Laboratories and instruments

Consult the list of equipment available at Certimac to perform analyzes, tests, experimental measurements, numerical modeling and calculation algorithms

Certimac and its scientific partners - ENEA and CNR - provide companies and researchers with large and integrated equipped laboratories, tools, equipment and latest generation software for analysis and tests on traditional and advanced materials and for the improvement of energy efficiency on buildings, plants and processes.

Laboratory Analysis and Tests

Certimac offers laboratory analyzes, advanced solutions and services for the development, testing and fine-tuning of innovative and sustainable materials. Find out below the tools and equipment we use to carry out our activities.

Thermal analysis

Certimac's laboratory dedicated to thermal and thermo-hygrometric analyses is equipped with a unique set of state-of-the-art instruments in Italy. A specialized team of engineers oversees the entire testing process, including result analysis and reporting at every stage. Thanks to the available instruments in the laboratory, it is possible to measure the thermal properties of materials in a temperature range from -90 °C to +1600 °C.
HFM - Heat Flow Meter with guard ring
LFA – Laser Flash Analysis for the determination of thermal diffusivity
DSC – Differential Scanning Calorimetry for the measurement of specific heat
Heating Microscope
Dilatometric Thermal Analyzer up to 1600 °C
Simultaneous Thermal Analyzer TG-DTA up to 1500 °C
2D and 3D numerical modeling systems with finite element method (FEM) calculation methodology and simulation tools operating in thermo-hygrometric context (WUFI PLUS) and at the building-system level (Edilclima software compliant with EN 52016-1)
Infrared Thermographic Camera for non-destructive diagnostics of buildings and industrial processes with a temperature range from -20 °C to +350 °C
Thermozig Plus construction heat flow meter for measuring the thermal transmittance of existing masonry structures

Emission analysis

Certimac’s Laboratory for the analysis of emissions, safety and healthiness of materials has advanced instrumentation to identify and quantify substances released into the atmosphere and water from different types of materials in the specific contexts of use and in compliance with the required standards.

An endowment of state-of-the-art VOC extraction chambers and related equipment (thermal desorber, gas chromatograph, mass spectrometer, High Performance Liquid Chromatography-HPLC-, ...) for their identification and quantification, as well as a team of experienced engineers and technicians who follow at every stage the conduct of the tests, the processing of the results and the reporting.

Certimac helps manufacturers comply with all the requirements of both mandatory regulations in individual countries, including CAM Edilizia Italia, and voluntary labels, such as LEED, in terms of material emissions.

These chambers are designed for extracting Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) from materials and products in various industrial sectors (e.g., construction products, finishes, furnishings, etc.) in accordance with standards such as UNI EN ISO 16000-9, EN 717-1, EN 16516, UNI EN ISO 12219-4, and others.

Samples of materials to be tested are placed inside the test chambers under controlled humidity and temperature conditions for the durations specified by the standards. Representative air samples, containing the organic substances released by the materials, are then extracted for subsequent analysis using specific techniques.

Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS)

Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, abbreviated as GC-MS, is an analytical technique based on the use of a gas chromatograph coupled with a mass spectrometer.

This technique is one of the most advanced analytical methods and allows for the identification and quantification of organic substances in a variety of even complex matrices.

The concept of coupling arises from the fact that these two techniques perform complementary analytical functions:
> The gas chromatograph enables the separation of complex mixtures present in the sample,
> The mass spectrometer acts as a detector, allowing for the characterization and quantification of compounds.

The use of a mass spectrometer as a detector for gas chromatography offers numerous advantages:
- It is extremely specific in selecting ions for quantification.
- It is one of the most sensitive detectors overall.
- It is highly versatile.

Implementing GC and MS techniques requires adapting the characteristics of chromatographic and spectrometric instrumentation to achieve a sufficient level of compatibility.

Firstly, the chromatographic column operates under pressure, while the mass spectrometer operates under high vacuum. Additionally, the flow of chromatographic columns, especially packed ones, is crucial and not negligible, particularly in the context of liquid chromatography.

Another extremely important aspect arises from the need to scan very quickly: analytes must be detected as soon as they exit the column, or there is a risk of nullifying the separation. Furthermore, any column purging can create many issues.

The block diagram of the instrument
A schematic representation of a modern GC/MS includes: a chromatograph, a mass spectrometer, and a data collection and analysis system (Data System) that constitutes the system for the analysis and separation (qualitative and quantitative) of complex mixtures.

The chromatograph consists of an injector (auto-sampler), a system for controlling the column temperature, and a transfer line that allows the column effluent to enter the mass spectrometer.

The mass spectrometer consists of an ionization chamber (ion source), a mass analyzer (quadrupole analyzer), and an ion detector; all maintained under high vacuum by diffusion pumps supported by molecular pumps.

The sample to be analyzed is subjected to the flow of a transport gas (usually inert) and introduced into a chromatographic column. Within the column, substances capable of separating the various components of the gaseous mixture are present. At the column's exit, one or more detectors signal the arrival of different components to a processing and analysis system. The final product is a gas chromatogram in which the analyzed mixture is broken down into its various components.

The principle underlying mass spectrometry is the ability to separate a mixture of ions based on their mass-to-charge ratio, generally through static or oscillating magnetic fields. This mixture is obtained by ionizing the molecules of the sample, mainly by having them pass through a beam of electrons with known energy. The ionized molecules are unstable and fragment into lighter ions according to typical patterns based on their chemical structure.

The diagram that shows the abundance of each ion as a function of the mass-to-charge ratio is the so-called mass spectrum, typical of each compound as it is directly correlated to its chemical structure and the ionization conditions to which it has been subjected.


High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), also known as high-pressure liquid chromatography, is a type of liquid chromatography that allows the separation of two or more compounds in a solvent by exploiting the affinity equilibrium between a "stationary phase" inside the chromatographic column and a "mobile phase" flowing through it.

The main advantages of this technique include the reduced size of the column, which prevents problems such as longitudinal deviations (movements of the mobile phase along the column) and alternative paths. Additionally, it offers a constant and adjustable elution rate (passage of the mobile phase through the column), reduced execution time, and requires small amounts of the compound for analysis (typically in the range of 5-10 micrograms of the sample dissolved in a specific solvent). All these factors contribute to greater accuracy and precision in the analysis.


The sample to be analyzed is injected at the beginning of the chromatographic column, where it is "pushed" through the stationary phase by the mobile phase, applying pressures on the order of hundreds of atmospheres. To achieve high efficiency in separation, it is necessary for the particle sizes of the packing material to be very small (typically having diameters ranging from 3 to 10 µm). For this reason, it is essential to apply high pressure to maintain a reasonable flow rate of the eluent and, consequently, an adequate analysis time.

At the end of the column, a detector and a computer are applied, allowing continuous recording of the effluent from the column. This enables the quantification and/or identification of the injected substances through a specific chromatogram.


Microstructural, morphological and chemical-physical characterization

Certimac's Chemical-Physical Testing Laboratory specializes in the comprehensive characterization of materials, both inorganic and organic, in various states such as liquid, solid, and powdery, ranging from visible to nanometric scales. The laboratory's expertise spans across diverse fields, including construction and building, cultural heritage, waste and circular economy, and the automotive and aerospace sectors. Equipped with cutting-edge instrumentation and a highly skilled team of engineers, the laboratory serves as a qualified reference point for the certification and optimization of materials and products.
Optical and stereoscopic microscopes with reflected, transmitted and polarized light *
Scanning electron microscope in partial vacuum (SEM-VP), with energy dispersion microanalyzer (EDS) *
Fluorescence microscope*
X-ray Diffractometers with a hot stage for high temperatures*
Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer*
Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometer (ICP-AES)*
Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (ED-XRF)*
Sedimentographs for determining powder granulometry*
Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry (pore sizes: 0.05 – 100 µm)*
Helium Pycnometer for determining the density of solid bodies*
Specific surface area meter, BET method (single-point)*
Tensiometer and surface energy meter*
Optical metallography microscopes (1000x) and stereoscopic microscopes*
Coulter laser granulometer (3 nm - 10 µm)*
Rotational viscometer with a cooling bath*
Spectrofluorimeter, spectrophotometer with integrating sphere for CIELAB measurement*
Flashpoint tester*
* instruments accessible through technical-scientific partners

Characterization of mechanical and tribological properties

Certimac performs mechanical tests on multiple types of materials with a specific focus on the construction sector, but with measurements and tests for all industrial sectors (mechanics, automotive, process, etc.). All the characterizations can be developed at varying temperatures (-60 ÷ 350 ° C or 20 ÷ 800 ° C) and following accelerated aging cycles to verify the decay of performance in operation: freeze / thaw, salt spray, radiation UV, storm cycles, exposure to humidity, immersion in de-icing salts, immersion in an alkaline environment, immersion in ocean water, heat-rain, etc.
Universal machines for static and cyclic mechanical tests up to 1500 ° C
Apparatus for evaluating fracture toughness
Instrumentation for the measurement of the dynamic Young's modulus by means of the resonance method (Grindosonic)
Durometers and micro-durometers for Vickers and Rockwell hardness tests.
Electro-hydraulic machine (maximum load 50 kN) for mechanical tests at ambient T and temperatures up to 1500 ° C
Electro-hydraulic machine (maximum load 70 kN) for mechanical tests at ambient T and temperatures up to 1500 ° C
Electro-hydraulic machine (maximum load 500 kN) for mechanical tests at ambient T and temperatures up to 1000 ° C
Charpy pendulum for resilience
10 machines for creep tests in traction on metals up to 1000 ° C
3 machines for creep tests in bending on ceramics and refractories up to 1500 ° C
20 machines for creep tests in compression on insulating materials
Abrasion tester for wear resistance tests on tiles and stone
Non-destructive analyzes using ultrasound techniques
2 Slip meters for determining the static and dynamic friction coefficients of flooring
Universal machine for compression testing on materials (maximum load 5000 kN)
Single-axis screw machine for static mechanical tests (maximum load 150 kN)
Universal machine for mechanical tests (with 2.5 and 200 kN load cells)

Rheology and study of dispersed systems

Certimac analyzes the rheological behavior of a wide range of fluid systems, especially those involved in the ceramic process, such as slips for casting, screen printing inks, glazes, mixtures for atomization.
Torsion rheometer
Electro-acoustic spectroscope

Environmental durability simulations

Certimac deals with the durability tests of materials subjected to external climatic stresses: the resistance to freezing and thawing.
2 Votsch climatic chambers for simulating environmental freeze / thaw cycles (extreme temperatures - 40 ° C and + 80 ° C)
Test chamber with UV radiation
Salt spray for dry corrosion test (in the temperature ranges: 25 - 60 ° C, humidity: 50 - 98% rh)
Stability test2 (in the temperature ranges: 0 - 70 ° C, humidity: 10 - 80% rh, CO2: 0 - 20%)
Climatic chamber with temperature and humidity control (in the range -25; +60 ° C and 20- 95% rh).
Chambers for immersion in de-icing salts, saline, alkaline environments, ocean water, basic water, chlorinated water, etc.
Stoves and muffles up to 1800 ° C for heat treatments aimed at conditioning, maturation and aging of materials.


Certimac deals with the formulation and preparation of mixtures and conglomerates - both cementitious and based on traditional binders - for curing and all tests relating to characterization both in the fresh and hardened state.
Curing chamber at controlled temperature and humidity
Stainless steel molds for mortar and concrete
Cubes and cylinders for concrete
Mixers compliant with EN 196-1
Table and vibrating table for compacting concrete and mortar
Needle vibrators
Attrezzatura per prove di lavorabilità sul calcestruzzo fresco
Vicat needle
Set for contrasted dilation test
Vibrosetacer size analysis

Energy diagnosis of buildings, monitoring of consumption and environmental healthiness

The Energy division of Certimac supports companies and public administrations with solutions and services for energy efficiency, energy management and energy certification. 

From energy diagnosis, to energy consumption monitoring, from the identification of inefficiencies to the careful planning of energy efficiency interventions, Certimac uses a set of state-of-the-art software and tools.

Energy and plant design software

Certimac technicians use innovative software for evaluating the performance of buildings and their components in static and dynamic conditions, for the design of energy efficiency interventions and renewable source systems.
EdilClima for the calculation of the performance and energy certification of buildings and the thermo-technical-plant design
WUFI Plus for the analysis of the thermo hygrometric behavior of buildings and its components

In situ monitoring and data acquisition

The energy performance of buildings and systems is determined also thanks to one or more in situ surveys by Certimac technicians.
FLIR T420bx for in situ thermographic analysis
Thermozig Plus site heat flow meter for in situ calculation of the thermal transmittance of opaque vertical walls and building
Network analyzer and energy consumption for measuring electrical parameters and consumption of electricity of a user

Tell us about your idea

We can help you develop it at all stages:
Research, development, fine-tuning, industrialization and verification. We can also help you identify the best opportunities for financing it.

Contact our Innovation Division now.
Fill in the form with your data.

We get back to you as soon as possible.


Follow us on

Copyright © Certimac soc.cons. a r.l.    -   P.IVA 02200460398