Chennai based start-up uses diamond to help hypersonic missile re-entry

A Chennai based tech start-up has developed a technology that can be used in Indian hyper-sonic missiles during their re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.
For representational purposes
For representational purposes

CHENNAI: A Chennai based tech start-up has developed a technology that can be used in Indian hypersonic missiles during their re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. Hypersonic missiles, which travel at speeds greater than the speed of sound waves, face destructively high temperatures (>2,400oC) during their re-entry into earth’s atmosphere. 

Kapindra Precision Engineering, a tech start-up incubated by Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M), developed diamond coatings that can aid effective heat dissipation in such scenarios, said a statement issued by IIT-M on Monday.

The technology proposed in this involves growing a protective layer (few microns thick) consisting of thin films of diamond. It is interesting to note that even though diamond is electrically insulating, its thermal conductivity (2,000 Wm-1K-1) is 5 times that of copper. So, diamond coatings act as heat-spreaders in electronic devices and find applications in space technology.

Defence establishments of many countries have been working on heat dissipation issues, which pose a major hurdle to aero-dynamic stability of missiles upon re-entry. Usually, improper and inadequate dissipation of heat, during re-entry of missiles, leads to its intense wear and tear.

Based on their technology, Kapindra was adjudged as the ‘#1 Start-up’ in the ‘DRDO Dare to Dream Innovation Contest’ for its specialised product offering.

The start-up came from technology developed at IIT Madras’ Nano Functional Materials Technology Centre (NFMTC) and Materials Science Research Center (MSRC), led by Prof MS Ramachandra Rao, Department of Physics, IIT Madras. 

‘Diamond an ultimate material for space tech’

Rao termed diamond as an ultimate engineering material with a plethora of application prospects and states that it is the material to explore for 'quantum computing' with the creation of 'N-V centres in diamond' - a very challenging and futuristic area of research.

Kapindra Precision Engineering works on development and application of specialized coatings for components used in strategic products that demand reduction of friction, wear and tear, and promote heat dissipation.

Kapindra's unique diamond coating technology through its special patented microstructure, offers better surface adhesion on the substrate-side while providing lesser friction and wear on the functional-side on various types of substrate materials and shapes.

Heat dissipation made effective

The usage of diamond is substantiated by its thermal conduction property, which is 5 times that of copper. Diamond coatings can act as heat spreaders in electronic devices and in space technology applications. 

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