IIT-Kharagpur Current Affairs - 2019
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NHAI inks MoU with IIT-Kharagpur to develop technology to construct maintenance free highways in India
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has signed MOU with IIT-Kharagpur for research project to develop technology to construct long lasting maintenance free highways.
Under this MoU, IIT-Kharagpur will develop ‘Paneled Cement Concrete Pavements’ for highways. The duration of the research project is 3 years.
- Traditionally in India, the highways are paved with bituminous material produced from refineries.
- However, these highways are prone to damage and need frequent maintenance due to adverse climatic conditions such as rain and hot weather prevailing in the country.
- Therefore, to overcome this problem, the Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry recently had announced a policy for the construction of concrete pavements for all major highways due to their longevity and maintenance free life.
Paneled Concrete Pavement
- The paneled concrete pavement can facilitate faster construction of highways at much cheaper cost by consuming fewer natural resources and thus promote Green Highways in the country.
- This concrete will be laid on a lean concrete base which can provide long lasting maintenance free pavement at a cost on par with those of bituminous pavements.
Nandini Bhandaru, a PhD student at IIT-Kharagpur has won the Young Scientist Award of the European Materials Research Society’s (E-MRS) for contribution to materials science.
She had won the award for her outstanding contribution to materials science and nanotechnology, particularly nano-patterning of soft films and surfaces.
Presently, Ms. Bhandaru is working at the Instability and Soft Patterning Laboratory of the institute IIT-Kharagpur. Her area of doctoral research is on nano-fabrication, including soft-lithography, polymer blend films, thin film dewetting and self-assembly.
What is Nanofabrication?
- Nano-fabrication and nano-patterning technology entail developing methods to manufacture nano-materials or pattern materials on a nanometre scale.
- Nano-lithography is a common method used in nano-patterning especially for producing topographically patterned polymer films and surfaces required in the organic electronics.
- Applications: It acts as the mother board for many of the devices and applications such as
- (i) organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), (ii) opto-electronic devices, (iii) thin film transistors (TFTs), (iv) biological sensors microfluidics, (v) plastic solar cells, (vi) data storage media, (vii) smart and super adhesives, (viii) lab-on-a-chip devices, (ix) surfaces for nano-biotechnology applications such as patterned substrates for probing of cell behaviour, etc.
Ms. Nandini Bhandaru innovative Research proposes
- Possibility of fabricating nano-scale patterned surfaces at an extremely low cost and by using an inherently simple methodology.
- These surfaces may act as the mother board for many of the devices and applications.
- This technique can be commercialised with minimal capital investment of the fabrication costs of these surfaces.
- The fabrication costs can be reduced to one tenth of the current high end expensive photolithography or electron beam lithography based methods.