European competence centre for bells ECC-ProBell®
During the ringing, church bells are exposed to high loads by striking of the clapper. This often leads to damage. Heavy wear and cracks lead to a lasting change in the sound of the bell and finally to its destruction. Only with the help of costly repairs, the bell can be restored. But then, the bell can no longer be fully loaded.
The European competence centre for bells ECC-ProBell® at Kempten University of Applied Sciences has been researching beils since 2005 in order to protect these valuable cultural assets from damage and to improve their sound behavior.
The aim of the ECC ProBell is to help preserve and protect the ringing of church bells as a European cultural asset.
From the variety of ringing cultures in Europe and the complexity of dealing with bells, the following central objectives for the research work on bells have emerged:
- Further development of the ringing optimization for the reduction of the loads with high sound quality also with special ringing conditions (for example South Tyrolean high ringing)
- Development of preventive test methods to avoid pronounced fatigue damage (musical fingerprint of bells)
- Development of ringing concepts to reduce sound radiation while ensuring high sound quality
- Development of test methods for the reliability of bell suspensions (Yokes), bell chairs, clapper constructions, bells made of replacement materials
- Training of bell experts, architects and bell companies