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Jhargram scientist turns ‘Make in India’ dream true

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Aerospace Engineering researcher, Professor Santanu Bhowmick, who hails from Jhargram district, has discovered a unique raw material to manufacture light-weight anti landmine-vehicles.The anti-landmine vehicles currently used by different defence organisations in India usually weigh around 10-15 tonnes, whereas vehicles manufactured using raw material discovered by Professor Bhowmick will weigh only five tonnes, resulting in faster speed and greater mobility, especially in hilly terrains. The new material is also capable of withstanding heat upto 2400 degrees centigrade. Usually, heat generated during a landmine blast measures upto 2000 degrees centigrade.

Professor Bhowmick had previously discovered a light-weight bulletproof jacket, which was approved by the empowered committee of the Ministry of Defence. The jacket is made from indigenous ultra-modern lightweight thermoplastic technology. It has been included in the Prime Minister’s ‘Make in India’ project.Anti-landmine vehicles used in India are usually made of steel, which tends to melt due to the heat generated by landmine blasts, resulting in the death of security personnel. Professor Bhowmick replaced this steel in the vehicles and provided them with a heat-withstanding ceramic and steel plate fitted to the base. The other portions of the vehicle are however made of steel. The entire vehicle can also be made of the new material which will make it lighter. The vehicle base will have three layers of heat resistant ceramic plates of 60mm thickness.

The new anti-landmine vehicle will be made by the TATA group at their Jamshedpur workshop. The professor had a meeting with representatives of the group earlier this month to discuss about the project. It was agreed that TATA would supply high quality steel for the vehicle. The vehicle will be entirely made by Indian technology. The newly discovered material’s patent has been secured by Bhowmick. The new series of vehicles will be ready by 2020.

Recently, the professor delivered a presentation about his newly-discovered technology at the Army Technology Seminar 2018 using slide shows to illustrate his findings. He is upbeat about the findings and is confident that in future, this raw material may be used in building army bunkers, tanks, missiles and space research centres too. His presentation was even attended by the Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat and other top ranking Army officers.