Improving safety for tomorrow's society
A modern, readily available and technically safe infrastructure of industrial installations, structures, supply systems and transport routes is crucial to the German economy. Technological progress, changing mobility and aging infrastructure systems are posing an increasing challenge. In the focus area infrastructure, we investigate the technical reliability and long-term safety of such systems.
Our activities within this focus area include safety of structures, safety of industrial facilities and traffic structures, transport and storage of dangerous substances and goods, fire science, security.
The following sites feature a few selected stories about our activities in infrastructure.
Safety of Structures
The safety of structures field encompasses the development, investigation, and assessment of innovative construction materials and methods with regard to their safety and durability in all areas of high-rise and engineering structures. Our work is currently focussed on transport structures, bridges, industrial facilities, and structures for energy production.
Safety of Industrial Facilities and Traffic Structures
Explosions, fires, or other unplanned events that could affect the safety of industrial facilities are another focus of our work. We consider and assess different scenarios, for example the spread of dangerous substances, or the demands on safety-related components of industrial facilities. To do this, we are also developing sensor technology for monitoring conditions and testing methods, in particular for non-destructive testing, and we are researching safety-related preventive measures.
Transport and Storage of Dangerous Substances and Goods
We are investigating and assessing containers for the transport and storage of dangerous substances and goods. This includes, for example, chemical containers, casks, IBCs (Intermediate Bulk Containers), pressurised gas canisters as well as tankers and storage tanks. We are researching safety-related questions, such as construction characteristics, material suitability, and damage mechanisms. We use this research to derive measures for transporting and storing dangerous substances and goods. In addition, we develop suitable methods and testing processes and grant approvals.
Fire protection in industrial facilities and when transporting dangerous goods, and the flame-retardant qualities of new materials and systems, are key components in ensuring not only safety in Germany, but also its competitiveness as a technology hub. In the area of fire science, we are researching, exploring and assessing the scientific and technical interrelationships of fires. As part of this, we are examining ignition processes and the causes of fires, the development of fires, duration of fires and the fire behaviour of substances, materials and components.
Within the security area, we are working on developing technical concepts for maintaining public security and minimising risks. Our focus here is on radiation technologies using X-rays, gamma rays and terahertz rays, which are used in public security, for example for freight and baggage screening. Furthermore, we are developing sensor technology for the early detection of explosive materials and toxic substances.