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[en] Highlights: • Mechanical deformation of CuCrZr in case a thermal barrier layer has been formed due to impurity content in the cooling water. • Crack formation at the W/Cu interface starting at the block edge. • Porosity formation in the pure Cu interlayer. • Microstructural changes in tungsten down to the W/Cu interface, which indicates also high temperatures for the pure Cu interlayer. • Macrocrack formation in tungsten which is assumed to be ductile at the initiation point and brittle when proceeding toward the cooling tube. - Abstract: High heat flux tested small-scale tungsten monoblock mock-ups (5000 cycles at 10 MW/m"2 and up to 1000 cycles at 20 MW/m"2) manufactured by Plansee and Ansaldo were characterized by metallographic means. Therein, the macrocrack formation and propagation in tungsten, its recrystallization behavior and the surface response to different heat load facilities were investigated. Furthermore, debonding at the W/Cu interface, void formation in the soft copper interlayer and microcrack formation at the inner surface of the CuCrZr cooling tube were found.