Applied Geometry and Mechanisms Laboratory

Dibakar Sen

This group conducts research aimed at understanding shape, motion and their interaction using the knowledge of geometry, topology and kinematics.  The broad objectives are to develop novel methods for shape representation and motion realization, and intuitive methods for assembly and kinematic models of mechanical assemblies.  The group’s areas of interest are as diverse as theoretical and computational kinematics, mechanisms, computer-aided design, virtual reality, haptics, assembly modeling and planning, product sketching in 3D, and digital human modeling for simulations of human interactions.

Biomechanics Laboratory

Namrata Gundiah

Research in this lab, addresses several topics in the mechanics of biological tissues and mechanobiology. The overall goals comprise applying methods in mechanics to understand and quantify biological systems from the scale of tissues to that of individual cells Specific systems of interest lie in arterial mechanics, insect-based biomaterials, mechanics of cell adhesion and migrations, and a growth and remodeling framework to quantify cell-substrate interactions. More recently, they have also been involved in quantifying the mechanical properties of the insect cuticle and mechanisms used by insects in substrate boring.

Combustion and Spray Laboratory (CSL)

R. V. Ravikrishna

The principal focus of the CSL is the fundamental study of combustion and spray processes with relevance to their application in internal combustion engines, gas turbines and industrial burners, using laser-based diagnostic techniques. The group’s activities range from fundamental research on breakup of impinging liquid jets and combustion chemistry of next-generation fuels to applied research on trapped vortex combustors. The experimental work is complemented by multi-dimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling of the associated thermo-fluid dynamic processes. The facilities available include high-powered Nd:YAG lasers with second, third and fourth harmonics, dual-pulse Nd:YAG Laser, dye laser, intensified CCD camera and a high-pressure spray chamber with optical access. The various diagnostic techniques available include laser shadowgraphy, Interferometric Llaser Imaging for Droplet Sizing (ILIDS), Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV), Planar Laser-Induced Fluorescence (PLIF) and Laser-Induced Incandescence (LII).

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Laboratory

Ratnesh K. Shukla

The CFD lab investigates the physical and fundamental understanding of the mechanics of fluid flows over a wide spectrum of spatiotemporal scales ranging from continuum to atomistic. In the past the group has pursued problems in the broad areas of drag reduction and propulsion, and high-speed multiphase flows (shock-accelerated bubble dynamics). The diversity and complexity of these investigations have necessitated development of a range of vastly disparate simulation tools. Research in cavitation bubble dynamics has inspired development of advanced interface-capturing techniques that enable detailed simulations of high-speed multiphase flows. On the other hand, the need for quantitative characterization of singular boundary-driven flows has led to the development of multiscale solvers. A majority of these computational tools are capable of performing large scale simulations for investigating fundamental problems that are directly relevant to national space and defense programs.

Computational Mechanics Laboratory

C. S. Jog

This group exploits state-of-the-art capabilities for the formulation of mathematical and numerical models and methods aimed at the solution of complex problems in diverse areas of structural and materials engineering such as solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, acoustics, electromagnetics, etc. The core competency of the group lies in developing advanced finite element strategies that enable the investigation of problems in linear elastostatics and linear elastodynamics. These advanced strategies have been shown to yield significantly improved coarse mesh accuracy as compared to standard finite element strategies in multiple scenarios.

Computational Solid/Fracture Mechanics Laboratory

R. Narasimhan

This group conducts research at the interface of mechanics, materials science and scientific computing with an overarching theme of stress/fracture analysis of various materials and structures. Aligned topics of interest include mechanical behavior of bulk metallic glasses (BMGs), nanoglasses and BMG composites, and indentation response of shape-memory alloys. Recent research activities also cover investigations in the mechanics of void growth and coalescence in magnesium single crystals and polycrystalline magnesium alloys. Standard finite element software packages such as Abaqus, Marc and Nastran are routinely used in conjunction with Patran pre/post- processor and Intel and PGI (parallel) Fortran compilers. In-house custom-built finite element codes are also available for use. Two key projects that have been successfully executed in collaboration with industry are constitutive modeling of ice in high strain-rate regime (Honeywell Aerospace) and interfacial fracture and fatigue behavior of steel-belted radial tyres (JK Tyres).

Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Laboratory

B. Gurumoorthy

Established in 1992, the CAD lab is interested in product modeling, product design and prototyping, and the application of informatics in product lifecycle. This group conducts research laying emphasis on the development and implementation of associated algorithms and information models. Research in the last five years has also delved on the problems of capturing non-geometric product information in representation and reasoning with mesh-based representation.

Engines and Energy Systems Laboratory (EESL)

M. Himabindu

The EESL focuses on performance optimization of small SI engines. Efforts are channelized towards achieving lean combustion in tandem with superior emission control. To achieve this, Homogenous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) is being pursued. Work is also carried out on alternative fuels for small SI engines and waste-heat recovery technologies such as thermoelectric generators (TEGs). Both experimental and simulative approaches are adopted to ascertain the performance and fuel economy benefits in vehicles using TEGs under varied parameters. The lab is equipped with small 4-stroke single-cylinder SI engines, Testo portable 5-gas analyser, Kristler sensors, Electronic Control Units (ECU) and National Instruments DAQ system. The lab has set-up steady-state and pseudo-transient test rigs using TEGs to recover waste heat.

Flow Physics Laboratory

Raghuraman N. Govardhan

This lab studies a wide variety of flow problems using a combination of laboratory experimentation and numerical modeling. Most of the research work is experimental in nature. This has necessitated the development of several facilities to enable ongoing research. Key facilities include a transonic oscillating cascade tunnel to study flutter of compressor blades, a fully developed turbulent channel facility to study drag reduction by bubbles in a water boundary layer, a supersonic cross-flow facility to study injected jet (fuel) mixing, a supersonic blow-down tunnel, and a low-speed wind tunnel. All the facilities are optically accessible for laser-based measurements like Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) besides traditional measurements like pressure and integrated loads. Collaborative efforts have been carried out with Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) facility of DRDO, Government of India, and National Centre for Combustion Research and Development (NCCRD) at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Energy Research (ICER), IISc.

Fluid Mechanics Laboratory

Jaywant H. Arakeri

The aim of this group is to foster experimental research in fluid mechanics supported with advanced instrumentation and computer facilities for measurements and computations. The lab has a large free-surface water tunnel and several custom-built experimental set-ups. The tunnel was conceived to study flow around large submerged or semi-submerged bodies at moderate speeds (0-1 m/s). A large water tunnel (1x1x3 m), designed and built in the department, allows testing of models at high Reynolds numbers. Some recent studies include hull-propeller interaction, drag reduction by gas lubrication and flow around cylinders with flexible flaps. Two types of experiments have been conducted on turbulent free convection – Rayleigh-Benard convection type and tube convection. A new type of experiment which mimics some aspects of the flow in a cloud, i.e., condensation and growth of droplets in convective turbulent environment, has also been set up. The laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art laser diagnostics, including particle image velocimetry, laser doppler velocimetry, high-speed camera and phase Doppler particle analyzer.

Force Microscopy Laboratory

M. S. Bobji

Research activities deal with microscopy and the regime of small forces (mN to nN) to advance the understanding of mechanics of materials at small scales in real time. The long-term goal of this lab is to understand the interplay between geometry and material deformation with the aim of tuning the micro-geometry to get desired surface mechanical properties through various fabrication techniques. Special tools are being developed to mechanically, electrically and thermally probe things and record their responses using optical, electron and atomic force microscopes.

Heat Transfer Laboratory

Pradip Dutta

Research in this lab deals with experimental and computational studies on thermo-fluid sciences and its applications. A longstanding focus area has been solar thermal technologies which includes research on thermodynamic cycles like the organic Rankine cycle and supercritical CO2 cycle suitable for low and high temperature solar application respectively. This includes both theoretical and component-level study as well as process optimization. The group works closely in collaboration with Interdisciplinary Centre for Energy Research (ICER) at IISc. Ongoing efforts encompass advanced cooling techniques using loop heat pipes (for space applications), heat sinks with phase-change materials, jet-impingement cooling and adsorption-based cooling technologies. The group has also investigated semi-solid materials processing in squeeze casting and advanced technologies for light weighting. The general approach involves the development of analytical and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools for process modeling, and the design and fabrication of apparatuses for laboratory-scale experiments, followed by technology development.  Facilities like National Facility for Semisolid Forming laboratory (NFSSF) in the Department are an outcome of such research.

Instron Mechanical Testing Facility

R. Narasimhan

This facility has an Instron universal testing machine with 250kN capacity along with a digital controller that is operated through a computer. Softwares are available for performing uniaxial tension/compression tests, low-cycle fatigue, JIc and KIc fracture tests as per ASTM standard procedures. A furnace attachment with maximum temperature of 200°C, numerous types of grips, and load cells of different capacities are available. The lab is equipped with provision for using strain gages as well as digital image correlation (DIC) for strain measurements on the samples during the tests. It is being extensively used for characterizing mechanical, fracture and fatigue behaviour of materials. Important industry projects (for example on fatigue crack growth in steel-belted radial tyres and hydroforming) have also been carried out using these tools.

Internal Combustion Engines Research Laboratory (ICERL)

R. Thirumaleswara Naik

The ICERL principally focuses on the study of performance, emission and combustion characteristics of various engines by using conventional fuels, alternate bio-fuels, combustion diagnostics and other engine-related phenomena. Research is carried out in combustion rate improvement for Internal Combustion (IC) engines, performance enhancement using alternate bio-fuels like hydrogen, fuel flow-spray and fuel additives, and clean renewable energy along with fundamental studies on IC engine combustion. Collaborative efforts have been successfully carried out in the past with agencies/corporations of the Government of India and the State Government of Karnataka (MNRE, DRDL, IOCL, KSRTC, BMTC) as well as relevant industries (General Electric, PDC Energy, Relon Limited).

Laboratory for Advanced Manufacturing and Finishing Processes

Koushik Viswanathan

This lab equipped with high-precision CNC machines (slant-bed lathe and 3-axis VMC) is dedicated to the research of cutting/forming processes. Two experimental test-beds have been designed, built and calibrated – an impact testing facility for studying projectile impact and an instrumented 3-axis linear motion system for in situ studies of large-strain plastic flow. In addition, the lab also houses an electronics workbench for prototyping ‘live tooling’ designs and associated control circuitry. A suite of diagnostic instrumentation (both in situ and ex situ) is available for monitoring process performance. This includes a high-speed imaging and videography system, tool-force dynamometers (6-component), signal generators and oscilloscopes, high speed DAQ system (1 MS/s/ch), load cells and surface metrology gauges.

Laboratory for Mechanics and Computation

Ramsharan Rangarajan

The central goal of this lab is to understand the influence of geometry in the mechanics of elastic structures. This is most evident in slender structures. To this end, the endeavor has been to undertake a comprehensive program to model, compute, and control the mechanics of these structures. Key topics of interest include designing numerical algorithms for moving-boundary problems, innovating 3D imaging techniques for full-field mechanical measurements and developing mechanics-based approaches for realizing control in flexible structures (robots).

Laser Diagnostics, Combustion and Multiphase Flow Laboratory

Saptarshi Basu

This group combines high-fidelity experiments (mostly using laser diagnostics) with computational and analytical methods to gain insights into the physics of multiphase systems, ranging from micro- and nanoscale phenomena to large-scale devices. Major topics addressed by the group in the past few years include instabilities and transitions in swirling flows/flames, transport mechanisms and morphological evolutions in nanofluid droplets, and atomization and breakup dynamics of liquid sheets and droplets. Research efforts have yielded applications and insights for the industry in the areas of gas turbines, spray dryers, liquid-fueled combustors, inkjet printers, etc.

Microscale Transport Laboratory

Susmita Dash

The research objective of this lab is to address global-scale challenges pertaining to energy, environment and health. The group works at the interface of surface science, fluid and thermal transport, and interfacial interactions to understand micro-scale phenomena for devising novel solutions in areas related to thermal management, biomedicine and fouling. Recent topics of interest include micro-texturing of surfaces with communicating and non-communicating air gaps, droplet impingement and evaporation dynamics on nonwetting surfaces, heat transfer studies in boiling, and scale formation during bubble evolution.

Multidisciplinary and Multiscale Design and Device (M2D2) Laboratory

G. K. Ananthasuresh

The M2D2 lab has equipment and expertise to conduct research in interdisciplinary topics with an axis around mechanics-based design and optimization. Research topics include proteins, cells, microsystems, medium-scale devices, and large-scale devices such as aircraft wings and deployable antennae. What brings them together is the field of compliant mechanisms. Optimization, topology optimization in particular, is the main tool employed. The group, over the years, has developed four microsensors, a few biomedical devices, a few products, and some design software. Six designs have been translated into commercial practice, and two start-up companies (BendFlex and Mimyk) have been founded by alumni of the lab. It now has a collection of nearly hundred compliant mechanisms of various kinds. Recently, there has been an increasing focus on biomechanics. The lab is equipped with cell culture and characterization facility, microscopes, probe stations, 3D printers, haptic robots, and computers and software for simulation and design. A micromanipulation platform for handling single biological cells and a haptic robot with three degrees of freedom have also been developed. The work is funded by various Government of India agencies (DST, DBT, DRDO, ISRO, DAE, etc.) and industries (ABB, Eaton, Siemens, L’Oreal, etc.).

Multiphase Flow Simulations Laboratory

Gaurav Tomar

Research in this lab focuses on simulations of two-phase flows. An assortment of numerical tools is employed in a variety of two-phase flow phenomena: droplet and bubble dynamics in electric field, undular hydraulic jumps, atomization of a liquid jet and water entry of projectiles. Most of the research is carried out using in-house built or modified codes to study multiphase and multiscale physics. Two-dimensional and axisymmetric simulations of electrohydrodynamic flows are carried out using an in-house built volume-of-fluid method based solver. Two- and three-dimensional free surface and fluid-structure interaction flows are simulated using a meshless particle-based method, smoothed particle hydrodynamics.

Nanometerology Laboratory

G. R. Jayanth

The principal focus of this lab is the measurement and control of motion and forces at micrometer and nanometer length scales. Towards this end, the development of novel measurement techniques, probes, actuation techniques, and advanced control strategies is being pursued. The newly developed engineering systems are used for novel applications in the areas of nanometer-scale imaging, micro- and nano-manipulation, nano-robotics and three-dimensional nano-metrology. Other research interests include design and modeling of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices and development of instrumentation for wildlife conservation.

Photoelasticity Laboratory

K. R. Y. Simha

Photoelastic experiments are conducted on various combinations of 2D geometry and loading configuration to supplement design and analysis of structural components. Computational techniques, however reliable for routine problems, often lead to unreliable results in dynamic, fracture-related situations. This group’s work highlights the importance of fundamental mechanics including simple theoretical & experimental techniques in such situations. Research efforts investigate the application of fundamental mechanics from contact and impact to failure and fracture in disks, plates, shells, tubes, rings, cylinders and honeycombs. The group is also interested in the structural stability and fracture control of bipod and tripod mounts used widely for supporting telescopes, machines and munitions.

Robotics and Design Laboratory

Ashitava Ghosal

This group deals with robots and other computer-controlled mechanical systems, and investigates the kinematics, dynamics, control and design aspects involved therein. Since its inception in 1992, the lab has focused on the exploration of associated theories, development of algorithms, software and hardware, experimental work to validate theories and algorithms, and prototyping of hardware. Other aligned areas of interest include theoretical and numerical investigations of non-linear dynamical systems, kinematics of parallel mechanisms and manipulators, and design of biomedical devices. The research and developmental activities of the lab have been funded by various Government of India agencies and by private sector companies from India and abroad. Most recent funding has been from the Robert Bosch Foundation (RBCCPS) and the Indo-US consortium Solar Energy Research for India and the United States (SERIIUS).

Supercritical CO2 Brayton Cycle Test Loop Facility

Pramod Kumar

IISc has developed India’s first supercritical carbon dioxide (s-CO2) Brayton Cycle test loop in the context of next-generation solar thermal power generation. With a heat input at about 550°C and a pressure of about 140 bars, this power cycle has the potential of operating at nearly 45% thermal efficiency. This facility was established as part of the Indo-US consortium Solar Energy Research Institute for India and the United States (SERIIUS), with Sandia National Laboratories, USA as a major collaborative partner. The loop is completely instrumented and has sophisticated control algorithms, which is designed to generate the necessary data for future development of scaled-up s-CO2  power plants. This would require overcoming several technological challenges – developing critical components such as the turbine, compressor and heat exchangers that can work at the desired pressure and temperature ranges and using materials that can withstand these conditions.

Surface Interaction and Manufacturing Laboratory (SIAM)

Satish V. Kailas

This group addresses several topics in the fields of tribology and friction stir welding/processing.  In the field of tribology, work has been carried out on the fundamental mechanisms governing the wear process, factors influencing friction, fretting wear under controlled environments, tribology of friction drives and eco-friendly cutting fluids. The bulk of research in the field of manufacturing comprises friction stir welding and friction stir processing.  Fundamental aspects of friction-stir-welded joints and dissimilar metal friction stir welding (A-Ti, Al-Cu, Al-Fe) have been investigated.  In addition, in-situ nano-composites with high strength, high ductility and high-temperature stability of grain boundary have been processed.

Vibro-Acoustics Laboratory

Venkata R. Sonti

This group works in the areas of acoustics, vibrations and sound-structure interaction. Typical problems of interest include closed-form solutions in structural-acoustic coupled systems (like waveguides), weakly nonlinear sound-structure interactions involving self and cross-modal interactions in nonlinear waveguides leading to resonances (or weak shocks), and non-resonant interactions leading to solitons. The work is largely analytical or semi-analytical using perturbation methods. Numerical investigations are being carried out for the sonic boom problem governed by the nonlinear Tricomi equation. More recently, experimental studies are envisaged on a high speed rotor-dynamic system. The objective is to understand vibration and balancing issues when a rotor rotates at very high RPMs.