Analysis and Certification

At CanmetCERL, we test explosives, fireworks and explosive devices for authorization under the Canada Explosives Act. These activities are designed to ensure that products in the market place are safe and effective.

Explosive Analysis

CanmetCERL is equipped with an analytical chemistry laboratory that is dedicated to the analysis of a wide range of energetic materials associated with commercial blasting explosives, initiators, fireworks and pyrotechnic devices. In addition to providing analytical services to the Chief Inspector of Explosives for the authorization of explosives, the Explosives Analysis Group of CanmetCERL also provides analytical services to industrial clients on a contract basis.

The Explosives Analysis Group is staffed with knowledgeable personnel who have hands-on experience in the safe manipulation and separation of explosive components, as well as the use of modern analytical techniques including:

  • Chemically suppressed Ion Chromatography (IC) for the determination of anionic and cationic species
  • X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) for the rapid and non-destructive determination of elemental composition
  • Inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy (ICP-OES) for the quantitative analysis of elements dissolved in aqueous or acidic media
  • Gas chromatography (GC) of organic species including nitro aromatics, nitrosamines and nitrate esters
  • Fourier-transform Infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) of organic compounds such as polymers and molecular explosives
  • Karl Fischer titration (KFT) for the determination of water content
  • Light microscopy with digital image acquisition for the characterization of particle size and morphology

Explosives Certification

CanmetCERL provides testing and certification services to manufacturers and distributors of a wide range of products, including blasting explosives and accessories, ammunition, propellants, fireworks, and industrial explosives and pyrotechnics. CanmetCERL is capable of performing the tests required for the authorization and classification of explosives in Canada by the Chief Inspector of Explosives (Explosives Regulatory Division). The laboratory’s commitment to quality is recognized through its ISO/IEC Guide 17025 accreditation.

At CanmetCERL, we provide a full range of physical, chemical and thermal testing, according to test specifications for transport, storage and handling provided in:

  • UN Recommendations for the Transport of Dangerous Goods - Test and Criteria ("Test Criteria Manual");
  • Associated national and international codes and legislation;
  • Health and safety standards, codes and legislation;
  • CanmetCERL's own test procedures, where appropriate standards have not yet been developed.

CanmetCERL is approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue tentative classifications so that samples can be shipped to the laboratory from manufacturers in the United States. Classification testing at CanmetCERL can result in products being approved for transport by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

For further information, please contact the Explosives Regulatory Division.