Dr. Ashish Lele's Talk

25 Aug 2011 - 16:00
25 Aug 2011 - 17:00

India is a significant producer of thermoplastics with an installed capacity of about 4 MMTA.1 We are today the second largest producer of polyester and the fifth largest producer of polypropylene in the world. As petroleum prices continue to rise and the manufacturing industry gradually shifts to the middle-east the Indian plastic industry is bound to make a strategic shift to the production of specialty plastics. Additionally, as demands on cleaner environment and sustainability increase the Indian plastics industry will have to focus on the production and processing of environmentally benign polymers. Development of such plastics requires a deeper understanding of the intricate relations between the structure and topology of macromolecules and their processing behavior and properties. A significant scientific challenge here is to be able to connect phenomena that occur over several orders of magnitudes of length and time scales (Figure 1 in attachment).

To meet such a challenge it is necessary to use a combination of research tools such as experimental measurements of the structure and properties of polymers from molecular to macroscopic scales, coarse-grained-mean-field theory, meso-scale simulations and CFD simulations. This has been a major research theme in my group at the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune. We, in collaboration with the Tata Research Design and Development Centre and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, have been gradually building
competencies to address a part of this scientific challenge (dotted area in Figure 1 in attachment).

In this presentation I will summarize the key historical developments in this area, present contributions from NCL, touch upon some industrially relevant problems to which we are applying our tools and give my perspective on the current state of research.

Figure 1: Structure-Property Relationships for Thermoplastics (Kindly refer pdf attachment)

1 Mutha et al., Resources, Conservation and Recycling 2006, 47, 222-224.

About the speaker: Dr Ashish Lele is scientist at the National Chemical Laboratories, NCL, Pune. He has a BTech from UICT (1988) and PhD from University of Delaware (1993). Ashish's research interests are in the area of Rheology of complex fluids such as polymer solutions and melts, microphase separated systems and food products, molecular dynamics of entangled polymers, CFD of viscoelastic, non-Newtonian fluids, development of Rhelogical tools to study microstructure evolution during flow etc. He has several publications and patents in these areas. He has won several awards, prominent amongst them being the Shantiswaroop Bhatnagar award, 2006, INSA Young Scientist Award in Engineering Sciences, 1998, CSIR Young Scientist Award in Engineering, 1996 and the RL Pigford Best TA award,1992.

Ashish Lele 25082011.pdf52.7 KB