Materials & Processing : Technology Vision 2020


Titanium came to be known as wonder memtal with its unique properties of corrosion resistance,high strength to wieght ratio, high temperature capabilities upto 5500 C etc. Pure titaniumdominates in chemical and many allied industries. Alloy titanium gets prominently into aerospace.
Facilities for production of titanium and its alloy products from sponge are avialable in thecountry; however, no commercial facility exists for production of sponge.

VisionWith first place on the globe in terms of reserves (37% of world’s Ilmenite ore occurs in India),sound titanium industry footing in the country and the growing application base for titanium andits alloys, titanium will see a much larger and significant usage in the country. Production ofmill products will go up from present 100 to 5000 tons/year by 2020. Titanium will penetrate into non-aerospace sectors like naval, marine, oil and gas, power generation etc.

Titanium willalso be popularised in applications such as surgical tools, decorative items, building, architecture,jewellery etc. Development of cheaper alloys, e.g. Ti-Al-Fe will facilitate access into commercialmarkets. Development of alloys with higher temperature capability, near net shaping technologiese.g. isothermal forging will pave way for increased role of titanium in aerospace. Titaniumcastings will be produced in India for extensive application in aerospace, chemical, marine andmechanical engineering sectors.
Short Term Action Plan

  • Set up a commercial scale facility, say of 1000T / year capacity thereby bridging an important gap existing in the country.
  • Promote usage of titanium in non-aerospace sectors.
  • Develop technologies for isothermal forging processes for near net shape components for aerospace applications.

Long Term Action Plan

  • Develop applications for titanium for increasing its consumption upto 5000 T/year.
  • Penetrate export market for SpongeMill products Components


Rare earths comprise of a group of 17 elements Scandium (At.No.21) to Lactecium (At.No.71).They have assumed great significance in the context of technological developments of last 3decades. Major applications are for catalysts in chemical reactions, phosphors, high energymagnets, special glasses for lasers, functional ceramics, high temperature superconductors,

additives in metallurgy for improving high temperature performance etc.VisionIndia enjoys an advantageous position with reference to availability of raw materials (only nextto China). With the advent of many high technology products/applications based on rareearths, considerable effort will go into establishing large scale production and applicationactivities. Indigenous capabilities will be established to produce rare earth oxides, metals,alloys/compounds to the required degree of purity. Country will take up commercial productionof Nd-Fe-B magnets, piezoelectric ceramics etc and will enter export market.
Material & Processing : Technology Vision 2020

Short term Action Plan

  • Set up large scale solvent extraction facility for separation of individual rare earths.
  • Large scale production of rare earth metal from their salts/oxides.
  • Concerted efforts jointly by R&D, industry, users to develop and commercialise products such as Nd-Fe-B magnets, piezoelectric ceramics, auto catysts, lasers, etc.Long Term Action Plan
  •  Stress should be laid on separation of rare earth constituents economically and also to high degree of purity.
  • R&D activities should focus on development of products for diverse high technology applications. e.g. high temperature superconductors, piezo ceramic sensors etc.



Alluminium offers a combination of many attractive properties - light weight, soft and malleablein unalloyed condition, good thermal and electrical conductivity, good strength to weight ratioin alloyed condition, resistance to weathering, sea water and atmospheric corrosion, ease offabrication and at lower cost compared to other popular metals like copper and steel. These
characteristics have earned many important applications for it - structural material for groundand air transportation, building/construction, containers/packaging sectors, conductors in hightension power transmission lines etc.
VisionWith the excellent reserves of bauxite (5th place in the world), well-established productionbase for alumina and aluminium in the country, and growing demand for the products, theindustry is poised for major growth. Production of aluminium will increase from current 0.5 to1.5 MT/yr by 2000 and possibly 5 MT/yr by 2020. Bayer’s and electrolytic processes willcontinue to be the route for extraction, but process efficiencies will be improved. Newermaterials will be developed for high technology applications e.g. Al-Li alloys, Aluminium basedMMC’s, etc. Remelting requires only 1/20th of the energy needed to produce primary metal
accrodingly aluminium recycling will gain importance.

Short Term Action Plan

  • Tie ups should be established with enterprises in countries where there is surplus power

          for smelting and elctrowinning of Al.

  • Technologies in many production units need to be significantly upgraded - improvements

          to be made in electrolytic cells and current rating of the anodes.
          Long Term Action Plan

  • Establish large scale production facilities to recycle aluminium to bring down specific

          power consumption and consequently cost of production.

  • Facilities should be established for production of high technology alloys: Al-Li, Al-Zn-Mg,

         Al-Cu-Mg etc.

  • Power being an important input to aluminium producers, it should be available on a reliable basis and at affordable cost. Producers setting up captive power plants would help attaining self sufficiency in power.


Surface engineering involves coating or modification of material surfaces so as to provideresistance to wear, corrosion etc., thereby increasing reliability/durability of components underservice conditions. It is becoming increasingly accepted as engineering tool because of thecost-effective solutions its offers. Among the well-developed technologies are thermal spraying,vapour deposition, diffusion coating, electro deposition, selective surface hardening by phasetransformation.
Vision (Short term)Thermal spray technique will be increasingly adopted by industries to address their surfacedegradation problems. A number of thermal spray jobshops will come into existence. There willbe a spurt in the use of PVD coatings. Automobile industry will go in a big way to exploitadvantages offered by surface modifications technologies.
Vision Long (Long term)Feed stock for thermal spraying will be manufactured indigenously by 2020. Large industries
will set up their in-house thermal spray facilities. Environment friendly feedstock materials &processes will be promoted. Selective plating will become more popular because of costeconomics and environmental considerations.
Short Term Action Plan- Awareness should be developed to bring about rapid growth in employing surface
engineering technologies like thermal spray, plasma spray not only in civilian sector. Inautomotive and textile industries for example, a number of erosion and corrosion problemsare encountered, which can be solved by resorting to surface modification.
Long Term Action Plan

  • Establish production centres for equipment and feedstocks for surface coatings. e.g. thermal spray equipments and ceramic feedstocks.
  • Larger number of job shops should be set up in the private sector with facilities for surface modifications.


Composite materials comprise two physically distinct phases - a soft material and a hardreinforcing material. The composite enjoys conjoint properties of both phases. Light weight(one fifth of metal), high strength, high stiffness and good corrosion resistance distinguishthem. They are often classified based on matrix material polymer matrix composites (PMC),

metal matrix composites (MMC), Ceramic matrix composites (CMC) and carbon-carboncomposites. Low cost high performance PMC’s are used for door panels, furniture etc. Mediumcost high performance PMC’s are used in automobile, aerospace sectors. The very high cost,high performance PMC’s, MMC’s, C-C composites are used in defence and aerospace.

There will be a substantially increased usage of composites in many sectors by 2020. Majorvolume growth will be contributed by transportation and construction sectors. Glass fibrereinforced polymers (GRP) will see a major expansion in civilian sector. Production/processingtechnologies suitable for mass production will be established, bringing down the cost. Productionof MMC’s will be established by 2010 for hi-tech applications e.g. space structures, aeroengine components, landing gears etc. CMC’s will be developed by 2020 for application inreciprocating engines, gas turbine engines, wear resistant parts etc. Repair/maintenanceschemes for composites will be standardised.
Short Term Action Plan

  • Promote use of GRP in transportation sector.
  • Develop technologies for joining & assembly of composites particularly for PMCs & MMCs.
  • Set up production venture for MMCs
  • Develop components with MMC’s based on Al, especially for automotive sector.
  • Product development and introduction of newer processes should be carried out bringing together technologists, raw material suppliers and producers. for e.g. pistons for automobile industries where casting technologies and processes should be developed for user industry by using suitable proportions of Al alloy and SiC whiskers and particulates to meet the required properties.

Long Term Action Plan

  • Promote large scale usage of PMCs in construction and transportation sector.
  • Develop CMC’s for applications, where operating temperatures could be as high as 22000C. e.g. parts for gas turbine engines for power generation and aviation.


Ceramics are inorganic, non-metallic materials processed/consolidated at high temperatures.They are valuable due to their resistance to heat and chemical attack, fast ionic conduction,low thermal conductivity etc. They can be broadly classified into

1. Traditional ceramics such as pottery, sanitary ware, insulators, glass and refractories and
2. Advanced ceramics broadly grouped into (i) functional ceramics used in capacitors,substrates, ferrite magnets, piezoelectric ceramics and (ii) structural ceramics used ascutting tools, abrasives, wear resistant parts, gas trubine engine coatings etc.
Advanced ceramics are poised for impressive growth in the country. Indian market for functionalceramics which in 1995 is Rs.169 crores, will grow to Rs.1358 crores by year 2000. Marketfor structural ceramics will grow from Rs.191 crores to Rs. 378 crores over the same period.
India will enter into export market for advanced ceramics by 2000-2005. Structural Ceramicswill find application in high technology sectors both as components (e.g. turbine blades) andcoatings. Advanced sensors based on functional ceramics will be extensively used in manyfields in India, e.g. agriculture, automobiles, pollution detection and control, security systems
etc. There is a good scope for market in the country and for export of advanced ceramics.

Short Term Action Plan

  • Develop sources for chemicals used in making glazes, stains and colours which are presently imported at huge cash outflow.
  • Set up production facilities to produce high and uniform quality powders like - alumina, Zirconia, Silicon carbide etc.
  • Production of structural ceramics should receive thrust for application as cutting tools inserts, wear resistance parts, refractories, coatings etc.
  • Develop advanced functional ceramics for high technology sectors like sensors for agriculture,avionics, space, automobile and home appliances.Long Term Action Plan
  •   Develop flat panel display based on LCD.
  • Set up production facilities for functional ceramics for their application as capacitors, magnets, substrates, piezoelectric ceramics etc.
  • Integrate advanced sensor technologies, in manufacturing system
  • India should enter world markets in advanced ceramics area.


Building materials are inputs for civil engineering construction. They play a vital role in economic development.Vision Cement will continue to be a dominating building material. Its consumption will go up from 75MT in 1995 to 115 MT in 2005. Natural aggregates are likely to predominate even beyond2020 due to their easy availability. Concrete will continue to be an indispensable material ofconstruction; its usage will also. Steel will continue to be one of the major structural materials
as well as reinforcement in concrete.


Action Plan

  •   Precast concrete construction should be adopted in significant proportion for faster construction.
  •  Since concrete is going to stay strong in coming decades, use of high strength concrete in multi-storeyed buildings,     bridges etc. should be promoted, counting to work towards improvement in ductility of high strength concrete.
  •  Water recycling should be carried out employing newer chemical methods and biotechnologies, to combat problem of  water shortage.
  • Cost effective wood substitutes should be employed to maintain ecological balance and conserve wood.e.g.. composites(FRP’s), Aluminium, steel etc.
  • Promote use of local agricultural waste and industrial waste as building material e.g. fly ash bricks, slag bricks etc.

Material & Processing : Technology Vision 2020

  •   Develop substitutes to asbestos fibre as it is carcinogenic.
  •   Develop synthetic concrete chemicals for fast setting and repair of cement- concrete structures.
  • Use ferrocement for low cost and mass housing. Set up facilities for production of ferrocement
  • roofing and other building components.


Photonics is the science of coherent beam of photons. Photonic materials are those speciallyneeded in technologies relating to photonics. They comprise of (i) optical fibres made ofquartz, or oxide free heavy metal fluorides and polymers in case of short haul communications

(ii) opto electron materials forOptical sources e.g. Nd: YAG, Nd: GVOPhoto detectors e.g. InGaAsP, InSb, HgCdTe, doped silicon platinum silicideDevices for manipulation of radiation e.g. Titanium niobate or tantalateOpticaldata storage and computation e.g. Ferroelectric oxides (LiNbO3, BaTiO3),Compound semi conductors (GaAs,InP)VisionPhotonics will dominate all walks of life in the 21st century. It will penetrate into several areastraditionally covered by electronics such as communication, computation, memories etc. It willhave far-reaching effects in several critical areas such as information technology, fibre opticsbased telecommunication, diagnostics and therapeutic applications in health care, pollution
control, life sciences etc.Developments in photonic materials will accordingly keep pace. Nd:YAG laser will continue;however Nd:GVO will score over. ZnSeTe, ZnTe, CdS, CdTe will be used for maturing diodelasers. II-IV compounds like ZnS doped with Mg, Cu or Rare earths will assume great importancefor electro-luminescence applications. New class of EL Phosphors may revolutionize displaytechnology. Opto electronic and NLO systems will increasingly use polymers.

Short Term Action Plan

  • India should set up a national centre for photonic materials.
  • Larger investments should be made for crystal growth and processing.
  • Set up large scale production facilities for optical fibres.
  • Develop Indium phosphide for achieving integration of wave guiding, switching and detecting functions. It can be used for bistable switching on pico second time scales with minimal consumption of power.

Long Term Action Plan

  • Materials should be developed for optical fibre based telecommunication usable at bit rates > 30 Gbit/sec. (Currently available materials achieve 2.5 Gbit/sec) which could accomplish faster data transfer and lower memories.
  • Develop polymer fibres for short haul, low cost, communication systems & process control.
  • Production facilities should be established for Nd:YAG, ZnSi, ZnS, KDP, ADP etc., whichare important laser materials.


Superconducting materials have the ability to conduct electricity without resistance, wherebycurrent carrying electrons more totally unimpeded.Superconducting materials can have wide-ranging applications:

  • efficient generation, transmission and storage of electricity.
  • detection of minute electro magnetic signals, too small to be sensed by conventional means
  • protection of electrical grids from power surges, sags, outages
  • faster and more compact cellular communication technology etc.

Superconducting materials can be broadly grouped into 2 typesLow Temperature (LTSC) - mostly metallic - critical temp <23 K
e.g. Nb-Ti multifilamentaryHigh Temperature (HTSC) - based on metal oxides - critical temp upto 135 Ke.g. Yttrium, Barium and Copper oxide.

LTSC’s with improved performance will be developed. Indegenous development ofSuperconducting cyclotron and X-ray synchrotron would take place. Superconducting generatorswith > 5MVA field, magnetic seperators with field strengths > 3.5 T would be commercially builtin India. Multi SQUID arrays will be developed for medical diagnostics.SQUID’s based on HTSC’s will be developed and used for non-invasive diagnosis of diseases,biomedical investigations, NDT of oil pipes, bridges etc. HTSC’s will work their way into microwavecommunication, energy storage devices, sensing and electro magnetic devices for spaceexploration, high speed computers etc. HTSC’s will enable building MRI devices smaller andless energy consuming. Superconducting train has been an important expectation but doesnot appear to be a realistic goal.
Short Term Action Plan- Processing technologies to get wires, tapes of Yttrium and Bismuth based HTSC materialswith high critical current densities should be scaled up and productionised.

  • Technologies related to high power magnets and systems based on high current LTSC’s should be productionised and commercially exploited.
  • Super conducting generators of 5 MVA and higher should be productionised based on LTSC’s.
  • SQUIDS should be developed for use in medical electronics/ health sector. Long Term Action Plan
  • Activities should be directed towards the application of high temperature superconductors in magnets, generators, bearings, switching devices, junctions and SQUIDS.

Material & Processing : Technology Vision 2020

  • Sensing and electromagnetic devices should be developed for their application in space exploration.
  • Josephson junctions, should be developed to replace circuits in computers and boostspeed of computation.
  • Superconducting materials should be used in biomedical applications for diagnosis and investigations, e.g., in manufacture of small and portable MRI’s based on HTSC’s.


Polymeric materials are organic compounds synthesised to form tailored molecules in typicalchains to the required properties. Polymers are broadly classified as follows:
Commodity e.g.

  • HDPE, LDPE/LLDPE, PP,PVC, Polystyrene
  • Thermoplastics Engineering e.g. Polyester, Poly carbonate, PTFE
  • Speciality e.g.Liquid crystal, conducting,
  • biomedical
  • Thermosets e.g. PF, UF, MF

Elastomers/rubbers e.g. Natural rubber, Synthetic rubber (e.g. styrene butadiene, polybutadiene
Fibre/fibre intermediaries e.g. Polyamide, polyester, acrylicCommodity plastics are extensively used in engineering, packaging, cable production, agriculture,construction etc.Raw materials for their synthesis are generally obtained from petroleum sources like naphthaand natural gas.

Polymer industry in India will grow at 15-20% upto 2000 AD and at 10% thereafter. Commodityplastic production will increase from current 1.7MT to 4.5 MT by year 2000. Elastomers andsynthetic rubber will grow at the expense of natural rubber. There will be a large usage ofecofriendly (biodegradable, non-toxic) polymers. Recycling/reprocessing of waste plastics willassume great significance. Depletion of oil and natural gas reserves will lead to alternateroutes for feedstock manufacture.
Short Term Action Plan

  • Promote increasing use of plastics for energy efficiency and conservation of naturalresources, e.g. in construction, transportation sectors.
  • The potential of existing range of polymers should be fully exploited through developmentof polymer alloys, blends, compounds and composites.
  • Set up new facilities for production and applications for engineering plastics; promoteapplication base for them.
  • Processes employing recycling of lean/spent feedstock should be encouraged.
    Material & Processing : Technology Vision 2020

Long Term Action Plan

  • The country needs to look at the developments of new polymer technologies based on metallose catalyst systems for tailoring the properties of plastics to various end use applications.
  • Newer processes should be developed to convert LPG into polymer raw materials such as ighter olefins, benzene, toluene, xylene etc.


Nuclear Materials form the backbone for nuclear power generation. They are of two types -fuel materials (Uranium, plutonium, thorium etc.,) and structural materials (Zirconium alloys,special steels etc.,) . Uranium is the most important fuel material and uranium bearing ores areavailable in the country. The fuel is used in the form of metal/alloy in research reactors, oxide
in heavy water moderated reactors and mixed carbide in fast breeder reactors. UCIL , BARCand NFC have capabilities to meet fuel requirements of the country. Country has capability toproduce special steels zircalloy etc., used as structural materials in nuclear power generation.


Nuclear Power Corporation will set up 7 more plants of 2100 MW by year 2000 and 17 moreby 2020 to raise the total installed capacity to 12,200 MW. Requirements of nuclear materialswill accordingly go up. Monazite production would increase to 8000/9000 TPY at Manavalakurichialone. NFC would augment its facilities to meet the increased requirements of zirconium alloyand UO2 fuel. Large scale production of reactor grade HfO2 and its conversion to Hf metal willbe taken up to keep pace with increasing demands. Newer zirconium alloys would be designedfor fuel cladding applications with better orrosion/radiation resistance.

Short Term Action Plan

  • Intensive R&D efforts are required for development of technologies for recovery of Uranium from low grade uranium deposits.
  • All efforts should be made to find and develop non nuclear applications for Thorium in order to consume the large quantities getting generated as byproduct during production of uranium.

Long Term Action Plan

  • Technology is to be established for conversion of B4C powder to high density compact by hot processing. It finds application as control and neutron shielding material in FBR.
  • Commercial scale exploitation of solvent extraction technology for the recovery of Cobalt and Nickel should be the priority area in the coming decades.


Biomaterials are those which find application or have a potential of being used in medical fieldfor making a device or an implant. They can be based on Material & Processing : Technology Vision 2020 Polymers - Polylactides, glycolides etc
Metals and alloys - Ti & its alloys, Cobalt base alloy, low-C stainless steelCeramics Composites - Al2O3, ZrO2, Galium phosphate based ceramics.
Metals/Alloys based materials are used the most and polymer based come next.

  • Several industries will be set up with imported technology for manufacture of medical devices.
  • Polymers, ceramics and metal alloy industries will be encouraged to produce the requiredbiomaterials.
  • Medical and health care sectors will undergo a major transformation with increased availabilityof artificial organs, blood etc. For example
  • Implantation of artificial human parts will be possible - heart, pancreas, lungs, kidneys Artificial
  • blood will be available for transfusion in leukamia patients
  • Bone, hip, tissue replacements will be possible for accident victims
  • Heart patients can receive heart valves, artificial hearts etc.
  • Requirement of biomaterials would accordingly go up.
  • Tissue engineering will aim at replacing the affected tissue in a natural way.

Short Term Action Plan

  • There is need to develop industries that can supply biomedical grade metals, ceramics  and polymers.
  • Materials for adoption as biomedical purposes should be developed; e.g. biodegradable polymers for sutures, porous membranes, calcium phosphate based bioceramics for bone

          repairs, diagnostic sensors for tissue functions, analysis of saliva, titanium and its alloys  as implants etc.

  • Industries should be set up with indigenous/imported technologies for manufacture of  medical devices.
  • A regulatory body should be established similar to US Food and Drug Administration(FDA) to coordinate, raise and allocate funds, and distribute research work. Long Term Action Plan
  • Advances in technology should be made with respect to implants with surfaces that bear similarity to biological molecules and will not be recognised by antigens e.g.. ceramic surface coatings on metals that bear similarity to bones.
  • Implanting of critical artificial human implants should be made; e.g.. heart, lung, kidney and pancreas.
  • Tissue engineering should emerge which would develop so called hybrid organs or

biologically modified synthetic method.
Material & Processing : Technology Vision 2020

Shri R.K.Mahapatra,
Chairman & Managing Director,

Former Director CGCRI,

Dr.M.Nageswara Rao,
General Manager (AMTL),

Semi Conductor Complex,

Dr.P.Ramachandra Rao,
Shri N.S.Narayanan,


Salem Steel Plant,


Material & Processing : Technology Vision 2020

Dr.A.M.Srirama Murthy,







Shri P.D.Mangalgiri,

Shri P.Kanakalatha,


Shri D.Basu,

Shri K.K.Bhattacharya,

Shri T.P.Bhattacharya,

Shri J.Sengupta,
Building Materials & Technology Promotion Council

Material & Processing : Technology Vision 2020
Shri V.R.Kulkarni,
Indian Concrete Journal

Dr.Manjit Singh,


Shri S.Krishnan,

CAT, Indore

IIT Kharagpur



CAT, Indore

Dr.Rakesh Kapoor,
CAT, Indore

Shri R.K.Sinha,

Prof.C.P.Girija Vallabhan,
Cochin University of Science & Technology




RSA Polymers


Material & Processing : Technology Vision 2020

IISc, Bangalore

IISc, Bangalore

IISc, Bangalore

Prof.G.V.Subba Rao,



BARC, Mumbai

Shri S.Majumdar,

Shri H.Singh

Shri P.S.A.Narayanan,


Dr.Mira Mohanty,


Shri D.Ranjit,

Shri S.Balram,