Research groups in the area of manufacturing and materials aim to foster advanced research in the understanding of fundamental mechanisms that govern materials design, materials processing, component design, and manufacturing processes and systems. A second direction is to advance the state-of-the art in materials and manufacturing technology. The labs are accordingly equipped with a vast array of characterization tools that includes scanning electron microscopes, atomic force microscopes, contact angle goniometer, differential scanning calorimeter, dynamic light scattering particle analyzer, Fourier transform infrared spectrometer, 3-D optical profilometer, optical microscopes and universal testing machines.
Prof. Satish V. Kailas’s group has made extensive contributions to the Department’s capabilities in tribology. To that end, several machines are custom-built to simulate conditions for the tribological systems under study. For example, a fretting wear tester that works under vacuum and high temperature has been built to simulate conditions of a fast breeder reactor where the primary and secondary loops work under liquid sodium and at 550 0C. Several other machines like the high-temperature vacuum-based pin-on-disc machine to mimic conditions in a bearing channel during extrusion, and impact tribometer to study tribological phenomena during the start of sliding have been designed and built. Another concentration of Prof. Kailas is the area of friction stir welding and processing. Prof. M.S. Bobji examines the world of micro- and nano-forces to assess the behaviour of materials at small scales in real time. His group is currently invested in developing special tools to mechanically, electrically and thermally probe things. Prof. Koushik Viswanathan who has recently joined the Department studies the mechanics and physics of manufacturing processes with a focus towards development of new paradigms that address the demands of emerging technologies. Collaborative efforts of the Department faculty with other departments across the Institute are ongoing.