Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurates Centre for Advanced Radiation Shielding and Geopolymeric Materials and an Analytical High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscope Laboratory at CSIR-AMPRI, Bhopal

Bhopal: The Minister of Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, has said that safe drinking water is required for everyone and the Advanced Materials and Processes Research Institute (AMPRI) is working in this direction and gave solution to the problem of Arsenic and Fluoride. He was inaugurating the Centre for Advanced Radiation Shielding and Geopolymeric Materials and Analytical High-Resolution Transmission Electron Microscope Laboratory, during his visit to CSIR constituent lab AMPRI based in Bhopal on March 13, 2021. He also laid the foundation stone of CSIR-AMPRI Bamboo Composite Structure.

Lauding CSIR-AMPRI, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that the Institute has been successfully adopting ‘Waste to Wealth’ strategy as the institute has developed radiation shielding materials utilizing industrial wastes as raw materials.  He said that significantly, a novel process for making lead free and highly effective shielding materials useful for the construction of X-ray diagnostic and CT scanner room has been developed utilizing industrial waste namely red mud and fly ash.

The Minister pointed out that the Institute is working in the cutting-edge areas of advanced technologies like Additive manufacturing and added that scientists have been working in the areas of Biomaterials, Graphene, Smart material, light weight material, nano material. During COVID time, the Institute has developed knowhow for sanitizer, face masks, disinfectant fox, he said. Their masks are available on AMAZON too. Institute is in the forefront during the pandemic time by undertaking research problem in collaboration with AIIMS, Bhopal in the area of Development of rapid electrochemical based diagnostic for detection of SARS-COV infection”, the Minister added.

Various geopolymeric materials were also developed by CSIR-AMPRI utilizing Coal based Thermal Power Plant waste i.e. Fly-Ash and three US Patents have been granted on geopolymeric materials.

With the continual development a unique Centre for Advanced Radiation Shielding and Geopolymeric Materials with a total Area 455.52 Sq.m and Carpet Area 906.24 Sq.m is being established.  Dr Harsh Vardhan noted that the advances in geopolymeric materials will accelerate strategic applications such as Development of Thermal Resistant Geopolymeric Concrete for Missile /Rocket Launching Pad and development of Geopolymeric Bullet Proof Concrete for Bunkers; development of Graphene-Induced Geopolymeric Concrete and Geopolymeric Radiation Shielding Concrete. In addition, it will also have advanced conventional applications such as development and up scaling of ready mix Geopolymeric Concrete for road applications and structural applications; development of Roller-Compacted Geopolymeric Concrete and development of pre-stressed Geopolymeric Concrete components, he said.

Dr Harsh Vardhan expressed the hope that the centre will enhance the knowledge for understanding the mechanism of Radiation Shielding and improvement in engineering properties of developed materials. It will facilitate the upscaling of technologies in this area and provide technological support to Indian industry. Reiterating the “Waste to Wealth” theme, Dr Harsh Vardhan also released the fly ash compendium.

Another major facility inaugurated by Dr Harsh Vardhan at CSIR-AMPRI was the Analytical High-Resolution Transmission Electron Microscope Laboratory. This laboratory houses Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (STEM) with High-Angle Annular Dark Field Detector (HAADF) and Energy Dispersive Spectrometer (EDS) along with TEM sample preparation equipment such as, Ion milling system, Ultrasonic disc cutter, Dimple grinder, Disk punch, lapping disk and Diamond saw. This system is capable of performing microanalysis such as micro diffraction, rocking beam channelling patterns, qualitative and quantitative X-ray spectroscopy analysis, particle size analysis, dislocation density and movement, precipitation, nucleation and growth.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr.Avanish Kumar Srivastava, Director, CSIR-AMPRI, noted that these advanced instruments in CSIR-AMPRI could throw light on the morphological, structural and compositional analysis of advanced materials developed at CSIR-AMPRI. This facility will not only enhance the research quality of CSIR-AMPRI but also neighbouring institutes of Madhya Pradesh to carry out innovative research on advanced materials and develop know – how / technologies. Dr Srivastava also highlighted that the Institute is working in the cutting-edge areas of advanced technologies like Additive manufacturing and that the scientists are working in the areas of Biomaterials, Graphene, Smart material, light weight material and nano materials among others.

The foundation stone for multifunctional CSIR-AMPRI Bamboo Composite Structure was also laid by the Minister. CSIR-AMPRI has developed a knowhow of manufacturing environmentally friendly multifunctional bamboo composite material for modern housing and structures using abundantly available bamboo as a raw material. The newly developed bamboo composite material can serve as a competitive, sustainable and environment friendly alternative material, useful in the construction of smart green buildings as it has very attractive features like, aesthetic appearance, acoustic & thermal insulation. Patents have also been filed on this know-how and also transferred to M/s Permali Wallace private limited. Dr Harsh Vardhan noted that this will be advantageous to the bamboo cultivators located in various parts of India and also help in the generation of employment. He observed that while India is the second largest cultivator of bamboo, it has only 4% share of world trade and the bamboo wood technology has potential of increasing this trade share.

After the inauguration and laying of foundation stone, the Minister visited the Technology Exhibits of CSIR-AMPRI, Bhopal. He addressed the scientists & staff of the institute and speaking about theCovid-19 pandemic, Dr Harsh Vardhan lauded the efforts of entire CSIR community who came together and developed a gamut of technologies and products. He appreciated that the technology for makeshift hospital/clinic/house has been developed jointly by CSIR-CBRI, Roorkee and CSIR-AMPRI. He expressed happiness that with the support of Madhya Pradesh Council of S&T, a demonstrational structure of makeshift clinic has been developed at JP Hospital. He called on the students and scientists to be innovative, advance the frontiers of science and develop technologies that can make India Aatmanirbhar and also serve the cause of the society.

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