Centre of excellence mooted for work on composites

Defence Minister's Scientific Advisor and DRDO Director General G. Satheesh Reddy on Friday mooted a centre of excellence for undertaking work on futuristic technologies in the area of composite materials.

The facility should be established through a public private partnership approach, he suggested. Underscoring its significance, Mr. Reddy said industry, academic institutions and organisations such as DRDO need to join hands for work on innovative technologies in the area.

“There is definitely a need to have a centre of excellence working in the futuristic areas, be it smart composites, self diagnostic composites or self healing composites, nano composites, lean composites. There are many technologies to work on, most important being high performance carbon fibres.” Many of the technologies have “tremendous application” in commercial sectors, including aerospace, automobile and medical technologies, besides the defence sector.

Mr. Reddy, who was addressing the inaugural session of an international conference on Composites Manufacturing Technologies and Applications here on Friday, highlighted the growing importance of composite materials, especially in defence.

Strategic materials policy

“For countries to be successful, they have to be strong in materials and also be innovative in manufacturing,” he said. Recognising this fact, the Centre is working on a strategic materials policy, he added.

Several countries have established innovative manufacturing institutes on PPP mode to support industries in evolving unique manufacturing techniques and technologies as well as to impart training to people. “Unless we come with innovative manufacturing technologies, we wouldn't be able to compete with the world in these technologies,” added the Director General.

Mr. Reddy urged companies in the area of composites to explore opportunities for exports. “I don't think the industry would be able to survive only with domestic market. You will not be able to sustain by supplying only to the armed forces or the domestic market. We need to export, we need to be cost competitive and produce state-of-the-art technology.”

The two-day international conference is being organised by Telangana and Andhra Composites Manufacturers Association (TAACMA) and FRP Institute with the support of Telangana government. Inaugurating the conference, Finance Minister Eatala Rajender highlighted the initiatives of the State government for industries, including the TS-iPass industrial policy for time-bound approvals.

TSIIC Managing Director E.V. Narasimha Reddy said defence and aerospace sector was one of the 14 thrust sectors identified for growth by the State government. A composite manufacturing cluster on 123 acres was being set up in Ibrahimpatnam, he said.

Aerospace scientist and former vice-chancellor of University of Hyderabad Kota Harinarayana said the cluster should be equipped with testing and automation facilities as well as having training institutes for technicians. Experts in the field of composite materials and leaders of TAACMA, including B.S. Sambi Reddy, Chairman of ICCMA 2018 participated.

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 9:13:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/composites-drdo-facility/article22475286.ece

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