The research activities of the working group Material Characterization cover subjects from the material-technical fundamentals and specific, application-oriented questions to the development of measuring techniques. Microstructure-property correlations regarding forming, crash and corrosion are determined for a multitude of steels. A current focus is the analysis of adiabatic effects with a high-speed thermocamera. High strength and high ductility sheet steels are tested with new technical procedures using modern universal testing machines. In addition to the description of material properties or the systematic development of alloy design, completely new types of steels are being developed, such as metallic foams.