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CBRNe Protection Systems Division

The CBRNe Protective Systems Division is Switzerland’s responsible authority for the evaluation of CBRNe protective equipment. Its staff has operational experience.

The CBRNe Protection Systems Division must be prepared to test the protective effect of NBC equipment for both collective and individual protection at any time. Should new (NBC) threats arise, the Division must be in a position to provide information on the protective effect of the equipment in a timely manner. The Division tests CBRNe protective equipment and is responsible for mission-related tasks. With its three units, it provides testing on behalf of customers such as the Federal Office of Civil Protection (FOCP), armasuisse, and industry customers; it advises partners in NBC protection; and it performs one of the core tasks of the FOCP in the field of NBC protection components by operating the FOCP’s Certification Office for protective components.

The CBRNe Protection Systems Division hosts a comprehensive infrastructure for testing CBRNe protection materials. These systems are often in-house developments, as no commercial solutions are available.

The CBRNe Protective Systems Division has expertise in protective materials (ranging from raw materials to finished products) and components (ranging from individual protective equipment to collective protection against CBRNe hazards). With its expertise in individual and collective protective equipment, as well as the corresponding material testing, the CBRNe Protective Systems Department is an important keystone of Spiez Laboratory.

We support the authorities responsible for national NBC protection in procuring protective equipment and direct the FOCP’s Certification Office for protective structures components subject to obligatory testing.

  • Accredited testing laboratory (STS 0022) for adsorbents and breathing apparatus filters
  • Accredited testing laboratory (STS 0036) for synthetics and rubber and the effects of chemical warfare agents on synthetics, rubber, and textiles
  • Accredited testing laboratory (STS 0055) for NBC protection equipment and for furnishings and installations in protective structures
  • FOCP certification office for NBC protective structures components
  • Certification Office for NBC protection components

Based on current threat and hazard analyses, we ensure that suitable protective measures against CBRNe events are in place and that the respective protective equipment meets the requirement of ensuring comprehensive and appropriate levels of protection. In addition, we provide testing and analysis of protective equipment and systems on behalf of the Federal Office for Civil Protection (FOCP), civil protection partner organisations and the Swiss Armed Forces. We also develop the theoretical and experimental foundations for dermal and respiratory protection as well as for the mechanical effects of explosions. We assist national NBC protection agencies with their procurement decisions and manage the FOCP’s Certification Office for components that are subject to mandatory testing.

Incident Response and Individual Protection Branch

  • The Incident Response and Individual Protection Branch provides expertise and testing capacity for personal protective equipment, adsorbents and filters. It operates the STS 0022 accredited Testing Laboratory for Adsorbents and Breathing Apparatus Filters. The testing is to a large extent regulated by the FOCP approval requirements.
  • The Branch ensures the interface between CBRNe protection and emergency response organisations and advises the latter. It ensures the command support of the DDPS Emergency Response Team (EEVBS) and the operational readiness of the PAS.

Collective Protection Branch

The core task of the Collective Protection Branch is expertise in the protection of persons and property in collective facilities (underground as well as above ground) against CBRNe threats. It tests NBC protective structures components (filter systems, physical protection measures, etc.) on behalf of the FOCP (approvals) as well as for armasuisse Real Estate and industry. For this purpose, it operates around 15 test facilities / laboratories for the experimental simulation of the mechanical effects of explosions (shock tubes for simulation and research of pressure surges, shock test facilities for simulation of earth tremors and test facilities for air-technical components). The group operates the certified testing laboratory (STS 0055) for NBC protection equipment as well as facilities and installations for protective structures.

The portfolio is rounded off by research expertise based on numerical simulation of pressure surges.

Material Testing Branch

The core mission of the Branch consists of testing of army and civil protection material for the FOCP (approval office), for armasuisse (SLA procurement support) as well as tests for other specialist areas of Spiez Laboratory (such as material testing, identification, consulting). For this purpose, the Branch operates the test centre STS 0036. In order to maintain operational readiness (use infrastructure, follow developments in the polymer sector), external orders are accepted. Tests for external customers (third-party funding) are offered and advertised primarily in the medical-technical area, as this business is close to the Branch’s core task.

  • Warfare agent resistance tests on polymers, elastomers and textiles
  • Consulting services on the use and application of polymer materials
  • Weathering of polymer materials
  • Damage evaluations
  • Quality assurance

Testing procedures for medical/electrical/solar-powered/household appliance manufacturers, polymers and elastomers manufacturers: 

  • Production of standard test specimens
  • Mechanical-physical testing
  • Chemical-analytical testing
  • Determination of the ageing behaviour/environmental influence
  • Resistance testing
  • Testing of optimal processing quality
  • Flammability testing
  • Colour measurements
  • Testing of warfare agent resistance

Spiez Laboratory Austrasse
CH-3700 Spiez
+41 58 468 14 00


Spiez Laboratory

CH-3700 Spiez