Large-Scale Test Site

Large-Scale Testing

DEKRA maintains extensive standard laboratory and large-scale testing facilities for hazard analysis support. Any solid, liquid, or gas can be tested for initiation sensitivity, speed of propagation, and explosiveness. Our recently acquired energetic materials, products, and systems test facility is located in a one-time gravel quarry some 90 miles from Chicago, Illinois and about 5 miles from the nearest town. The 100 plus acre test site is staffed by personnel with extensive experience in energetic materials and systems testing and analysis.

Technical Articles/Downloads

Process Areas

Several buildings house processing equipment for remotely formulating, mixing, screening, pressing, and melt casting of energetic materials. These facilities are used to evaluate the safety hazards and performance characteristics of in-process and finally-configured energetic materials. The equipment consists of the following items:

  • Vee blender to mix powders up to 150 lb size
  • Grinders up to 30 lb. per hour
  • Melt casting kettles up to 400 lb. capacity
  • Powder air and hydraulic presses up to 75-ton force
  • 300-foot long 6-inch diameter pneumatic conveying system

Testing Areas

A number of testing areas for the safety evaluation of energetic materials are available on the site. These include the following types of test areas:

  • 400 ft. ballistic range
  • Firing bunker up to 5 lb
  • 10 ft. diameter 10 ft deep under water tank
  • Open air blast test (TNT Equivalence) site up to 30 lb. size
  • Fast cook-off test facility up to 450 lb
  • Underground propagation test area
  • Self-Acceleration Decomposition Test Facility
  • 12-meter drop tower
  • Slow cook-off test area

Typical Activities at the Test Site

The following activities are well suited to the test site operations:

  • Chemical process reactor safety testing
  • Pilot plant safety and performance validation
  • Liquid and slurry growth to explosion in process
  • Bullet impact ignition potential of chemicals
  • Flame and explosion propagation in energetic materials and systems
  • Blast output of chemicals and energetic materials
  • Proof testing of gun systems
  • Formulation of new energetic materials
  • Large scale burn and fire tests on materials
  • Explosives, propellants, and pyrotechnics safety and performance testing
  • Large scale dust explosion testing
  • Self-accelerating decomposition test (SADT) facility