Chemical Safety Engineering
Testing and Evaluation of Explosives and Pyrotechnics
The central task of the Testing and Evaluation of Explosives and Pyrotechnics division is the testing, evaluation, and expert advice regarding all aspects of use and handling of explosives, including articles containing explosives, and pyrotechnic articles subject to the German Explosives Act. In addition, the division addresses pyrotechnic ammuntion subject to the “Beschussgesetz” (German act on proofing of ammuntion) and the classification and assessment of substances and articles belonging to class 1 according to dangerous goods provisions.
This includes evaluation of explosive substances and articles from research and development, from accident investigations, from illeagal (criminal) handling of explosive substances, or such being extracted from articles meant for disposal, including those of military origin.
In this area the division is involved in research activities jointly with partners from enforcement authorities in Germany, and from national and international institutes with a similar scope of work, aiming at enhancing safety and security of explosives, articles containing explosives, and pyrotechnic articles.
The division is, by national statutory authorisations, the German competent authority for classifications (transport, storage), approvals (blasting accessories, pyrotechnic ammunition), and intra-community transfer approvals for explosives. It also has a distinguished expertise in the field of safety-related assessments of storage conditions for explosives and pyrotechnic articles.
The division is also actively contributing in the establishment of safety standards and regulations in a national and international context, and provides expert advice to local and federal ministries of the German government.
Fields of expertise
- Evaluation of hazards of packaged explosives and pyrotechnic articles (dangerous goods of class 1)
- Simulation of detonation effects inside and on different building structures including practical testing
- Legal advice in the area of application of the German Explosives Act, of the German “Beschussgesetz” (German act on proofing of ammuntion), and regulations on the transport of dangerous good
- Safety of facilities of the explosives industry and of storage sites for explosives and pyrotechnic articles
- Pyrotechnic ammunition and marine distress signals (SOLAS test institution)
- Safety- and security-related research with explosives in the field of explosives detection, characterisation of explosives and their properties regarding sensitivity and performance
- Classification of explosives and pyrotechnic articles for the transport as dangerous good of class 1, including classification for storage according to German regulations (Explosives Act)
- Approvals of intra-community transfers according to the European directive for explosives
- National approvals of blasting accessories and pyrotechnic ammunition
- Further development of standards, in particular on a national level regarding the use of blasting explosives and initiation systems in underground mining
- Contributions to the continued development of laws in respect to national explosives regulations, national and international dangerous goods regulations, and regarding substance-related evalutations (GHS, CLP, REACH, hazardous materials regulations in general)
- Assessment of explosives and pyrotechnic articles presenting a risk, including pyrotechnic ammunition, and technical support to national market surveillance authorities
- Certification of the suitability of the outer packaging of pyrotechnic articles for the display in sales rooms
- Simulation and practical tests of detonation effects
Range of services/technical equipment
- Testing of safety-related properties of explosives and pyrotechnic articles (e. g. sensitivity to mechanical stimulus, to electrostic discharge)
- Testing of packaged dangerous goods of class 1 according to the UN manual on tests and criteria (e. g. bonfire test, drop test)
- Testing of articles containing explosives in view of exclusion from dangerous goods hazard class 1
- Testing of blast-effect mitigation of construction elements and other protective devices towards detonation effects
- numerical simulation of blast effects using finite elements methods
- Testing of facility elements as found in production sites for explosives, pyrotechnic articles, and pyrotechnic ammunition by a mock-up of the conditions in a factory in down-scale or real size
- Analysis of reaction products, e. g. composition of toxic fumes from the initiation of explosives
- Testing of pyrotechnic articles and explosives accoring to European standards as support to market surveillance authorities or for safety-related evaluations
- Determination of the luminous strength and smoke density, e. g. with pyortechnic ammunition and marine distress signals
- Environmental testing of pyrotechnic articles in the field of the Marine Equipment Directive 96/98/EC
- Measurement of extremely fast processes (detonations, quick deflagrations) with substances and articles (e. g. highspeed video recording, blast pressure measurement)
- Measurement of heat radiation during the reaction of substances and articles