Engineering Innovation in India
1. DRDO Develops Critical Near Isothermal Forging Technology for Aeroengines
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has established the near isothermal forging technology to produce all the five stages of high-pressure compressors (HPC) discs out of difficult-to-deform titanium alloy using its unique 2000 MT isothermal forge press. The technology has been developed by Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), a premier metallurgical laboratory of DRDO at Hyderabad. This is a crucial technology for establishing self-reliance in aeroengine technology. With this development, India has joined the league of limited global engine developers to have the manufacturing capabilities of such critical aero engine components.
To meet the bulk production requirements, DMRL technology was transferred to M/s MIDHANI through a licensing agreement for technology transfer (LAToT). Using the isothermal forge press facility available at DMRL, Hyderabad, bulk quantity (200 numbers) of HPC disc forgings pertaining to various compressor stages have been jointly (DMRL & MIDHANI) produced and successfully supplied to HAL (E), Bengaluru for fitment in to Adour Engine that powers the Jaguar/Hawk Aircrafts.
In India, the Adour engine is overhauled by HAL (E), Bengaluru under a licensed manufacturing agreement with OEM. Like in any aeroengine, the HPC Drum assembly has to be replaced after a specified number of operations or in case of damage. The annual requirements of these high value HPC discs are quite large, warranting indigenisation. HPC drum is a highly stressed sub-assembly and is also subjected to low cycle fatigue and creep at elevated temperature. The raw materials and forgings for HPC drum are required to be of the highest quality which can meet the specified combination of static and dynamic mechanical properties.
DMRL developed this forging technology by integrating various science and knowledge-based tools. The methodology adopted by DMRL is generic in nature and can be tuned to develop other similar aeroengine components. The compressor discs produced using this methodology met all the requirements stipulated by the airworthiness agencies for the desired application. Accordingly, the technology was type certified and letter of technical approval (LoTA) was accorded. Based on the exhaustive component level and performance evaluation test results, HAL (E) and Indian Air Force cleared the components for engine fitment. Apart from DMRL and HAL (E), various agencies such as MIDHANI, CEMILAC and DGAQA worked in unison to establish this crucial technology.
Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has congratulated the scientists of DRDO, Industry and all other agencies involved in the development of this critical Aero Engine related technology. Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy expressed his satisfaction on achieving this crucial milestone and congratulated the teams involved.
2. India’s first ever 3D printed house – IIT Madras creates history
India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently virtually inaugurated India’s first 3-D Printed house which is situated within IIT Madras, said the Institute. Constructed by Tvasta Manufacturing solutions, this 600 sq. ft, single-story home has a functional space comprising of a single bedroom, hall, and kitchen, all of which have been designed and developed by the firm’s indigenous 3-D printing technology. The concrete 3D printing technology is a ‘Ready-to-Implement Methodology’ with no lead time on manufacturing and is touted to offer advantages including – reduction in overall construction cost and time, brings down the carbon footprint, higher productivity of labour, and utilization of eco-friendly materials. Tvasta’s ‘Concrete 3D Printing’ is an automated manufacturing method, where their 3-D printer accepts a computerized three-dimensional design file and fabricates a 3D structure in a layer-by-layer manner by extruding a custom-made variant of concrete. Tvasta’s primarily aims to cater to the various infrastructure needs in the Indian subcontinent, with the focus on providing construction-related 3D Printing services for Government schemes that aim to alleviate problems of housing, sanitation, disaster-time rehabilitation, among others. On the work done by Tvasta, Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said, “This technology is the first to be beneficiary-led in the construction industry. The machine for constructing this house can be rented, like borewells rented by farmers. It provides for large-scale, high quality and also, price assurance for the customers.” The firm’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Adithya VS, believes that their technology and efforts can ensure personalization of homes for the users and make affordable, quality housing a reality for all Indians.