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Understanding the effects of explosive and ballistic events on soldiers, vehicles and infrastructure for protection solutions

Publication Date: 
Friday, December 17, 2021

Detonics Ballistics and Explosives Laboratory

Thorough knowledge of explosives is critical in developing technologies and systems to offer effective protection. The CSIR has built world-leading infrastructure and capabilities to offer explosive threat and protection research and development through its Detonics Ballistics and Explosives Laboratory (DBEL).

Contact Person

Tleyane Sono

tsono@csir.co.za

Detonics Ballistics and Explosives Laboratory

Thorough knowledge of explosives is critical in developing technologies and systems to offer effective protection. The CSIR has built world-leading infrastructure and capabilities to offer explosive threat and protection research and development through its Detonics Ballistics and Explosives Laboratory (DBEL).

This unique facility located at Paardefontein, just outside of Pretoria, undertakes research into the effects of ballistic and explosive events on soldiers, vehicles and infrastructure. It forms part of the CSIR’s commitment to support national safety and security through collaborations with the country’s security services and related industries.

The CSIR is licensed to handle the testing of explosive events of up to 50 kg net explosive content, where researchers can reproduce, characterise and demonstrate the effects of landmines and improvised explosive devices (IED). The laboratory has capabilities to evaluate explosive events for underwater, confined and congested environments, as well as ballistic testing of small arms of up to 50 calibre. Other capabilities at the facility include the evaluation of detection solutions at a dedicated landmine detection area.

The facility also has capabilities for evaluating vehicle protection solutions and their implication to occupants, resulting from an explosion of a landmine or IED. It is the only national facility for the validation and certification of armoured protection vehicles against landmines and IEDs in accordance with national and international standards.

Dr Tleyane Sono, landward sciences impact area manager, highlights the importance of the facility to industry, saying, “This facility is supported by qualified researchers with years of experience in the fields of detonics, explosives and ballistics. They pride themselves in collaborating with public, private and international organisations toward product development and innovation.”

DBEL is accessible to higher education institutions, as well as the public and private sectors, to conduct research and development involving explosives within the safety limits of operating licences and the supervision of the appointed explosives management team.

 

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