Pioneer in materials research
Adolf Martens, head of the "Mechanisch-Technische Versuchsanstalt" since 1884, studies the fracture surfaces of cast iron with a metal microscope.
After 70 gas cylinders filled with hydrogen belonging to the ‘Royal Prussian Airship Company’ exploded on the Tempelhof Field in 1894, the government commissioned Martens to investigate the burst containers.
He recorded his observations in meticulous drawings. He constructed new test machines, standardised procedures and networked the institute internationally.
With his "Handbuch der Materialkunde" (1899), he founded materials testing in Germany together with Emil Heyn.