Testing of Collective Protection
FOCP Certification Office
The Certification Office of the FOCP is responsible for the quality management of NBC protection components subject to compulsory testing and is part of the Collective Protection Branch in the NBC-Protection Division. Its tasks comprise:
- regulation of technical and administrative standards for the certification of components subject to compulsory testing and the enforcement of certification requirements
- the compilation of the necessary directives and technical requirement profiles as well as the regulation of conceptual requirements
- registration and treatment of requests from the private sector for new certifications, their extension or augmentation
- defining the amount of testing required and the issue of test assignments to the inspecting authorities
- managing the daily updated civil protection components database CCDB, that contains all tested components with their certification numbers
- deciding on whether a certification is to be granted or refused, or whether certification is to be extended or augmented after all test results have been submitted.
The FOCP Certification Office is also responsible for monitoring certified components and arranges product audits, issues test assignments and checks compliance with quality requirements (Q-plans). Currently, about 250 components from 70 suppliers have been certified by the FOCP.
Certification Authority for NBC protection components
The Certification Authority for NBC protection components is responsible for the issue of LS conformity certificates (LS-CC). It gives the STS 0022, STS 0036 and STS 0055 testing laboratories of Spiez Laboratory (Certification Authority) testing assignments for components according to foreign and/or special requirements. If the tests are successful, the Certification Authority attests the conformity of a component or production series with the relevant requirements. Despite the fact that the Certification Authority is not accredited, the LS CCs are recognised both nationally and internationally due to the reputation of the LS. The conformity of the product is not monitored for the duration of the LS CC. The client is responsible for ensuring the conformity of serial productions.
Testing laboratory for NBC protection material, shelter equipment and shelter installations STS 0055
For shelter equipment and installations the requirements regarding functionality and reliability are very demanding. They have to ensure the protective function for any possible NBC event. The component specific requirements are defined in the corresponding technical specifications and standards. The Swiss Testing Laboratory STS 055 is accredited according to the ISO/EN 17025 standard and operates all the necessary test procedures and test facilities for an independent examination of the appropriate requirements. Positive test results serve as a basis for a possible approval from the Certification Office of the Federal Office for Civil Protection; Infrastructure. An overview of all test procedures of the STS 055 may be found in the STS register.
Our most important tests
- Shock safety tests on mounting parts for use in protective structures, and concrete anchor systems using vertical and horizontal shock test machines.
- Measurement of the test bank stimulation and test item response by means of piezoelectric acceleration transducers.
- Shock pressure loading of protective shelter components and explosion protection valves using simulators (shock tubes) and conventional explosives.
- Measurement of the pressure-time responses using piezo electrical pressure transducers.
- Measurement of the flow resistance of air conduction components using ventilators, flowmeters and precision differential pressure gauges.
- Determining the flow rate and power consumption of ventilators, ventilation and after-treatment apparatus using flowmeters and precision differential pressure gauges.
- Measurement of acoustic emissions.
- Testing the functioning and mechanical load tolerance of such equipment.
Shelter filters are tested in the accredited STS 022 testing laboratory.
Ground shock tests
Shelter equipment may be severely damaged by ground shock loadings due to explosions or other events. It is therefore necessary to design and protect such equipment against shock effects and to prove the effectiveness of the shock mitigation measures experimentally on shock testing machines. Our three shock testing machines (SPM, HOSPA, VESPA) operated by SPIEZ LABORATORY allow simulation of a wide range of acceleration-time-histories in the range of 50 to 200 m/s² with test objects up to ten tons. Concrete anchor bolts used as shock-safe fastenings for equipment must be capable of transferring transient forces into cracked concrete without being pulled out. To evaluate suitable anchor systems, we perform shock tests with anchors set in wide cracks.
Air blast tests
In Switzerland both civilian and military protective structures must provide protection against air blast loading due to nuclear and conventional explosions. Therefore, explosion protection valves, door closures, filters, but also entire ventilation systems are tested in air blast simulators (shock tube) over a wide range of pressures. For this purpose, we operate two shock tubes generating air blasts with reflected overpressures from 0.2 bar up to 80 bar. Pressure-time profiles can be generated for both nuclear and conventional explosions.
Research shock tube: The maximum diameter of an object to be tested using the research shock tube is approx. 0.25 m.
TPS shock tube: The maximum diameter of an object to be tested using the research shock tube is approx. 0.5 m.
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