Funded Research Projects

Defence Research and Development Organisation, Ministry of Defense, Government of India.

Topic Mass, temperature, and species measurement during fast pyrolysis of solid propellants
From 2017
To 2022
Budget 913 lacs
Details The project aims at gaining a thorough understanding of the conditions that exist in the fizz zone of a solid propellant, particularly AP-HTPB, when it undergoes combustion. This is proposed to be achieved by subjecting small quantities of propellant sample at high enough heating rates to accurately mimic the conditions on the combustion propellant surface without igniting the sample. Mass loss data will be gathered at a suitable range of isothermal conditions and will be analysed to formulate a semi-global reaction mechanism. This mechanism will be verified and improved by constructing a physical model of the condensed phase decomposition process to predict mass loss. FTIR spectroscopy and triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (TQMS) will also be carried out for detection of product species and the data will be quantified. All the experimental data will be used to guide molecular modelling calculations to identify the key reactions and the associated chemical kinetic parameters in the condensed phase, for development of detailed chemical kinetics mechanisms. Analysis of the effects of various factors such as pressure, propellant grain particle size, binder loading, and additives on the combustion process has also been proposed in this work.
Status active

Defence Research and Development Organisation, Ministry of Defense, Government of India.

Topic Synthesis and characterization of novel solid propellant formulations
From 2017
To 2022
Budget 616 lacs
Details Propellant community is always in search of novel compounds that are energetically dense to provide enormous amounts of power on combustion, yet kinetically stable to withstand long term storage. The cubane family of compounds provides a unique opportunity to cater to these diverse requirements with suitable tailoring of the molecular structure and with addition of various substituent groups. The versatility of the family lies in the possibility of formulating oxidizers, through the addition of nitro, nitrato, dinitramide, etc. oxygen-rich functional groups through suitable reaction schemes; or formulating polymeric binders by incorporating nitrogen-rich groups such as azides, triazoles, tetrazoles etc. in the monomeric groups with subsequent polymerization. In addition to the cubane-based compounds, various ionic liquids have shown potential as either solid propellant additives, or as hypergolic propellants with nitrogen tetroxide and nitric acid. The project would focus on the design and development of novel compounds that would enable DRDO to replace ammonium perchlorate (AP) and hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) as the common propellants, with improved performance characteristics. Additionally, hypergolic propellants capable of replacing the carcinogenic hydrazine family would also be developed.
Status active

DST

Topic Atomistically informed crystal plasticity modeling of hcp metals (as PI)
From 2016
To 2019
Budget 40 lacs
Details
Status active

Indian Space Research Organisation, Department of Space, Government of India.

Topic Synthesis and Combustion of Novel Energetic Compounds
From 2017
To 2020
Budget 37 lacs
Details Synthesis and combustion characterization of strained polycyclic cage compounds, namely hydrocarbons is proposed using a combined experimental and computational approach. These compounds have exhibited a high specific impulse when combined with liquid oxygen. Therefore, they can be potentially utilized with success as thermally stable fuels and fuel additives for semi-cryogenic propulsion systems as well as volume limited applications in air-breathing propellant systems. Before attempting to substitute existing hydrocarbon-based propellants, fundamental thermal characteristics of these compounds, some of which have been already identified and synthesized, must be investigated during combustion. Combustion would be studied through the well-established technique of droplet combustion studies using the limited synthesized quantities. The experimental data would be analysed to extract the mass burning rates, flame dimensions and temperatures, and soot formation. The derived parameters would serve as valuable inputs in designing subsequent experimental setups required to estimate performance and safety parameters. Quantum mechanics based molecular modelling calculations will be used to formulate reaction mechanisms of selected cage hydrocarbon to identify the key energy generating chemical processes and explain experimental results.
Status active

IRCC

Topic Thermolysis Studies and Reaction Mechanism Development for High Energy Density Energetic Materials
From 2015
To 2018
Budget 20 lacs
Details The project involves pyrolysis studies of high energy materials which are potential replacements for existing propellants in space and defense applications. The materials will be subjected to FTIR, TGA and DSC diagnostic techniques to study their decomposition. These techniques will give information about the species formed on decomposition, the mass loss rate and the differential heat release rate with time. The data thus obtained will be used to formulate a chemical reaction mechanism for the energetic materials. This mechanism will be validated by employing quantum mechanics based computations to obtain optimized molecular structures, reaction path details and kinetic parameters of individual reactions.
Status active

IRCC

Topic Development of Nanocrystalline Metals - Experiments and Modeling (as PI)
From 2016
To 2019
Budget 20 lacs
Details
Status active

ISRO

Topic Modeling of Microstructure Evolution of Aerospace Ti Alloys during Deformation at High Temperature (as PI)
From 2017
To 2020
Budget 28 lacs
Details
Status active

MHRD

Topic Durable Thermal Barrier Coatings for Improved Internal Combustion Engine Efficiency (as Co-PI)
From 2016
To 2019
Budget 100 lacs
Details
Status active

Science and Engineering Research Board, Ministry of Humban Resource Development, Government of India

Topic Combustion Analysis of Ammonium Perchlorate Based Propellants using Detailed Chemical Kinetics
From 2017
To 2020
Budget 30 lacs
Details Ammonium perchlorate (AP) has been widely used in the propellant industry during the last few decades. It is preferred in propellant applications because it is a strong oxidizer, easily available and compatible with other solid propellant components. Researchers always seek the ability to predict the performance of composite propellants which have AP as an ingredient by carrying out numerical simulation of combustion phenomena such as strand burning. They also pursue the skill of being able to forecast the behaviour of AP in various propellant mixtures under thermal stress during storage and handling. For achieving these objectives, it becomes necessary to possess proper knowledge of the thermal decomposition processes involving AP and the corresponding kinetic parameters. Hence the aim of this project is to carry out a detailed investigation of the AP decomposition processes using state of the art experimental and computational tools. This would add to the already existing knowledge and result in the development of a detailed chemical kinetics mechanism (DCKM) for AP decomposition under various conditions. This DCKM can then be used as input to improve the predictive capability of numerical models and thus fulfil the above mentioned objectives. Elucidation of the overall decomposition chemistry for AP to get the DCKM is challenging because of the possibility of completely different chemical reactions and processes being active under different conditions. Hence separate experiments need to be carried out to analyse the two domains of decomposition (i) rapid combustion in propellant applications and (ii) slow degradation during handling and storage. The experimental tools that are proposed to be used are thermogravimetric analysis, pyroprobe, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, high-pressure differential scanning calorimetry and mass spectrometry. In the light of experimental results thus obtained, a chemical reaction scheme containing reaction rate parameters of individual elementary reactions will be formulated with the use of quantum mechanics based computations. These computations involve optimization of ground state and transition state molecular structures and reaction path calculations. Components such as hydroxyl terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) in the AP based propellant mixture being considered also need to be subjected to similar experimental and computational investigation as elaborated above. The results obtained on successful execution of this project will provide a better understanding of the behaviour of propellant ingredients and thus help in improving existing propellants as well as in developing new propellant compositions.
Status active