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.

black and white picture of Adolf Martens

© BAM

Innovation hydrogen

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.

Airship 1894

© ullstein bild – Haeckel Archiv

He recorded his observations in meticulous drawings. He constructed new test machines, standardised procedures and networked the institute internationally.

Adolf Martens' drawings

© BAM

Material testing

With his "Handbuch der Materialkunde" (1899), he founded materials testing in Germany together with Emil Heyn.