Research & Development
Since its inception, SRI has been maintaining its status as an independent, self-supporting contract research organization. It has been recognized as a pioneer contributor to Indian industry through its efforts with technologically innovative applied research approach.
Over the years, the R&D activities of SRI have been expanded covering different areas of materials. The present activities of research involve:
- Identification of new product, application, process and technology
- Development of product, process and technology
- Improvements in the existing product and process
- Scale up studies to take up development work from lab scale to commercial scale
- Cost effective measures either by suggesting alternative route or process of manufacturing of a particular product
- Rendering technical help in preparation of product, application and safety data sheet for capturing market
- Providing opinion report on the existing product as well as process
- Product differentiation etc.
The areas in which R&D is being actively pursued are quite varied from polymers, health care, waste utilization to food, agricultural and herbal products.
- Organic Synthesis
- Specialty Chemicals
- Herbal Products
- Renewable Resources
- Radiation Based Technologies
- Waste Utilization
- Technical Consultancy
- Pilot plant
In view of their versatile properties, / polymers are called wonder materials. They have substituted traditional materials such as metal, glass, wood & concrete either fully or partially in most of the end use applications.
Material Science Division has always been involved in contemporary research and has developed, modified & commercialized a number of processes over the years. The main areas in which MSD deals are:
- Polymer blends /Alloys
- Adhesives, coatings & lacquers
- Healthcare & Bio materials
- Optimization of polymer processing parameters
- Scaling up of technologies from lab to pilot scale and eventually commercialization
- Plastic waste utilization
- Modification of existing processes and import substitutes
Polymer synthesis involves several aspects of synthetic chemistry. In order to develop polymers of desired characteristics, control of process parameters are very important specially when the product is meant for health care and food industries. MSD undertakes projects for the synthesis of novel materials for various applications or develops alternative materials for different applications.
Some of the recent projects undertaken on the synthesis are listed below:
- Synthesis of metal containing polyacrylates for optical applications. Metal containing polyacrylates have been developed with excellent physico- mechanical and optical properties.
- Synthesis of high refractive index novel polythiols for optical applications. Optimization of process parameters has been carried out to synthesize colorless polythiols. Casting into colourless impact resistant, transparent and bubble free sheets has been carried out successfully for application in high refractive index lens.
- Synthesis of polyglycolic acid based surgical absorbable sutures. Polyglycolic acid was prepared through the synthesis of an intermediate glycolide by ring opening polymerization
- Development of Bone Cement. Bone cement is used to fill the gap between bone and prosthesis. Bone cement has been prepared on laboratory scale and physico-mechanical properties were found to be conforming to the international standards.
- Development of Dental Cement. Polycarboxylate based dental cement used for filling dental cavities, fixation of crown, bridges and also as luring agent has been successfully developed as per international standards.
Material Science Division has the competency to characterize the polymer and blends/compounds to identify major constituents in polymeric compositions. Highly competent manpower with state-of-the-art equipment for various type of characterization of polymers
- Physical & Mechanical Characterization
- Dimensional stability
- Flame retardance
- Burning Characteristics
- Tensile strength
- Flexural strength
- Impact strength
- Compressive strength
- Young’s Modulus
- Thermal Characterization
- Differential scanning calorimetry
- Thermo-mechanical analysis
- Vicat softening point
- Heat deflection temperature
- Thermal ageing
- Rheological Characterization
- Stress – strain behavior
- Melt elasticity parameters
- Electrical Characterization
- Dielectric constant
- Volume resistivity
- Dissipation factor
- Surface resistivity
- Breakdown voltage
Based on the desired performance criteria and applications, experts of SRI can design special polymer compounds. Sufficient experience and expertise exists for compounding of various resins of PVC, PP, PE, PS, ABS, PC and rubber blends with various additives such as plasticizers, stabilizers, lubricants and specialty additives etc. for development of various products:
- Cables for high performance applications
- PVC Flooring for household and industrial applications
- PVC Shoe soles with high abrasion resistance
- Automotive components
- Healthcare products such as blood bag, CAPD bag, body warmer bag, Catheter etc.
- Plastic wares for medical and biomedical applications
- Radiation resistant compositions for specialty applications
- Consumer items such as cling films, anti-rodent & anti-termite films etc.
Pilot Plant of Material Science Division is well equipped with major polymer processing equipment which are used for optimization of process parameters of various polymeric materials such as:
- Commodity plastics
- Engineering plastics
- Rubber compounds
- Thermoplastic elastomers
- Polymeric blends
Assignments for finalizing the process parameters, based on which suitable products can be developed, using different types of polymeric substances. The expertise can be used not only for developing processes for new products but also for making the cost-effective formulations using alternative raw materials.
Polymer modifications are at times necessary to generate certain specific functionalities in the standard materials. Using the expertise and the knowledge, the scientists of SRI can help the users by modifying the polymers as per the needs of their applications. Methods of tailor making of polymers for various end applications in which SRI has enough experience are listed below:
- Alloying & blending
- Surface modification
Polymers have to perform in a variety of hostile conditions which varies from very cold to very hot & humid. SRI has infrastructure and expertise to carry out weathering studies in artificially simulated conditions of exposure to ultraviolet rays.
SRI has worked on weathering studies of:
- EPDM/PVC compositions in solar cell
- EPDM/PP compositions for automotive applications
- Weather resistants PVC comosititions for cooling towers
- Neoprene coated nylon fabric
- HDPE woven sacks
- Color fastness of coatings & textiles
- Medical Products
Polymers are the most important and largest family of materials being used in medical applications. Polymers have various advantages such as lightweight, easy processability and reproducibility, non-toxicity, biocompatibility and good aesthetics. Because of these advantages, polymers are used in the various medical devices such as artificial limbs, wound dressing, artificial skin, blood bag, CAPD bag, bioprosthetic heart valve, various replacement joints, bioabsorbable suture, contact and intraocular lenses, orthodontic devices, tissue adhesive, bandages and drug carrier & implants.
SRI has expertise to develop desired product or a product equivalent to the best in the market.
Major R&D Projects
SRI has successfully developed various polymer based products for medical applications.
– Blood Bag
SRI has developed blood bag composition having physico-mechanical as well as hematological properties conforming to ISO 3826.
– CAPD system for Continuous Ambulatory Peritonial Dialysis
SRI has developed CAPD system with dialysate solution and its physico-mechanical as well as toxicological properties are comparable with the standard available product.
– Technology for production of bone cement and bone substitute
Bone cement is used to fill the gap between bone and prosthesis. Bone cement has been prepared on laboratory scale and physico-mechanical properties viz. dough time, setting time, bending modulus and compressive strength are comparable to the imported product.
– Vaginal Speculum
Disposable vaginal speculum has been developed for gynaecological applications. These can replace metallic speculum, which needs to be sterilized for long periods and pose risks of disease transmission if improperly sterilized.
– Body Warmer
SRI has developed heat releasing chemical composition along with heat stable polymer film for body warmer bag. Bag is ideally suited for applications such as orthopedic heating pad for body fomentation, heating pad for baby nursery, instant heating for automobile engine etc.
– Low cost disposable medical hygiene products
A technology for the manufacture of low cost disposable healthcare products viz. diapers and sanitary napkins have been developed.
– Synthesis of novel polythiols
Optimization of process parameters has been carried out to synthesize colorless polythiol. Casting of polythiol into colorless impact resistant, transparent and bubble free sheets has been carried out successfully for application in high refractive index lens.
– Polyglycolic acid (PGA) based synthetic absorbable sutures
Processes for synthesizing glycolide & polyglycolic acid (PGA) have been developed. The synthesized PGA was found comparable to imported PGA.
- Consumer Products
Because of the inherent benefits associated with plastics, they are widely used in manufacturing of various products such as consumer products and in packaging applications. Some of the consumer products developed at SRI:
– Cling Film
Polyethylene based single/multi-layered cling film was developed for both industrial and food packaging applications.
– Rodent Repellent PVC and PE compositions
Rodent repellent PVC and PE compositions laminated with jute fabric have been developed for storage of grains in godowns
– Abrasion resistant low cost shoe soles
PVC/PU blends and PVC/NBR blends have been developed for abrasion resistant low cost shoe soles conforming to IS specifications
– PVC compositions for floor tiles
Cost effective, highly filled calenderable PVC compositions were developed for floor tiles application
– High performance Cables
PVC and PE based compositions crosslinkable by electron beam have been developed for high performance cables
– Plastic Waste Utilization
The rapid rate of industrialization and urbanization has led to increasing amount of industrial as well as municipal waste. This in turn poses great difficulties in managing the disposal of such type of waste. Keeping in view the environmental hazards associated with plastic, there is an urgent need of eco friendly ways for utilization of such type of waste.
SRI has successfully developed eco friendly ways for utilization of plastic waste in the following areas
– Process Engineered Fuels (PEFs) from plastic wastes
Process engineered fuels with different calorific values have been developed from plastic and agri wastes, which may be used in boilers, furnaces and kilns.
– Road Construction
Composition comprising bitumen, concrete and plastic wastes were developed for road construction having better properties than the conventional bituminous road.
– Value Added Products
Plastic furniture made from waste material with good durability and aesthetics have been developed.
Poly pallet developed at SRI was found excellent substitute of wood pallets for stacking of sacks.
A Composite is a combination of two or more dissimilar materials resulting in superior properties from those of the starting materials. Composites consist of a reinforcing agent, a matrix resin for binding and adhesion promoters and a variety of fillers. Composites are lightweight and have high performance to weight ratio. The reinforcing agents are used in fibrous form and include natural fibers such as jute & silk, organic fibers such as carbon & aramid fibers and synthetic inorganic fibers which include glass, silicon carbide, silicon tri nitride and alumina.
Major R & D Projects
SRI has expertise to develop composites for various applications. Some of the polymer composites developed are:
- Fire retardant Jute Composite
Jute composites have been prepared by replacing polyester and polystyrene with natural Euphorbia latex coagulum. Water absorption properties of polyester coagulum composites are better than polystyrene coagulum composites. This composite can be successfully used as wood substitute.
- Mesta fiber Composite
Composites of polypropylene/mesta fibre with good physico-mechanical properties have been developed. This composite may find applications in window profile and automotive application.
- Insulated Laminated Boards
Fire retardant and antistatic laminates were developed using ceramic fibre along with polyester resin. Floor tiles were prepared by dough moulding and compression moulding.
- Wood Polymer Composites
Wood polymer composites based on inferior wood species have been developed with properties comparable or better than teak.
- Anti-fungus, anti-rodent PVC/ PE compositions
Anti-fungus, anti-rodent PVC /PE composition for lamination on jute fabric was developed. Toxicological studies revealed these to be non-toxic. These can be used as flooring material in food storage godowns and will help in saving of considerable amount of food grains from destruction by rodent or fungal attack.
Shriram Institute has the necessary capabilities and expertise in the synthesis of various types of organic chemicals. Several projects based on synthetic chemistry have been taken up in the past and others are in progress. These include:
- Sebacic Acid
- Epoxidised Diallyl Phthalate
- Fluorinated lubricating Oils
- Polyglycolic Acid
SRI undertakes research for the development of specialty chemicals, which finds numerous applications in different areas, which include process technology, green technology and formulation development. The application areas are:
Adhesives are used to bond two similar or dissimilar surfaces to achieve the desired strength. Material Science Division takes up assignments on the development of various hot melt, solution and water based adhesives for different applications as per the requirement of the customer.
SRI has successfully developed many adhesives for various applications. Some of the formulations developed are:
- Water Based Adhesive
Water based adhesive has been developed for tyre retreading in the form of a stable aqueous dispersion. The developed adhesive is comparable in strength, tack, shelf-life, drying time vis-à-vis solvent based adhesive with better coverage.
- Hot Melt Adhesive
Hot melt adhesive for book binding application has been developed with good tack and easy processing.
- Glue Stick
Glue stick was developed for stationary use, which was found comparable with the leading available brands in respect of adhesion, tack free time and compactness.
Coatings are used to provide protection, aesthetics and value addition to substance/substitutes. SRI has successfully developed coatings for different applications
Major R&D Projects
Some coating formulations developed by SRI are as follows :
- Surface coating formulations for wood laminates
Acrylate based high performance electron beam curable surface coating formulation for wood laminates/boards has been developed which offer superior combination of properties and versatility of performance.
- Water repellent coating for glass
Highly effective water and dust repellent coating formulation for glass was developed using indigenous raw materials, which find application in window panels for high rise buildings and windshield of cars.
- Road marking paint
SRI has successfully developed road-marking paint, used to draw lines on the road, which is long lasting, luminescent, weather and friction resistant.
Defoamers are used to suppress the foam generated during the production of emulsions for various applications including food, pharma and chemical industries.
SRI has successfully developed a defoamer formulation for fertilizer industries to kill the huge foam generated during the digestion of phosphate rock with sulphuric acid for the manufacture of fertilizer. A cost-effective formulation of defoamer from indigenous raw materials has been developed.
SRI can develop defoamers based on silicone and non-silicone raw materials for various industrial applications.