Chair of Thermal Processing Technology // Montanuniversitaet Leoben

Process and plant safety

The terms „risk“ and „safety“ are getting more and more recognized in many fields of everyday life. Due to the increased availability of information and permanent reports in the media the effects of catastrophic events generate an increased need for safety throughout the public.

Industrial production processes are often connected to considerable economical and technical risks. Therefore the field of process- and plant safety defines more than ever the performance and design of industrial processes. High quality processes and products can only be long term successful if they are safe.

The process- and plant safety research group at the Chair for Thermal Processing Technology (TPT) conducts research activities for safe exploitation and production of materials and for safe development and manufacturing of industrial products.


The main field of work of TPTs process- and plant safety research group is industrial fire and explosion prevention as well as internal and external emergency response. Current industrial problems are investigated by modern experimental and mathematical methods. Furthermore the close contact to industry builds the basis for future research activities in process- and plant safety.

The focus of the research activities in fire prevention within the research group lies on self heating and auto ignition of bulk material. Fires in bulk storage areas form a considerable economic and environmental threat. Together with the TPT Modeling and Simulation research group the behavior of bulk storage areas in terms of auto ignition and self heating is investigated and described by mathematical models.

The threat of fires and explosion occurs in nearly every process dealing with flammable liquid, gaseous or solid materials. Dust explosion hazards for example are present in various fields of energy production, materials handling, chemical industries or waste treatment. Theses hazards are still underestimated. Dust explosion research therefore is in the focus research of TPT. Problems connected to specific fields of industry (e.g. waste treatment) are investigated as well as a large variety of topics from fundamental research. Basic research covers the influence of inert material on explosion behavior or the effects of non atmospheric conditions on flame propagation.

Prozessanlagensicherheit2 1
Major accidents and industrial disasters form huge challenges for internal and external emergency response crews. Together with fire brigades, military forces or public authorities, research activities within the research group deal with the improvement and development of measures and systems for emergency response. Research work covers toxic releases as well as the effects of fires and explosions.


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Process and plant safety