SMS Testing Assets

Safety Management Services, Inc. has significant resources to accomplish DOT/DOD testing for Class 1 (explosive), Class 4 (Flammable Solids), and Class 5 (Oxidizing Agents and Organic Peroxides). We list below some of the testing assets available to our clients. SMS also uses these assets to complete In-Process testing.

Liberty Data Acquisition System


SMS’s rugged data acquisition system (HBM Liberty DAQ System) can be used to fulfill TB 700-2 DoD Hazards Classification or MIL-STD-398 Operational Shield testing requirements. The system can be configured for stand-alone operation or for real-time monitoring, control, and analysis via remote laptop. SMS can transport this system to the client’s facility, along with dynamic sensors to measure blast overpressure, noise, and temperature. Below is an example plot of the overpressure for an event.

The system can be powered by either 90 – 260 VAC or 12 – 35 VDC (supplied by line or generator), and is equipped with an internal battery backup (2 – 20 hours, depending upon configuration). Real-time monitoring is accomplished via a laptop computer (controller) and a TCP/IP network connection; SMS can provide network routers and associated wiring for remote monitoring up to 660 feet from the controller or wireless monitoring for longer distances (requires line of sight between wireless transceivers). The system can be started manually or off a trigger (switch closure or signal threshold) with pre- and post-trigger actions. The system is equipped with 8 GB of onboard high-speed memory, enabling acquisition of tests lasting miliseconds or hours.

Our data acquisition system can be used to collect data from various sensors (each shielded cable directly grounded to earth to reduce signal noise) that may be mounted to a fixed stand, threaded into a test port, or secured to one of our tripods (to simulate the position of personnel). The sensitivity of each sensor can be directly input into the data acquisition system, enabling on-screen meters to display each sensor’s real-time value. Sensors frequently supplied by SMS for TB 700-2 or MIL-STD-398 tests include:

  • Blast overpressure: ICP piezoelectric blast pressure pencil probes and mountable sensors (NPT thread) with a ±5 Volt output over a range of 0 – 50 psig or 0 – 500 psig.
  • Noise: ICP piezoelectric microphones with a ±2.5 Volt output over an SPL range of 190 dB (8.3 psig).
  • Heat Flux: Water-cooled Schmidt-Boelter gauges with a 0 – 10 mV output over 0.5 BTU/(ft²·sec) [5.7 kW/m²].

Fisher-Johns Auto-Ignition (FJAI)

We use high-precision and high-sensitivity heat flux gauges to monitor the heat-flux at a distance away from the event (fire or other). Heat flux is a function of the temperature between two items and the media separating them. If the sensor heats up, the heat flux changes.
We use water-cooled Schmidt-Boelter gauges with a 0 – 10 mV output over 0.5 BTU/(ft²·sec) [5.7 kW/m²] to limit the heating of the heat-flux sensor. An example plot of heat flux at various distances is above.

Pin Switches

Super Large Scale Gap Test
Pin switches are used to measure detonation velocities. In addition, super-large-scale gap testing can be completed and instrumented to evaluate the sample’s shock sensitivity level. The pin switches are used in conjunction with the below oscilloscope for data collection. Below is an image showing an instrumented super-large-scale gap test with the pin switches inserted down the length of the article.


SMS uses a Tektronix Oscilloscope to capture very high frequency events such as those logged by pin switches.  The oscilloscope can also be used for lower frequency events when for example we’re monitoring electrostatic charge buildup during processing or other specific event.  The oscilloscope has 4-channels where each channel can capture at a maximum frequency of 2.5 GHz and can be remote controlled . It has an 8 bit vertical resolution.

PCB Pressure Probes

SMS has multiple pressure probes to record both side-on and reflective overpressure events.  We also have both dynamic and static probes to monitor internal pressures generated during for instance the time-pressure test or during oxidizing liquids testing in the time-pressure apparatus. We frequently use the blast pencil probes for DOD testing according to TB 700-2:Department of Defense Ammunition and Explosives Hazard Classification Procedures and work place safety as specified in DoD 6055.9 (Ammo & Explosive Safety), DoD 4145.26M (Contractor Safety Manual) and other applicable regulations.

Phantom High Speed Camera

Phantom High Speed Camera
SMS has the capability to film high-speed events with a v210 Phantom high-speed camera. We have used the camera to evaluate blast effects, measure fragment velocities, and to evaluate reactions during sensitivity testing (see here for further info on using a Phantom high-speed video camera to determine reaction outcome.)

Below is a high-speed video of a spark initiating smokeless powder in an ABL ESD Machine.

Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC)

SMS uses a Seteram DSC131 to screen energetic materials for thermal sensitivity as is commonly done throughout the explosives industry. We have used it to perform compatibility testing although we strongly prefer using larger sample sizes in the SBAT to complete compatibility testing. For further information on the SBAT and it’s advantages over other test equipment click here.

Thermal Imaging Camera

SC600 Thermal Imaging Camera
Safety Management Services, Inc. has a FLIR SC600 Series thermal imaging camera to monitor the temperature of propellant, insulation, and case during case cutting operations. The camera’s detector is an uncooled microbolometer and has a spectral range from 7.5 – 13 micrometers with a resolution of 640 x 480. The standard temperature range of the camera is from 0 degrees to 650 degrees Centigrade.

Sensitivity Test Equipment

ABL Friction Machine
In addition to frequently using explosive sensitivity equipment, Safety Management Services, Inc. manufactures sensitivity equipment for friction, impact, thermal, ESD, and other stimulus testing. We use and supply Impact, Friction, ESD, SBAT, Time-Pressure, Koenen, Impingement Guns, and other sensitivity testing equipment. For further information on our sensitivity test equipment and the benefits of working in engineering units, click here.