  • Epoch 4 ultrasonic flaw detector
  • 38DL PLUS ultrasonic thickness gauge
  • EXTENDE CIVA software for numerical simulation of ultrasonic tests
  • Nortec 600 eddy current flaw detector
  • Olympus Omniscan MX Eddy Current Defectoscope with Eddy Current Array System
  • The MultiScan MS 5800 device for tube testing using ECT, RFT, MFL and NFT techniques
  • Elcometer 456 Coating Thickness Gauge
  • VIGOcam v50 thermographic camera
  • Olympus Delta DP-2000 Portable X-ray Spectrometer
  • Portable digital hardness testers: Krautkramer MIC 10, MIC 20 and MIC 20 TIV
  • Fisher MP 30 portable ferritoscope
  • Keyence VHX-600 and UHX-100K portable microscopes
  • Silicone replica kits

Characterization of material properties

  • Non-invasive sampling device - ESTIM Small Sample Scooping Machine
  • Zwick Roell Z050 static testing machine with equipment for testing standard and reduced samples
  • Small Punch Test (SPT) stand in the temperature range -190 ÷ 23oC
  • Stand for SPT tests in creep conditions up to 600oC
  • MTS Landmark 250 kN dynamic testing machine
  • Microtest 50 kN strength test stand at elevated temperature up to 800oC
  • Microtest creep resistance test stand up to 800oC
  • ARS-680 ESPEC climatic chamber
  • Q-SUN Xe-1 chamber with xenon lamp
  • PCFC microcalorimeter

Preparation of samples and metallography

  • AccuteX AU-300iA wire cut EDM
  • Mitsubishi MV1200S wire cut EDM
  • ZEISS Axio Observer metallographic microscope
  • Nikon Epiphot 200 metallographic microscope
  • ALLIED MULTIPREP precision metallographic polisher
  • ATM SAPHIR 550 metallographic grinding and polishing machine
  • BUEHLER POLIMAT 2 electrochemical etching machine by
  • Manual ATM SAPHIR grinding and polishing machines
  • ATM OPAL 480 high-temperature mounting press for samples
  • STRUERS CitoVac press for mounting porous samples
  • Hitachi IM4000 - ion beam etching.

National collaboration

  • PKN Orlen S.A.
  • Orlen Lietuva AB
  • Basell Orlen Polyolefins Sp. z o.o.
  • Lotos Group S. A.
  • Jedlicze S.A.
  • PERN „Przyjaźń” S.A.
  • PGE S.A.
  • PGNiG S.A.
  • Gaz-System S.A.
  • GE Power S.A.
  • „ŁUCZNIK” Radom sp. z o.o.
  • Mesko S.A.
  • Danfoss Poland sp. z o.o.
  • WSK Rzeszow sp. z o.o.
  • Pratt&Whitney Rzeszów S.A.
  • Polimex-Mostostal S.A.
  • Mostostal Puławy S.A.
  • Achema AB
  • SGS Poland Sp. z o.o.
  • UDT
  • Grupa Azoty ZAK S.A.
  • ZRE Katowice S.A.


  • PBS1/B6/8/2012 - Non-invasive methods of assessing physico-chemical and mechanical degradation of composite structure elements (KOMPNDT)
  • POIG.01.03.01-14-074/12 - Monitoring of operational wear and optimization of the repair process of steam turbine rotors (POIG 1.3.1.)
  • LIDER/18/44/L-3/NCBR/2012 - Methodology for characterizing, in the actual state of degradation, the material and welded joints of pressure process pipelines for the transport of chemicals with a temperature lower than minus 100°C with the use of Acoustic Emission
  • Gekon - Energy storage in the form of hydrogen in salt caverns (HESTOR)
  • Gekon - Energy recovery from municipal waste and biomass (GECON)
  • UOD-DEM-1-217/001 - Pilot, integrated, equipment and technological system for the production of carbon black and pyrolysis oil from rubber wastes, in particular used car tires, using the method of continuous pyrolysis
  • BG1/OPTIDRILLTEC/13 - Optimization of drilling parameters, including selection of drilling technology, tools, drilling fluids and cementing of vertical and horizontal boreholes for shale gas exploitation (OPTDRILLTEC)
  • PBS3/B5/40/2015 - Development of non-destructive characterization methods for carburized layers in gears (AIRLOT)
  • BIOSTRATEG - Increasing the efficiency of wood raw material use in industrial production processes
  • POIR.01.01.01-00-0158/16 - Industrial research and development works in the field of development and production of prototypes of an optional series of innovative seats intended for equipping rail means of transport for mass passenger transport
  • POIR / 01.02.00-18-1 - Research and development of new, innovative methods of designing and manufacturing composite primary aircraft structures
  • LIDER/0018/L-7/2015 - A new, comprehensive method of assessing the technical condition of pressure equipment in installations used in the chemical and petrochemical industries, using the analysis of acoustic emission signals, the stress field of the structure and the state of material degradation.
  • POIR.01.01.01-00-0208/17 - Automatic line for checking and testing the quality of rings and rims with an intelligent system for the identification and measurement of internal defects using the PA method, measurement of shape errors using 3D measuring probes and SMART-HARD mechanical properties testing.
  • POIR.04.01.01-00-0010/18 (INGA) - Multilateral small-diameter hole degassing coal seams - MINE GAS SLIMHOLE DRILLING (MIGASLIDRILL)


Professor Andrzej Zagórski
22 234 81 36
Division of Materials Design