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Kalam to open India's first high temp lab in city

Posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Chennai: After almost a year, former president A P J Abdul Kalam, an alumni of the Madras Institute of Technology (MIT) will be visiting his alma mater on Friday to inaugurate India's first high temperature material characterisation lab that would test materials used for making fighter aircrafts and satellites.

Credited to be the first of its kind in the country, the Rs 3 crore centre would be equipped with six large-sized advanced machines that would be used to test materials such as metals, alloys, ceramics, polymers, and other materials specially used for the application of aerospace including manufacturing of various components in fighter aircrafts, re-entry vehicles and satellites. "The aim to set up a facility of this kind is to integrate these advanced testing equipment under one roof instead of moving from one research centre to another for testing purposes," Assistant Professor B T N Sridhar, Department of Aerospace Engineering, MIT, told The Times of India. Sridhar is the project director of the facility. Unlike other research labs in the country, the 500 square feet MIT facility, which is wholly funded by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has all the equipment that will be required for testing purposes of materials used for aerospace applications and also for automobile industry.

As a result, at the MIT lab, testing can be done for both kinds of properties thermal and mechanical. This helps to save time, money and manpower in the process of material testing, which forms the first step in manufacturing the aerospace components.

The significance of the facility lies in the fact that despite being one of the advanced countries in the developing world in defence research and testing programmes, India lacked a separate facility to test basic materials used to manufacture various components in aerospace and automobile applications. "The importance of the centre is that the entire testing of a material including testing the strength of the materials in withstanding aerodynamic heating is done at the centre. This makes the whole testing process hassle-free," said project director Sridhar.

DRDO will provide Rs 10 lakh a year towards the maintenance of the facility till 2011.


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