ZVS Testing Department increasingly focusing on research and development

The Testing Department of ZVS holding, a.s. is not just an ordinary testing workplace. It has been increasingly involved in research and development activities, participating in various projects addressed within the MSM GROUP. Following the last year’s construction of the Explosives Stability Laboratory, which was equipped with modern instruments expanding the field of explosives testing, the development of this department continues this year.

During the first week of September, we applied for a non-refundable financial contribution from EU funds under the INTERREG SK-CZ call aimed at Intensifying the use of applied research results, in particular by small and medium enterprises. This is a project aimed at the development of new pyrotechnic compositions that comply with the current legislation in the field of handling chemical substances (REACH) and impacts on the living and working environment. In addition to the development itself, the project also addresses the modification of the composition production technology and upgrading the Testing Department’s equipment. This upgrade specifically includes a differential thermal analyzer (to determine thermal properties, purity of substances and degradation of materials), a device for measuring sensitivity of explosives, the analyzer for determining luminance and burning time of tracers, and also special software able to simulate (based on the composition of a given explosive) the behaviour and degradation products and calculate the explosion parameters. The decision on our application should be made by the end of 2019; the start of the project is planned for January 2020. It is expected to last for 24 months. The project was prepared in cooperation with cross-border partners in the Czech Republic – STC Brno and the University of Pardubice. By preparing the project, we managed to expand our activities with the Institute of Energy Materials at the University of Pardubice in the field of trials and testing of explosives, by creating researches and publications.

We also initiated cooperation with another university – the Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica. In addition to exchanging latest publications and information in the field of chemistry of explosives and explosive substances, the students of the Forensic and Criminalistic Chemistry study course took a field trip to ZVS holding along with their teachers. This partnership provides future opportunities in the field of proposed diploma theses and preparation of joint research projects as ZVS holding is a holder of the Applied Research and Development Certificate issued by the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic.

The project that is soon to be completed is the proposed composition and manufacturing technology of pyrotechnic compositions used in fire extinguishers, implemented for a foreign customer. The final tests are under preparation to confirm the properties of the prepared semi-operational test series. In case of positive results, the portfolio of products manufactured in ZVS holding will be extended to include fire extinguisher generators.

Another field of development focuses on surface protection. In addition to the Surface Protection Solutions for Metallic Materials study course, which has been accredited by the Ministry of Education, we are to acquire a corrosion chamber in the near future where it will be possible to simulate various environments and predict durability of surface protection systems. The testing taking place in the already used climate chambers will be supplemented and extended. We will be able to conduct a majority of surface protection tests internally. Presently, we are focusing on formulating the composition and testing new coating systems based on polyurethane coatings that are able to resist decontamination agents, among others. Following the successful completion of all required tests, it will be possible to classify this coating system as a special coating system that ZVS holding is able to offer its customers.