If laboratory tests or model calculations are not sufficient to quantify the risks of hazardous substances, large-scale tests need to be carried out on a scale of 1:1. The BAM has been operating a Test Site for Technical Safety (Testgelände Technische Sicherheit - TTS) on an area measuring 12 km2 in Horstwalde in Brandenburg for this purpose since the beginning of the 1990s. True-to-scale experiments are also necessary if, for example, the BAM carries out work in its capacity as a senior federal authority in the field of hazardous substances legislation and explosives law.
The site accommodates two fire test facilities, a designated area for the investigation of fire and explosion hazards, two bunkers with a large number of blast test facilities, such as a firewall system, sealed demolition chamber, and drop impact test facility.
The focus of the work on the test site is always the goal of improving safety for people, property and the environment. The examples below illustrate the variety of the work we do in Horstwalde:
- Tests on fireworks so as to ensure, for example, that no pieces fly off when they are lit.
- Tests on airbags and emergency signals for sea rescue so as to ensure their reliability.
- Research into safety measures for the use of alternative fuels like natural gas, for example, in road traffic.
- Tests on containers to check their strength on impact following an accident, for example, in order to prevent the escape of substances harmful to health and hazardous to the environment.
- Non-destructive tests on structures so as to ensure that they are not damaged when samples are taken.
- In the context of market approval: tests on the effectiveness of wood preservatives (protection from weather conditions and harmful organisms).