Annual Report 2004-2005
The broad programme objectives of Engineering
Sciences cover support to research efforts in a wide range
of disciplines within engineering sciences such as chemical,
mechanical, civil, manufacturing, materials, electrical, information
technology, robotics and automation. The individual research
programmes may address one or more sectors namely, health,
bio-medical, transportation, automotive, water resources management,
structural engineering, building technologies, manufacturing
and process industry related technologies etc.
During 2004-2005, support to both basic and
applied research was continued. Fifty new research projects
have been initiated. A brief highlights of scientific achievements
of activities initiated under individual engineering science
programmes, is given below:
- An advanced (Ozone based) Oxidation technique has been
developed for bleaching of natural textile fibres with reduced
process time and improved fabric properties. The new process
is environment friendly and compares favourably with conventional
processes in terms of processing cost. An Ozone applicator
was specifically designed & fabricated and integrated
with the overall system for optimization/demonstration of
the process. Based on the encouraging results, industry
has come forward to establish a commercial plant.
- A process has been developed through the basic chemistry,
bench scale studies and pilot plant trials to manufacture
a novel complex fertilizer, combining three important micro-nutrients
namely iron, manganese, and molybdenum. This is a slow release
formulation and is water insoluble entailing better availability
to plants in absence of precipitation and fixation reactions.
The process has been optimized and field trials carried
out for yield and quality on a variety of crops like Paddy,
Spinach, Raddish, Gram, Chilly and Cabbage. Test marketing
is presently being carried out to commercialize the process
and transferring the technology to industry. Two national
and two international patents have been filed out of this
- A 6-inch glass photo reactor has been designed and fabricated
for photo catalytic treatment of various industrial pollutants.
Detailed studies have been carried out on photo catalytic
degradation of various compounds involving the effect of
catalyst loading, residence time, ph, axial mixing, concentration
and exposure time. Enthused by very encouraging results,
a pesticide company has come forward to set up a PCD Reactor
for the treatment of mercaptons.
- Theoretical work and corresponding experimentation on
process simulation, design, control and optimization has
resulted in a modular code developed on MATLAB platform
for implementation of control strategy for fault detection.
Based on the encouraging results, a leading industry has
shown interest in taking up further work and actual implementation.
- Extensive work has been carried out to study the acoustic
as well as hydro dynamic cavitation phenomena, including
detailed mapping of the cavitation equipment. The energy
efficiency of hydrodynamic cavitation has been demonstrated
to be higher by an order of magnitude as compared to acoustic/conventional
techniques for comparable time and yield. While the preliminary
work has been started to implement hydrodynamic cavitation
for process transformation on a commercial mode, the acquired
knowledge is also being converted in terms of software codes
to predict cavitation. These software codes will be useful
for research purpose as well as industrial application.
- Work has been initiated on extraction, purification and
stabilization of tubulin, which is an extremely important
and value added enzyme. Availability of tubulin on large
scale in a costeffective manner is likely to give a major
thrust to research for various applications including Cancer
- Four projects have been initiated to develop user friendly
packages on different aspects of modeling and optimization
(CFD, Waveletts, GA, ANN, AI etc.). These packages will
constitute a comprehensive simulation tool kit for teaching/research
purpose as well as to solve real life problems in industry.
- Based on extensive theoretical/experimental work to study
the jet-mixing phenomena, a userfriendly software package
has been developed to facilitate quick sizing of jet-mixing
systems for process applications. The package will be of
good utility to industrial designers to have a sound yet
efficient basis for designing such systems.
Electrical, Electronics and Computer Engineering
- The project Framework for ILP compilation Techniques
led to development of ILP compilation techniques such as
scheduling, software pipelining, and register allocation,
especially for architectures involving complex resource
usage patterns and also developed framework for ILP compilation
& the GUI for the compiler framework. Framework tested/demonstrated
for scientific, embedded, multimedia and Java benchmark
- In the Project entitled Dynamic security assessment
and control of Power Grids a fast computational procedure
was developed for computing the energy margin for the purposes
of Dynamic Security Assessment (DSA) in large power systems.
An algorithm for the on-line detection of loss of synchronism
using locally measureable quantities was developed including
generalised control strategy for the discrete control of
FACTS controllers for the improvement of transient stability
and dynamic security.
- The project Teletraffic models and QoS Gurantees
for Internet led to the development of analytically
tractable traffic model and the related queueing theoretic
measures. Also multiplicative multifractal cascade procoess
for broadband teletraffic was developed tools for estimating
traffic parameters were investigated.
- Under the project Development of a Novel Circuit
Simulator following the Look-Up Table Approach non-quasi
static effects in MOS Transistor have been observed. Look
up table approach implemented for simulation of CMOS circuits
and predictions made on the performance of various novel
- Determination of Optimal Antenna Location on Aircraft
Structures led to the development of ray-tracing algorithm
by the application of Geodesic Constant Method (GCM) to
determine the radiation pattern of antennas located arbitrarily
- Design and fabrication of optical waveguide power
splitter on Si substrate for optical fiber communication
led to the development of sophisticated design tools and
test benches to optimize the geometry of various devices
required for dense wavelength division multiplexer (DWDM).
Also the plant and machinery were developed indigenously,
which are highly innovative and reduces the cost of production
drastically. The Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition
system, which has been developed under this project, is
one of the very rareequipment, which is capable of producing
more than twenty wafers in batch production. The uniformity
and quality of the product is comparable with any of the
Material, Mining & Mineral Engineering
Research studies initiated during the year include:
life enhancement of hydro turbine components by surface coatings,
asbestos-free brake materials for automobiles: tailoring,
characterization and evaluation, development of cellular silicon
carbide ceramics from pant precursor for engineering applications,
development of temperature compensated high permittivity polymer
ceramic laminates for micro wave substrate applications, development
of epoxy resin from soyabean oil and fabrication of epoxy/glass
fiber composites, thermal plasma graphitization of calcined
petroleum coke, super capacitor based on conducting polymers
an energy storage device, wear behavior of diamond reinforced
composite, novel purification technique for electronic materials
by distillation through oxide phase, development of niobium
powder for capacitor applications as an alternative to tantalum,
environmental biotechnology of heavy metal speciation and
remediation for mine wastes, and study of effect of process
parameters on structure property relationship in new generation
interstitial free steel sheets.
- A comparative study of nano-structure of Cu-Ag alloy processed
by different techniques namely mechanical alloying, cluster
condensation, and rapid solidification has been completed
at IISc Bangalore. Both mechanical alloying and cluster
condensation yield solid solution of single phase while
rapid solidification yields a two phase structure. The study
has successfully demonstrated the use of Mechanical Alloying
in nano-materials synthesis, and enhanced the understanding
of nano- materials through rigorous experimentation and
- A micro-mechanical model has been developed to predict
tensile properties of the aluminum based metal matrix composites
at RRL, Trivandrum. The main advantage of this model is
that it is highly accurate and computationally efficient
than the FEM based tools.
- High purity electrolytic manganese dioxide has been prepared
and the conditions for preparation have been optimized to
remove approx. 50% of the potassium present in the electrolyte,
at CECRI, Karaikudi. A Patent entitled Improvements
in or relating to the purification of manganese sulphate
electrolyte for the preparation of EMD has been filed.
- High strength low carbon bainitic steels containing Ti
and Cu as micro-alloying elements have been prepared at
Bengal Engineering College, Howrah. Hot working and controlled
rolling studies have been carried out on the steels prepared.
- Aqueous corrosion behavior of nitrogen containing austenitic
stain less steel weldments has been studied at IIT, Bombay.
The study indicates the possibility of using 904 L filler
wire to weld 316L SS in place of conventional 316L filler
wire. The latter filler wire gives rise to embrittlement
in nuclear power plants. The work also shows that in addition
the 904 L weld can bring down the hot cracking susceptibility
of welds solidifying in both primary austenitic and primary
ferritic mode. Thus, it is possible to enhance the corrosion
resistance of weld even by reducing the welds delta
- A novel method for synthesizing AlN was developed at CGCRI,
Kolkata. Carbon particles were coated with aluminum and
then reacted with N2 at 1400°C to obtain 90% conversion.
Coating of aluminum nitride powder with a sintering additive
(yttrium oxide) resulted in maximum shrinkage during densification.
The chemical coating technique was found to be superior
to mechanical mixing. Two research publications resulting
from the study have been accepted by the journal of American
Ceramic Society. Two Indian patents have been filed.
- A new environment friendly method has been developed that
uses bacteria to extract metals such as cobalt, copper and
nickel from nodules (metal ore sourced from the Indian Ocean
through a non-toxic method at a faster rate) at NML, Jamshedpur
and IISc, Bangalore. The Goa based National Institute of
Oceanography provided the team with nodules, which, by using
a single four-hour process, extracted 45 per cent of both
copper and nickel in near neutral pH and room temperature.
The process in near neutral pH is eco friendly as it eliminates
the use of toxic chemicals adopted in normal metal extraction.
- A study of recrystallisation behaviour and mechanical
properties of some aluminum packaging alloys has been completed
at IIT, Kharagpur. Scrap generation during processing of
aluminum foil and sheet is quite high in India resulting
in a significant cost escalation. Present study was undertaken
to minimize scrap generation during processing. Aluminum
foil products (AA1235 and AA8011) have been collected at
every stage of processing from the industry in the course
of this study. Excellent results have been obtained. A new
resistivity measurement system has also been fabricated
using locally available dc power source and dc voltmeters
which is very cheap than the imported system.
Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering
The PAC focused on research and technology as
the twin pillars of strategy, and tried to create a productive
and enriching environment to enable the country reach world
- An alternative process for manufacturing Connecting
Rod of a two wheeler has been developed by powder
forging. After completing actual tests including fatigue
tests on the component to know its mechanical properties,
the critical cost analysis will be carried for the techno-commercial
feasibility for implementation by the 2 wheeler manufacturers.
- A 1000 W genset engine design based on the stratified
charge injection concept is under progress at IISc, Bangalore.
Detailed PRO-E drawings are being prepared for undertaking
prototype manufacture. The new concept internal combustion
engine is primarily based on the principle of retaining
all the processes of a four stroke engine but with the difference
that all the processes do not take place in a single working
domain as in a conventional engine. Induction and compression
are de-coupled from combustion, expansion and exhaust.
- A new software has been developed for converting CT/MRI
image data to machine readable format and subsequently use
the image data along with Rapid Prototyping process to manufacture
surgical implants at low cost.
- A hand-eye-coordination system for the four-fingered robot
is being developed using the light point mode approach in
- A new model has been developed for fuzzy risk in water
quality problems in river systems and key variables affecting
the water quality and achieving best compromise solutions
in the face of goal conflicts and uncertainty.
- A high power ultrasonic transducer is being designed and
the fabrication of the GSM transducer is completed, tests
on the field samples are on-going. A number of similar transducers
will be developed later.
- New methods for determining the PSD matrix of earthquake
excitations that create least favorable response in multi-supported
non-linear systems have been developed based on the methods
of random vibration and reliability analyses. The use of
response surface methodology enables the application of
the methods developed to study large-scale systems of practical
- An experimental desalination plant adopting low pressure
distillation process having capacity to produce 100 litre/h
of fresh water from warm sea water discharge to sea from
Tuticorin Thermal Power Station and cold sea water intake
has been successfully commissioned in October 2004 by an
institute at Coimbatore. After minor post treatment, it
can be used as demineralised water for boiler feed water
- An advanced gas metal arc welding (MIG/CO2) technique
namely Time Twin Welding has been developed
at WRI, BHEL, Tiruchirappalli. In this technique, two wires
are fed simultaneously forming a single weld pool. Owing
to its high deposition rate, welding speed and improved
arcing characteristics, it has enormous potential for improving
productivity and quality. Using this technique, a system
for welding of LPG cylinders has been developed and BHEL
is coordinating with LPG cylinders manufacturers for utilizing
- An autonomous PC based mobile robot for stair navigation
has been developed at Bengal Engineering College, Howrah.
The mobile robot has a payload capacity of 20 kg that can
be moved on flat surface, over rough terrain, it can also
climb the staircase and can easily be lifted/carried using
the foldable platform on its arms. Refinement and weight
reduction of the system is likely to be attempted in future.
- Following the disastrous Gujarat earthquake, there was
a widespread feeling that many of the multi-storied buildings
in other parts of India may be equally vulnerable. This
prompted to address the issue of seismic vulnerability and
retrofit of existing Multi-storied buildings, jointly at
IIT Madras and SERC Chennai.
- Under the project, 40 buildings in various urban areas
(zones III, IV, V) were surveyed and analysed for seismic
vulnerability using software developed for this purpose.
Various retrofit options were evaluated and designed, wherever
necessary (Figures 2.9; 2.10 &
- 2.11). A detailed state-of-the-art study on retrofit strategies
and various experimental studies were carried out.
The main deliverables of the project comprise
a manual and licence-free software for seismic evaluation
and retrofit. A workshop is planned in March 2005 to give
an exposure to the knowledge gained to practicing engineers,
academicians and researchers.