Research Corner

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Development of Heat Flux Sensor for Aero Gas Turbine Engine Combustors

This is an AR & DB – (GTMAP) funded project being investigated by Dr. M. Arulanantham, Dr. H. K. Narahari, Dr. S. Srikari, Dr. S. Malathi and Mr. Sitaram Gupta of Faculty of Engineering and Technology. The main aim of the project is to design, develop and calibrate polymer derived heat flux sensors with innate ability to sustain high temperature and highly oxidising environments that are typified by gas turbine combustors.

Turbine engines can be found in power generation, aerospace propulsion and automotives which are important to the functionality. The working condition of turbine engine system is very hostile with high temperatures, high pressures, and corrosive environments (oxidizing conditions, gaseous alkali, and water vapours). The new generation of gas turbine engine technology is increasingly utilizing advanced materials which are designed to handle the harsh environments inside these engines. The existing and advances in engine materials increase the need for developing new instrumentation, which can handle the harsher environment and monitor the operating conditions inside the engines to further improve their performance and reliability, reduce the pollution and improved turbine engine design.

Robust sensors are highly desired to measure and monitor the temperature, pressure, and heat flux in these harsh environments. However, fabrication of such sensors presents a huge technical challenge. Temperature control of a system requires the knowledge of rate of energy transfer between the system and the surroundings. While the measurement of temperature is common and well accepted, the measurement of heat flux is often given little consideration. In this project, heat flux sensor will be fabricated by vapour deposition techniques. This can be used to experimentally assess various flows and associated heat transfer of gas turbine combustors for facilitating the activities related to engine performance evaluation and engine health monitoring.

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Performance Enhancement of a Single Stage Transonic Axial Compressor through Reduction of Tip Leakage and Secondary Flow Losses

This is an AR & DB funded project investigated by Prof. Q. H. Nagpurwala, Mr. Subbaramu S. and Dr. Mahesh K. Varpe from the Faculty of Engineering and Technology. The main objective of the proposed research is to enhance the stability margin and performance of a transonic axial compressor stage by reducing the tip clearance and secondary flow losses.

Tip leakage flow and secondary flows are known to have considerable influence on the performance of axial compressors. The inception of stall, endwall blockage and total pressure loss are influenced by tip leakage and secondary flows. Some of the earlier works deal with the effect of tip leakage flow on the compressor performance. Similarly, studies are carried out on the effect of secondary flows on total pressure loss. However, limited attempts are made to simulate the interaction of tip leakage flow and passage secondary flow. Interaction of these non-core flows are presumed to have substantial influence on the performance and stability of transonic axial compressors. Both tip clearance losses and secondary flow losses are influenced by the aerodynamic and geometric cascade parameters of the blade rows like flow coefficient, rotor blade tip gap, blade aspect ratio, blade solidity and blade stagger angle.

Studies will be carried out on the interaction of tip leakage and secondary flows, and effect of these interactions on compressor performance. The results will be validated against available / published experimental and numerical data. Emphasis will be laid to understand the flow physics through the blade passages at different parametric conditions. The outcome of the research project will help in developing transonic compressor stages with improved stall margin and overall performance.

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Research & Development Centre for Hardened Steel Machining

This is a Karnataka Council for Technology Upgradation, Government of Karnataka funded project being investigated by Dr. R. Suresh, Dr. T. N. Srikantha Dath and Mr. K. N. Ganapathi from the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Technology. The project aims at developing safe, sustainable, economic and environmental friendly machining of hardened steels by identifying the optimum cutting parameters and cutting conditions. The centre intends to solve real time problems of the industry and also support MSMEs in their sustainability and growth.

Hard Materials, with HRC greater than 45, have found great demand in the manufacturing of automotive, aircraft and machine tool components as they offer unique combination of properties such as high wear resistance, high strength at elevated temperatures, high hardness, etc. Traditionally, these materials have been machined to finished geometries by abrasive processes such a grinding, ECM, EDM, Laser Cutting, etc., resulting not only in lower productivity but also environmental degradation due to usage of oil and oil-water based cutting fluids. Recent trends in hardened steel machining offers several advantages like elimination of finishing operations, decreased work-piece distortion, increased flexibility and reliability, and prevents environmental degradation by adopting Minimum Quality Lubrication (MQL) along with dry machining.

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Development of a Green Innovations Framework for Manufacturing Sector

This project is carried out by Dr. H. S. Srivatsa, Mr. Sandeep N., Mr. Vijaya Kumar S. and Mr. Arun R. in the area of Green Manufacturing. It is funded by National Science and Technology Management Information System (NSTMIS), a division of Department of Science and Technology (DST).

Green manufacturing is one of the new trends gaining prominence in the manufacturing sector. In addition, Green manufacturing reduces the extent of harm being caused to the environment by the Company. This helps a Company to become cost competitive leading to increase in its profitability as well as effective utilization of resources. However, going Green in manufacturing demands an innovative approach towards process improvement even though every sector has its own short-term and long-term challenges. In this research work, Companies from automotive and earthmover sectors are selected. Moreover, development of a sector specific framework and a road map for implementing Green manufacturing by understanding their challenges and opportunities will be demonstrated with special reference to SMEs. In summary, a phase-wise roadmap will be established for helping the Companies to implement, practice and sustain green innovations. Furthermore, the proposed framework can act as a guideline for practising green innovations.

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Design and Development of a Long Range Video Transmitter for Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) application

This is an AR & DB (SIGMA) funded project investigated by Faculty of Engineering and Technology. The aim of the project is to develop a hybrid video transmitter with a range of 5 km for Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) application.

MAVs are autonomous micro aircrafts with an overall size of up to 150 mm. Emphasis is being given for their development to use them for surveillance and reconnaissance in defence applications. A survey of fixed-wing and rotary-wing civilian MAVs reveals that for communication over a limited range and a high data rate, the range of Wi-Fi is limited to 70 and 300 m in an indoor and outdoor environment, respectively. The commercially available video transmitters have a range up to 2000 m but operational range of MAV is increasing and there is a demand for video transmitters with a longer range. At the same time, they must be light weight and consume very low power. This necessitates the need for development of low power, light weight longer range video transmitters. The challenges in its development are small power budget and high gain antenna development. Thus a performance evaluation of commercially available video transmitters at 900 MHz / 2.45 GHz will be conducted followed by interfacing an appropriate amplifier for performance improvement of the video transmitter. The range can be further improved by development of a high gain antenna and its integration with the video transmitter. Finally the hybrid video transmitter will be tested and evaluated for its performance.

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Development of Novel Zirconia Reinforced Mica Glass Ceramics for Dental Restorative Applications

Funded by Wellcome Trust DBT India as Research Training Fellowship Award for Clinicians. This project is being investigated by Dr. Sivaranjani Gali from Faculty of Dental Sciences under the supervision of Dr. Sreenivasa Murthy, Dean, Faculty of Dental Sciences and Prof. Bikramjit Basu from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

This project involves Development of Novel Zirconia Reinforced Mica Glass Ceramics for Dental Restorative Applications.

Dental ceramics are commonly used as a biomaterial for restoring esthetics and function of damaged teeth. Glass ceramics are well investigated for dental restorative applications. Mica glass ceramics are of particular interest due to their machinability and translucency but are known to have inferior mechanical properties. Having tested for their cellular functionality, antimicrobial properties and wear resistance, it is expected that novel zirconia additions to mica glass ceramic formulation will give desired combination of both physical properties, etching ability and esthetics.

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Development of Numerical Test-Bed to Analyse Compressor-Combustor Flow Interactions

This is an AR & DB funded project investigated by Dr. A. T. Sriram, Prof. Q. H. Nagpurwala and Mr. S. Subbaramu from Faculty of Engineering and Technology. The aim of the project is to identify suitable CFD models for complex flow configuration, validate individual components and develop numerical test-bed to analyse compressor-combustor flow interaction.

In gas turbine engines, the core flow passes from air intake to nozzle exit via multistage compressor, combustor and multistage turbine. The flow in the blade passage is relative simple and time averaged mean flow is of particular design interest. However, the flow-thermo-chemistry process in the combustor is complex and needs good numerical models as well as fine computational grids to capture the flow physics. Therefore, different numerical approaches at different components are proposed and also to be integrated to form numerical test-bed. Simulations are to be performed for compressor and combustor separately as well as in the coupled configuration to identify interactions.

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Development of Salbutamol Sulphate Embedded Transmucosal Nasal Inserts

This is a SPiCE funded project under VGST, Govt. of Karnataka being investigated by Dr. S. Bharath and Mr. Arjun Jadav S from the Faculty of Pharmacy.

The project involves development of mucoadhesive nasal inserts embedded with an anti-asthmatic drug salbutamol sulphate for administration in the nasal region to achieve longer nasal residence time and thus increase bioavailability.

Majority of conventional oral dosage forms available are associated with the low bioavailability problems due to short half-life, extensive first pass metabolism and poor stability in the gastro-intestinal tract. Nasal drug delivery is a promising alternative for oral and also intravenous routes of drug administration for systemic circulation to have immediate or delayed drug action. Salbutamol sulphate is a short acting β2 receptor agonist, used in the treatment of asthma and COPD with an oral biological half life of 1.5 hours. which will increase the dosing frequency and decrease patient compliance. Mucoadhesive polymer is synthesized to increase the mucoadhesivity of the dosage form and increase nasal residence time. The synthesized polymer is identified and confirmed by different analysis like SEM, XRD, DSC, TGA and Mass spectroscopy. Nasal inserts of salbutamol sulphate are formulated using blend of polymers in different ratios by molding method using lyophilization technique and characterized. The optimized formulation showed a sustained drug flux with Peppas as the best fit model for drug release kinetics.

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Development of Vision Based Auto Pilot System for Indoor Navigation of MAV

is a AR & DB funded project investigated by Prof. S.R. Shankapal, Prof. Govind R. Kadambi, Mr. B. Nagaraja and Mr. K.R. Prashanth from Faculty of Engineering and Technology. The research project is aimed to develop a vision based autonomous guidance of Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) in confined indoor environments.

In recent times, there has been considerable interest in the development of MAV for surveillance and reconnaissance purposes. Payload is the main constraint in the design of an MAV since autonomous navigation requires many types of sensors adding to its weight. Use of cameras as sensors finds utility in multiple applications like video surveillance, obstacle avoidance and collision avoidance. Navigation of MAV in a GPS denied scenarios such as indoor or closed tunnel environment is a greater challenge. Vision based techniques are emerging as an apt alternative for surveillance and collision avoidance applications devoid of GPS. Autopilot is a critical sub system of MAV performing autonomous landing, take off, navigation, ascent, descent, trajectory following. The research of this project involves the development of an Optic Flow based autopilot for autonomous tunnel navigation of MAV.

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Development of Nano Rods for Efficient Solar Cells

is a DST funded project currently being investigated by Prof. S.R. Shankapal, Dr. S. Srikari, Mr. N. Sandeep and Ms. Nireeksha S. Karode from Faculty of Engineering and Technology. The project involves development of MoS2 Nano rods for hybrid solar cell application. MoS2 Nano rods provide both absorption and separation, thus leading to a higher efficiency. Studies have shown that the band gap increases with decrease in thickness of MoS2. The absorption spectrum of MoS2 can be modulated by controlling the dimensions and orientation of Nano rods and annealing process. Therefore this research project will lead to development of more efficient hybrid solar cells with MoS2 Nano rods which have preferred dimensions and orientation on substrates using chemical route.

The investigation of this project embodies research on Nano materials and solar cells. Invention of Nano materials in the form of Nano particles, Nano rods and Nano ribbons has revolutionised different domains such as automotive, electronics, energy, and medical. In the energy sector, use of photovoltaic cells or popularly known as solar cells play an important role for conservation of energy. Compared to conventional solar cells, hybrid solar cells are found to give advantages in terms of cost, manufacturing process, durability and flexibility, but with lower efficiency (around 8-10%). A layer of Nano rods in hybrid solar cells provides a huge interface for better charge separation and charge transfer along with reduction in reflection, resulting in enhanced efficiency of hybrid solar cells.

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Development Studies on Penetration Resistance of Armour Structure

This project is investigated by Dr. B.V. Vijay, Dr. S. Srikari and Mr. V. Nithin from Faculty of Engineering and Technology. This research is aimed at exploratory studies on an Armour structure (hull and turret) for passive nullification of the ballistic energy of anti- tank missiles. The project is challenging on account of the solution needing multiple considerations from the perspectives of structural materials, mechanics, and optimisation.

Traditionally, construction of an Armour tank warrants high- strength steel associated with stiffening features to achieve basic ‘global’ design needs such as modal, distortion, and buckling characteristics. Penetration resistance on the other hand, being a ‘local’ design driver, requires quite a different solution concept. Current research on ballistic impact resistance largely focuses on material - centric issues such as behaviour under high loading rates, failure processes in composite laminated and woven forms. This project proposes research into highly - dispersive and dissipative heterogeneous structure for achieving the requisite absorption needs of ballistic energy.

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