Qualification: 
Ph.D, M.Tech, B-Tech
b_meera@cb.amrita.edu
Phone: 
+91 9443656597, +91 4222685000

Dr. Meera Balachandran currently serves as Vice-Chairperson at the Department of Chemical Engineering & Material Sciences and Associate Professor at the Departments of Chemical Engineering & Material Sciences, Civil Engineering and Center of Excellence in Advanced Materials & Green Technologies at Amrita School Engineering, Coimbatore.

Affiliations

Qualifications

Year Degree / Program Institution
2011 Ph.D.
Thesis Title: Studies on Acrylonitrile – Butadiene Copolymer (Nitrile Rubber) Nanocomposites
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham
2003 M.Tech. Polymer Technology Cochin University of Science and Technology
1996 B.Tech. Chemical Engineering Government Engineering College, Trichur, University of Calicut

Dr. Meera joined Amrita School of Engineering in the year 2000. Prior to joining Amrita, she worked for 3 years in leading chemical process industries;Gharda Chemicals Limited and Merchem Limited.

Dr. Meera is Principal investigator & Co-investigator for several research projects funded by various agencies such as ISRO, UGC-DAE CSR and MHRD. She is involved in consultancy projects for industries for materials development and process optimization. She collaborates with multi-disciplinary teams in diverse areas for development and modelling ofpolymer nanodielectrics, tribological studies on alloys and water and waste-water treatment.

Two research scholars have completed their PhD dissertations under Dr. Meera’s  supervision as Thesis advisor / Co-advisor. Currently she is the Advisor/Co Advisor for two PhD theses. She has also guided several M.Tech. and B.Tech. projects. She has her credit several peer reviewed publications in international journals and international / national conferences. She serves as  reviewer for several International Journals. She is a Life Member of Indian Society for Advancement of Materials and Process Engineering (ISAMPE) and Member of Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers (IIChE).

Sponsored Projects

Years Funding Agency Title of Project Amount of Grant (Rs.) Role Status
March 2019 – February 2022 ISRO RESPOND High performance Polyether KetoneCarbonFibre composite for future generation aviation and space Applications Rs. 24.96 Lakhs Principal Investigator Ongoing
2017 DST FIST Level 2 DST FIST grant under Chemical Sciences Division High Performance Functional Materials for Strategic Applications Rs. 264 Lakhs Team Member Completed
May 2017 – June 2018 V-Guard Industries Ltd Reduction of Coefficient of friction (COF) when PVC insulated wires are pulled out through PVC Conduit Rs. 6.53 Lakhs Principal Investigator Completed
April 2014 – March 2017 UGC – DAE CSR Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) Rubber based nanocomposites for application in corrosive and radiation environments Rs. 6.79Lakhs Principal Investigator Completed
October 2014 – September 2017 ISRO Development of Ultra High Temperature Resistance Polymeric Nanocomposites for Long Distance Space Applications Rs. 24.64Lakhs  Co- Principal Investigator Completed
June 2014 – May 2017 MHRD Centre of Excellence in Advanced Materials and Green Technologies Rs. 250 Lakhs Team Member Completed
June 2008 – June 2011 ISRO Analysis and Evaluation of Multi-Layer Shear Damped Visco elastic Treatments for Launch Vehicle Application Rs. 11.95Lakhs  Co- Principal Investigator Completed
May 2006 – April 2009 ISRO Elastomer based Nanocomposites for Control System Bladders Rs. 9.16Lakhs  Co- Principal Investigator Completed
January 2009 – June 2009 The Institution of Engineers (India) Optimisation of Nanofiller Loading in Natural Rubber based Micro Cellular SheetUsing DoE Rs. 0.5 Lakhs Principal Investigator Completed

Publications

Publication Type: Journal Article

Year of Publication Title

2021

N. Ashok, Dr. Meera Balachandran, Das, N. Chandra, and Remanan, S., “Nanoreinforcement mechanism of organomodified layered silicates in EPDM/CIIR blends: experimental analysis and theoretical perspectives of static mechanical and viscoelastic behavior”, Composite Interfaces, vol. 28, pp. 35-62, 2021.[Abstract]


ABSTRACT Ethylene propylene diene (EPDM)–chlorobutyl rubber (CIIR) blends can withstand both radiation and hydrocarbon environments and are used for elastomeric components in nuclear plants. This work investigates the influence of organomodified layered silicates (OMLS) on the mechanical and viscoelastic properties of EPDM–CIIR blends. The morphology and physicochemical interactions are evaluated by X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and correlated with the enhancement in mechanical properties. Mooney–Rivlin plots provided insight into the nonlinear mechanical behavior of EPDM–CIIR nanocomposites. From a dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), it was found that blends with 5 phr OMLS content had the maximum storage modulus. Significant lowering as well as broadening of tanδ peak was observed for blends with well-dispersed OMLS (5 phr). The entanglement density and constrained volume near the interfaces, calculated from the DMA data, gave an insight to the reinforcing mechanism. Rheological characteristics of the nanoreinforced blends also revealed the stiffening effect of OMLS. Payne effect and stress relaxation studies confirmed good rubber–OMLS interactions. The applicability of various analytical models to predict the static and dynamic modulus as well as the Payne effect is explored.

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2021

N. Ashok, Prakash, K., Selvakumar, D., and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Synergistic enhancement of mechanical, viscoelastic, transport, thermal, and radiation aging characteristics through chemically bonded interface in nanosilica reinforced EPDM-CIIR blends”, Journal of Applied Polymer Science, vol. 138, p. 50082, 2021.[Abstract]


Abstract The study investigates the influence of bis(3-triethoxysilylpropyl)tetrasulfide (TESPT) grafted nanosilica (NS) reinforcement on the mechanical, viscoelastic, thermal, and transport characteristics as well as behavior after exposure to different cumulative γ-radiation doses of EPDM-CIIR blends for application in nuclear and hydrocarbon environments. The tensile strength and modulus of the nanocomposites were enhanced upto 64% and 118%, respectively whereas solvent diffusion coefficient reduced by 22%. The degradation onset temperature improved from 485°C for unfilled blends to 503°C for the nanocomposites. γ-radiation aging resistance of EPDM-CIIR blends improved with incorporation of nanosilica, with blends containing 7.5phrNS showing optimum properties and radiation aging resistance. The property improvements are attributed to the dispersion of NS and chemically interfaced covalent linkages between SiO2-EPDM/CIIR chains that provides large interfacial area for effective stress transfer and creates barrier to free radical and solvent permeation. The applicability of Korsmeyer-Peppas, Peppas-Sahlin, and Higuchi models to predict of sorption behavior are investigated. Coats-Redfern and Horowitz-Metzger models were employed to evaluate the activation energy for thermal degradation. Slight decline in properties at higher nanofiller contents was due to the formation of agglomerates. TEM, FTIR, and rheological curves were utilized to corroborate these observations. FTIR and ESR analysis provided insight on the chemical changes in the nanocomposites after irradiation.

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2020

V. Kumar, Kumar, V., Menon, G., Bimaldev, S., Sankar, M., Shankar, K., and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Analyzing the Effect of B4C/Al2O3 on the Wear Behavior of Al-6.6Si-0.4Mg Alloy Using Response Surface Methodology”, International Journal of Surface Engineering and Interdisciplinary Materials Science, vol. 8, pp. 66-79, 2020.[Abstract]


The current study deals with the development of a hybrid metal matrix composite and studies their wear characteristics. Suitable wt - % of Al2O3/B4C was reinforced into Al-Si-Mg alloy and the composites were fabricated using liquid metallurgy route. The developed composites were analyzed for their wear behavior by using a wear testing apparatus. Three process parameters including applied load, sliding distance, and velocity were chosen for carrying out the wear experiments. The influence of the reinforcement on wear rate was investigated through response surface methodology methods. The formulation of the regression equation was done and the effect of each experimental parameter was studied. Results from the investigation illustrate that the wear rate was found to decrease and then increase with the increasing wt-% of reinforcement and the wear rate was found to increase with an increase in the sliding distance but the wear rate was found to decrease with an increase in the sliding velocity. The worn-out surface of the hybrid composite was characterized using SEM.

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2020

E. P. Sreedev, Govind, H. K., P, A., Adithyan, S., Narayan, H. A., Shankar, K. V., and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Determining the Significance of Cobalt Addition on the Wear Characteristics of Al-6.6Si-0.4Mg Hypoeutectic Alloy Using Design of Experiment”, Tribology in Industry, vol. 42, pp. 299-309, 2020.[Abstract]


Aluminium alloys have found application in many areas like aerospace industries and automobiles specifically in Machine tool parts, aircraft wheels, pump parts, marine hardware, valve bodies and automotive pistons, owed to their strength to low weight ratio. The present study deals with the growing demand for more durable aluminum alloys for the engine components with improved mechanical property/ tribological properties majorly focusing on the area of wear and tear in engine piston systems. In the present research, the simultaneous effect of cobalt (Co) addition and wear testing factors on the wear resistance of Al-6.6Si-0.4Mg hypoeutectic alloy is investigated through response surface methodology (RSM), a system employed in the design of experiments. Using Minitab software, the regression analysis was done and an equation was formulated to forecast the wear rate and also to investigate the significance of each experimental parameter on the subsequent wear rate. It was found from the current research that, with a surge in the cobalt content, the wear resistance of the alloy increased. It was also noted that, the wear rate was found to increase with an increase in the sliding velocity and load. Whereas, wear rate decreases with an increase in the sliding distance. In order to obtain the minimal wear rate, optimal values for each parameter were found out. FESEM investigation was conducted on the worn-out specimen to evaluate the worn-out surface of the regular and modified alloy for different wear testing conditions.

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2020

A. Neelesh, Vidhyashree, S., and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “The influence of MWCNT and hybrid (MWCNT/nanoclay) fillers on performance of EPDM-CIIR blends in nuclear applications: Mechanical, hydrocarbon transport, and gamma-radiation aging characteristics”, Journal of Applied Polymer Science, vol. 137, p. 49271, 2020.[Abstract]


Abstract Blends of EPDM and chlorobutyl (CIIR) rubbers are used in nuclear plants where they have to withstand the combined effect of radiation and hydrocarbon aging. To improve their mechanical properties as well as hydrocarbon and gamma radiation resistance, the blends are reinforced with 0.5, 1, 1.5, and 2 phr of MWCNT. The increase in mechanical properties was highest for 1.5 phr MWCNT with 69% increase in tensile strength. The improvement in properties was correlated to MWCNT dispersion and filler–polymer interactions, which were confirmed by TEM and FTIR analysis. Hydrocarbon transport coefficients decreased on addition of MWCNT. The nanocomposites were exposed to 0.5, 1, and 2 MGy cumulative doses of gamma radiation. Depending on the radiation dose, crosslinking and/or chain scission occurred causes changes in physical properties. MWCNT reinforcement reduced the magnitude of changes in mechanical and transport properties after γ-irradiation. ESR and FTIR spectra provided qualitative information on free radical formation and chemical changes due to γ-rays exposure. To further enhance the properties, hybrid nanocomposites with 1.5 phr MWCNT and varying nanoclay contents (0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, and 5 phr) were prepared. Due to synergism between MWCNT and nanoclay, the hybrid composites had superior properties with hybrid containing 5 phr nanoclay giving 98% increase in tensile strength.

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2020

Jennifer Vinodhini, K. Sudheendra, Dr. Meera Balachandran, and Shantanu Bhowmik, “Influence of argon plasma treatment on carbon fibre reinforced high performance thermoplastic composite”, High Performance Polymers, p. 0954008320957062, 2020.[Abstract]


This investigation highlights argon plasma treatment on Poly-aryl-ether-ketone (PAEK) and carbon fibre (CF) surface. The PAEK and CF surface is modified for 300 sec and the change in physiochemical and mechanical properties were investigated through Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Dynamic Contact angle, Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) and Tensile Test. FTIR of surface modified PAEK revealed the stretching of C-H, C=C and C=O functional groups. A reversal phenomenon of increased surface energy was observed through dynamic contact angle study of CF and to further examine the surface energy effect, AFM analysis on CF was carried out revealing increased roughness with numerous micro dents formation. PAEK/CF composite samples were fabricated through compression moulding technique. The change in mechanical properties due to surface modification were analysed through Tensile testing on surface modified PAEK/CF sample and untreated PAEK/CF samples. The surface treated PAEK/CF showed increased tensile strength than untreated PAEK/CF. The argon plasma treatment helped in creating depth striations that lead to better interlocking of resin matrix with the reinforced CF. The fracture surface was examined through Filed Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FE-SEM) wherein the Micrographs of the tensile tested samples indicated failure of composite due to fibre breakage.

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2020

S. P. Kumar, Dr. Jayanarayanan K., and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Thermal and Mechanical Behavior of Functionalized MWCNT Reinforced Epoxy Carbon Fabric Composites”, Materials Today Proceedings (in press)., vol. Volume 24, pp. p.1157 - 1166 (2020), 2020.[Abstract]


This work focuses on the thermal properties, mechanical behavior and fracture analysis of carboxylic acid (-COOH) modified multi walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) reinforced epoxy – CF composites. MWCNT – epoxy nanocomposites were prepared by ultrasonic probe method. The CF composites with Epoxy – MWCNT nanocomposites were prepared by conventional hand lay-up method followed by compression molding. The addition of 1.5 % MWCNT to the epoxy resin significantly enhanced the mechanical properties such as fracture toughness, tensile and flexural properties, while the impact strength decreased. Thermogravimetric analysis showed that the addition of MWCNT in the CF epoxy composite improved the degradation onset temperature while there was a decline in the temperature at which of maximum weight loss occurred. The effect of MWCNT on composite properties were correlated to nanofiller dispersion and interaction with polymer by morphological analysis using field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis. However, at higher concentration of carbon nanotubes, both thermal and mechanical properties showed slight decline due to the formation of agglomerates.

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2019

Dr. Meera Balachandran and Viswakumar, K., “XLPE – Layered Silicate Nanocomposites for High Voltage Insulation Applications: Mechanical and Treeing Behavior”, IET Science, Measurement & Technology, vol. 13, 2019.

2019

Prakash Chinnaiyan, Thampi, S. G., MathavaKumar,, and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Response surface modeling and optimization of process variables for Amiodarone and Levetiracetam removal from synthetic pharmaceutical industry effluent employing heterogeneous photocatalysis”, Desalination and Water Treatment, vol. 170, pp. 253-264, 2019.

2019

S. Vasudevan, V, P., and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Influence of admixtures on properties of concrete and optimization using response surface methodology”, Materials Today Proceedings (in press), 2019.

2019

P. Raga Sreehitha, Durga, B., and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Dielectric Properties, Thermal Characteristics and Degradation Kinetics of PMMA Nanodielectric”, Materials Today Proceedings (in press)., 2019.

2019

D. Kavitha and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “XLPE – layered silicate nanocomposites for high voltage insulation applications: dielectric characteristics, treeing behaviour and mechanical properties”, IET Science, Measurement Technology, vol. 13, pp. 1019-1025, 2019.[Abstract]


The study presented here investigates the performance of nano-reinforced cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) for high-voltage insulation applications with particular focus on dielectric characteristics, treeing behaviour and mechanical properties. The nanocomposites with varying content of organo-modified layered silicate (nanoclay) were prepared by melt mixing of polyethylene, cross-linking agent and nanoclay. X-ray diffraction and atomic force microscopy studies showed that layered silicates were uniformly dispersed with exfoliation in XLPE matrix up to 5 wt% nanoclay content with formation of intercalated structures with slight agglomeration at higher nanofiller content. The dielectric loss, relative permittivity and dielectric strength of the nanocomposites increased with increasing nanoclay content, which was attributed to the inherent properties of XLPE and nanoclay, nanofiller dispersion and interfacial polarisation. The effect of frequency on the dielectric properties was also investigated. Incorporation of nanoclay in XLPE altered the electric field stress distribution in the material and consequently retarded water tree growth. The electric field distribution and the probability of water tree growth were studied by finite element method. Additionally, mechanical properties of the nanocomposite viz. tensile strength and modulus were also enhanced. The changes in the properties were correlated to the morphology of the nanocomposites, as well as polymer filler interactions.

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2018

S. Narendra K. Reddy, Unnikrishnan D., and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Investigation and Optimization of Mechanical, Thermal and Tribological Properties of UHMWPE – Graphite Nanocomposites”, Materials Today: Proceedings, vol. 5, pp. 25139 - 25148, 2018.[Abstract]


The objective of this study is to investigate the influence of nano-sized graphite on the mechanical, thermal and wear characteristics of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) - Graphite (Nano 27) nanocomposites. Mechanical, wear and thermal properties were analyzed for nanocomposites containing 0.5, 1, 1.5 and 2% graphite and compared with unfilled UHMWPE. The wear properties of the nanocomposites were modeled and optimized for nano-graphite content and process parameters viz. sliding velocity and load. Response surface methodology (RSM) was utilized for modeling and optimization for reducing the wear rate in the nanocomposites. The degree of wear and the worn surfaces were evaluated by Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM).

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2018

S. K. Tajamul Basha, Divya, R., Menon, A. U., Ashok, N., Dr. Meera Balachandran, S., B., and S.R., N., “Cure and Degradation Kinetics of Sulfur Cured Nanocomposites of EPDM-NBR Rubber Blends”, Materials Today: Proceedings, vol. 5, pp. 23586-23595, 2018.[Abstract]


Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) rubber is widely used in nuclear plants due to its resistance to radiation, which is highest among elastomers. However, owing to its poor resistance to aliphatic hydrocarbons, components made of EPDM fail when exposed to environments that have the combined effect of radiation and hydrocarbons. The life of such components can be extended by blending EPDM with a hydrocarbon resistant polymer like nitrile rubber (NBR). By incorporating nanoparticles like nanoclay in the rubber blend, properties like hydrocarbon resistance, radiation resistance and mechanical properties can be improved. In this work, detailed analysis of cure characteristics, cure kinetics and degradation kinetics of EPDM - NBR blend based nanocomposites with nanoclay as filler is presented. Kinetic analysis gives a detailed insight into the mechanisms of the reactions of curing and degradation which affects the characteristics of the final product. The miscibility of EPDM - NBR blends with maleic anhydride as compatibilizer was ascertained by Differential Scanning Calorimetry. The cure and degradation kinetics of the nanocomposites were analysed as a function of nanoclay content. The order of the reaction was found to be one, for cure and degradation reactions. Also, the rate constant of the cure and degradation reactions increased with concentration of nanoclayand then declined with increase in nanoclay content.The observed results were correlated to the morphology of nanocomposites. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd.

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2018

Prakash Chinnaiyan, S.G. Thampi, M. Kumar, and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Photocatalytic Degradation of Metformin and Amoxicillin in Synthetic Hospital Wastewater: Effect of Classical Parameters”, International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 2018.[Abstract]


In this study, photocatalytic degradation of synthetic hospital wastewater containing two pharmaceutical contaminants, namely amoxicillin trihydrate (a commonly used antibiotic) and metformin HCl (a widely used diabetic medicine), was carried out using a laboratory-scale photoreactor (200 mL), TiO2 as photocatalyst, and 125 W low-pressure mercury vapour lamp emitting UV rays at 365 nm. The response surface methodology based on face-centred central composite design was used to optimize the independent variables, namely the initial concentrations of contaminants (10–50 mg/L), TiO2 dosage (250–1250 mg/L), initial pH (3–11), and reaction time (30–150 min). Results showed that both amoxicillin and metformin removals were influenced by all the four variables individually and also by the interaction between these variables. Response surface and overlaid contour plots were used to evaluate the optimum conditions. It was found that the maximum removal of amoxicillin (90%) and metformin (98%) could occur when the pH is 7.6, TiO2 dosage is 563 mg/L, and reaction time is 150 min for an initial concentration of the contaminants at 10 mg/L. Further experiments were conducted to evaluate the characteristics of photocatalytic degradation. Low adsorption of contaminants on TiO2 surface and negligible degradation of contaminants using acetonitrile as solvent suggest that hydroxyl radical attack could be the predominant pathway in the removal process. The COD and TOC analyses of the samples confirmed the mineralization of the compounds to more than 60%. © 2018, Islamic Azad University (IAU).

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2018

N. Ashok, Webert, D., Suneesh, P. V., and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Mechanical and sorption behaviour of organo-modified montmorillonite nanocomposites based on EPDM - NBR Blends”, Materials Today: Proceedings, vol. 5, no. 8, pp. 16132-16140, 2018.[Abstract]


Nanocomposites of blends based on ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber and acrylonitrile butadiene copolymer (nitrile rubber or NBR) rubber was prepared by melt compounding in an internal mixer using maleic anhydride as compatibilizer. The blends were reinforced with varying amount (0, 2, 4, 6 and 8 phr (parts per 100 parts rubber)) of organomodified montmorillonite (nanoclay). The nanocomposites were vulcanized at 170°C for the optimum cure time in hydraulic compression press to obtain approximately 2mm thick sheets. Morphological analysis using X-ray diffraction and Atomic Force Microscopy confirmed intercalation and exfoliation of nanoclay at lower concentration and slight agglomeration at higher concentration. Consequently, owing to the large surface area and strong matrix - reinforcement interaction, the mechanical properties improved with increasing nanofiller content. The barrier properties, characterized by diffusion, sorption and permeation coefficients also improved with increasing nanoclay content. However, at higher concentration of nanoclay, both mechanical and barrier properties showed slight decline due to formation of agglomerates. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.

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2018

N. Ashok, Dr. Meera Balachandran, and Lawrence, F., “Organo-modified layered silicate nanocomposites of EPDM–chlorobutyl rubber blends for enhanced performance in γ radiation and hydrocarbon environment”, Journal of Composite Materials, vol. 52, pp. 3219-3231, 2018.[Abstract]


In this work, blends of ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber and chlorobutyl rubber were reinforced with organo-modified layered silicate (nanoclay) to enhance their performance in radiation as well as hydrocarbons environments. The mechanical properties of the nanocomposites increased (up to 57%) and solvent transport coefficients decreased (by 30%) with increasing nanoclay content. The enhancement in properties was attributed to the dispersion of nanoclay platelets in the ethylene propylene diene monomer–chlorobutyl rubber blends and the chemical interaction between nanoclay and the polymer which were confirmed by morphological and spectroscopic analysis, respectively. The effect of nanofiller content on the mechanical properties, solvent uptake and thermal degradation of blends exposed to gamma radiation was investigated by irradiating the nanocomposites with gamma rays for cumulative doses of 0.5, 1 and 2 MGy. The ethylene propylene diene monomer–chlorobutyl rubber nanocomposites with 5 phr nanoclay had the best retention of mechanical properties and solvent sorption coefficients on exposure to radiation. Depending on the dose of cumulative radiation exposure, chain scission and/or crosslinking occurred in the nanocomposites, resulting in varying degrees of changes in properties.

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2017

V. K. Sahithya, Kavitha, D., Dr. Meera Balachandran, and Kumar, M., “Polymer Nanocomposite Containing High Permittivity Nanoparticles for Energy Storage Application”, International Journal of Nanotechnology and Applications, vol. 11, pp. 305-318, 2017.

2017

N. Ashok, Dr. Meera Balachandran, Lawrence, F., and Sebastian, N., “EPDM-chlorobutyl rubber blends in γ-radiation and hydrocarbon environment: Mechanical, transport, and ageing behavior”, Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 2017.[Abstract]


In nuclear applications, ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber is the material of choice as gaskets and O-rings due to its radiations resistance. In nuclear fuel reprocessing, in addition to radiation, the elastomeric components have to withstand paraffinic hydrocarbons as well. But, EPDM has poor resistance to hydrocarbons. To enhance the durability of EPDM in such environments, EPDM-chlorobutyl rubber (CIIR) blends of varying compositions were developed and characterized for mechanical, thermal, dielectric, and solvent sorption behavior. Spectroscopic and morphological analysis was used to evaluate the compatibility of blends. Due to synergistic effect, the optimal composition of blends with superior mechanical properties and solvent resistance were found to be 60 to 80% EPDM and 20 to 40% CIIR. The optimized blends were irradiated with gamma rays at cumulative doses up to 2 MGy. Based on spectroscopic, morphological, mechanical, thermogravimetric, and sorption properties, blend containing 80% EPDM was found to have superior retention of properties after irradiation. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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2017

Shantanu Bhowmik, Mohan Kumar Pitchan, Dr. Meera Balachandran, and Abraham, M., “Process Optimization of Functionalized MWCNT/Polyetherimide Nanocomposites for Aerospace Application”, Journal of Materials and Design, 2017.

2017

P. .M.Mrudul, .Upender, T., Tarun, V., Dr. Meera Balachandran, and Dr. Mini K. M., “Study on Silica Infused Recycled Aggregate Concrete Using Design of Experiments”, Journal of Engineering science and Technology, vol. 12, no. 10, 2017.[Abstract]


Recycled Aggregate (RA) generated from the construction industry is used as a material for sustainable construction. The old mortar attached to these aggregates makes it porous and are generally used for low-grade applications. However, by infusing with silica fumes, the properties of recycled aggregate concrete (RAC) can be improved, as the silica fumes get infused into the pores of old mortar attached to it. In this study, the optimum percentage of recycled aggregate that can be used in fresh concrete for higher grade applications was found out. Design of experiments (DoE) was used to optimize percentage of silica fumes and recycled aggregate to achieve optimum properties of concrete. Equations to predict the properties of concrete were also modelled using regression analysis. More »»

2016

Mohan Kumar Pitchan, Shantanu Bhowmik, Dr. Meera Balachandran, and Abraham, M., “Effect of Surface Functionalization on Mechanical Properties and Decomposition Kinetics of High Performance Polyetherimide/MWCNT Nano Composites”, Journal of Composites Part A Applied Science and Manufacturing, vol. 90, pp. 147-160, 2016.[Abstract]


In this investigation, Polyetherimide (PEI) reinforced with multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) using novel melt blending technique. Surface of MWCNTs are modified by acid treatment as well as by plasma treatment. PEI nano composites with 2 wt % treated MWCNT shows about 15 % improvement in mechanical properties when compared to unfilled PEI. The thermal decomposition kinetics of PEI/MWCNT nano composites has been critically analyzed by using Coats – Redfern model. The increase in activation energy for thermal degradation by 699 kJ /mol for 2 wt% MWCNT implies improvement in the thermal properties of PEI. Studies under Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) depict significant interfacial adhesion with uniform dispersion of MWCNT in polymer matrix due to surface functionalization. 0.5 wt% chemically modified MWCNT shows typical alignment of MWCNT. There is a significant improvement in mechanical properties and thermal properties for surface functionalized MWCNT reinforced. More »»

2016

Ra Rajan, Varghese, Sa, Dr. Meera Balachandran, and George, K. Ec, “Response surface methodology: A tool for assessing the role of compounding ingredients in peroxide vulcanization of natural rubber”, Rubber Chemistry and Technology, vol. 89, pp. 211-226, 2016.[Abstract]


Response surface methodology was used for assessing the role of various compounding ingredients, including zinc oxide, antioxidant, coagent, oil, and filler, in peroxide vulcanization of natural rubber. A face-centered central composite design with four factors at three different levels was used to obtain the relationship between vulcanizate properties and the level of ingredients. The four factors selected were filler and oil ratio and the contents of zinc oxide, antioxidant, and coagent. The filler and oil ratio was kept constant throughout the experiment. The vulcanizates were evaluated for their mechanical properties: tensile strength, elongation, modulus (M100), tear strength, hardness, compression set (70 and 100°C), and crosslink density. Regression equations were generated to model the properties of interest, and response surfaces and contour diagrams were plotted. © 2016, Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society. More »»

2015

D. Susan, Vishvanathan, R., .E, P., and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Kodo Idly – Inside Out”, Trends in Biosciences, vol. 8, no. 10, pp. 2638-2646, 2015.

2015

D. Susan, .E, P., Vishvanathan, R., and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Carving of Idly from the batter”, Trends in Biosciences , vol. 8, no. 10, pp. 2631-2637, 2015.

2015

D. Kavitha, NAMBIAR, T. N. P., Dr. Meera Balachandran, and SINDHU, T. K., “Modeling of Electric Field Distribution and Electric Tree Propagation in Epoxy Nanocomposites using Finite Element Method”, Journal of Electrical Engineering, 2015.[Abstract]


Electrical treeing gets initiated from voids or impurities present in the volume of the solid insulating material where partial discharge occurs due to the enhanced stress. Breakdown of the insulation can be delayed if the insulation gives higher resistance to the propagation of the discharge in the form of an electrical tree. It is well understood from some of the reported experimental results that addition of nanoparticles improves the electrical properties of a base insulating material. The shape, size and percentage loading etc. of the nanoparticles play a good role in deciding the properties of the nanocomposites. Theoretical analysis for determining the influence of fillers and the dependence of its size, shape and composition on the electrical properties of the composite is limited in the literature. In this work, the electric field stress of different nanocomposites at different points in the matrix is found using Finite Element Method (FEM). From the determined stress, the propagation of electrical treeing is analysed for different nanocomposites and the properties of the fillers required for enhanced resistance to electrical treeing is identified

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2012

Dr. Meera Balachandran, Devanathan, S., Muraleekrishnan, R., and Bhagawan, S. S., “Optimizing properties of nanoclay–nitrile rubber (NBR) composites using Face Centred Central Composite Design”, Materials & Design - MATER DESIGN, vol. 35, 2012.[Abstract]


The properties of acrylonitrile butadiene copolymer (NBR)–nanoclay composites were modelled using response surface methodology (RSM). A Face Centred Central Composite Design (FCCD) with four factors and three levels was used to obtain the relationship between nanocomposite properties and levels of ingredients. The factors considered in the design were silica content, nanoclay content, vulcanization system and dicumyl peroxide content. The nanocomposites were evaluated for tensile strength, modulus, elongation at break, oxygen permeation rate and effect of oil ageing on mechanical properties. Regression equations were generated to model the properties of interest and generate response surfaces and contour plots. The predicted properties of the nanocomposites were in good agreement with the experimental results. The contour plots were overlaid within the applied constraints to identify the combination of factor ranges that gives the optimal performance of the nanocomposites for application in control system bladders for launch vehicle applications.

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2012

Dr. Meera Balachandran and Bhagawan, S. S., “Mechanical, thermal and transport properties of nitrile rubber (NBR)-Nanoclay composites”, Journal of Polymer Research, vol. 19, pp. 1-10, 2012.[Abstract]


The article describes the properties of nitrile rubber (NBR)-nanoclay composites prepared by a two-step method. viz. preparation of a 3:1 [by weight] masterbatch of NBR and nanoclay followed by compounding on a two roll mill and molding at 150 °C and 20 MPa pressure. The tensile strength, elongation at break, modulus, storage modulus (E') and loss modulus (E") increased with the nanofiller content, reached the maximum value at 5 phr and decreased thereafter. The solvent uptake, diffusion, sorption and permeation constants decreased with nanoclay content with the minimum value at 5 phr nanoclay. The mechanism of solvent diffusion through the nanocomposites was found to be Fickian. Thermodynamic constants such as enthalpy and activation energy were also evaluated. The dependence of various properties on nanoclay content was correlated to the morphology of the nanocomposites. supported by morphological analysis. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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2012

Dr. Meera Balachandran, Dr. Sriram Devanathan, Muraleekrishnan, Rb, and Bhagawan, S. Sa, “Optimizing properties of nanoclay-nitrile rubber (NBR) composites using Face Centred Central Composite Design”, Materials and Design, vol. 35, pp. 854-862, 2012.[Abstract]


<p>The properties of acrylonitrile butadiene copolymer (NBR)-nanoclay composites were modelled using response surface methodology (RSM). A Face Centred Central Composite Design (FCCD) with four factors and three levels was used to obtain the relationship between nanocomposite properties and levels of ingredients. The factors considered in the design were silica content, nanoclay content, vulcanization system and dicumyl peroxide content. The nanocomposites were evaluated for tensile strength, modulus, elongation at break, oxygen permeation rate and effect of oil ageing on mechanical properties. Regression equations were generated to model the properties of interest and generate response surfaces and contour plots. The predicted properties of the nanocomposites were in good agreement with the experimental results. The contour plots were overlaid within the applied constraints to identify the combination of factor ranges that gives the optimal performance of the nanocomposites for application in control system bladders for launch vehicle applications. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.</p>

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2012

Dr. Meera Balachandran and Bhagawan, S. S., “Mechanical, thermal, and transport properties of nitrile rubber-nanocalcium carbonate composites”, Journal of Applied Polymer Science, vol. 126, pp. 1983-1992, 2012.[Abstract]


The article describes the properties of acrylonitrile butadiene copolymer (NBR)-nanocalcium carbonate (NCC) nanocomposites prepared by a two-step method. The amount of NCC was varied from 2 phr to 10 phr. Cure characteristics, mechanical properties, dynamic mechanical properties, thermal behavior, and transport properties of NBR-NCC composites were evaluated. For preparing NBR nanocomposites, a master batch of NBR and NCC was initially made using internal mixer. Neat NBR and the NBR-NCC masterbatch was compounded with other compounding ingredients on a two roll mill. NCC activated cure reaction upto 5 phr. The tensile strength increased with the nanofiller content, whereas NBR-NCC containing 7.5 phr exhibited the highest modulus. The storage modulus (E') increased up to 5 phr NCC loading; the reinforcing effect of NCC was seen in the increase of modulus which was more significant at temperatures above T g. The effect of nanofiller content and temperature on transport properties was evaluated. The solvent uptake decreased with NCC content. The mechanism of diffusion of solvent through the nanocomposites was found to be Fickian. Transport parameters like diffusion, sorption, and permeation constants were determined and found to decrease with nanofiller content, the minimum value being at 7.5 phr. Thermodynamic constants such as enthalpy and activation energy were also evaluated. The dependence of various properties on NCC was supported by morphological analysis using transmission electron microscopy. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2012 Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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2011

Dr. Meera Balachandran, Bhagawan, S. S., and Muraleekrishnan, R., “Modeling and Optimizing Properties of Nanoclay - Nitrile Rubber (NBR) Composites Using Box-Behnken Design”, Rubber Chemistry and Technology, vol. 84, no. 4, pp. 455 - 473, 2011.[Abstract]


The mechanical behavior of acrylonitrile butadiene copolymer (NBR)–organomodified layered silicate (nanoclay) was modeled using design of experiments approach. A Box–Behnken design with three factors and three levels was used to model the relationship between properties of NBR nanocomposites and the ingredients. The factors considered in the design were silica content, nanoclay loading, and dicumyl peroxide content. The nanocomposites were evaluated for tensile strength, modulus, elongation at break, oxygen permeation rate, and effect of oil and heat aging on mechanical properties. Regression equations were generated to model the properties of interest and generate response surfaces and contour plots. The predicted properties of the nanocomposites were in good agreement with the experimental results. The contour plots were overlaid within the applied constraints to identify the combination of factor ranges that gives the optimal performance of the nanocomposites for application as control system bladders in satellite launch vehicles.

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2011

Dr. Meera Balachandran and Bhagawan, S. S., “Studies on acrylonitrile-butadiene copolymer (NBR) layered silicate composites: Mechanical and viscoelastic properties”, Journal of Composite Materials, vol. 45, no. 19, pp. 2011-2022, 2011.[Abstract]


Nanocomposites were obtained from a masterbatch of acrylonitrile-butadiene copolymer (NBR; nitrile rubber) and organomodified layered silicate (nanoclay) prepared in an internal mixer followed by mixing with neat NBR and other compounding ingredients on a two-roll mill. Addition of nanoclay reduced the cure time and the vulcanization kinetics closely fitted a first-order model. The morphology was investigated by X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. The tensile strength, modulus (M100), and storage modulus (E′) increased up to 5-phr nanoclay content and thereafter showed a decline. The effect of temperature and frequency on E′ and loss tangent was also investigated. © 2011 The Author(s).

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2011

Dr. Meera Balachandran, Bhagawan, S. Sa, and Muraleekrishnan, Rb, “Modeling and optimizing properties of nanoclay-nitrile rubber composites using box-behnken design”, Rubber Chemistry and Technology, vol. 84, no. 4, pp. 455-473, 2011.[Abstract]


The mechanical behavior of acrylonitrile butadiene copolymer (NBR)-organomodified layered silicate (nanoclay) was modeled using design of experiments approach. A Box-Behnken design with three factors and three levels was used to model the relationship between properties of NBR nanocomposites and the ingredients. The factors considered in the design were silica content, nanoclay loading, and dicumyl peroxide content. The nanocomposites were evaluated for tensile strength, modulus, elongation at break, oxygen permeation rate, and effect of oil and heat aging on mechanical properties. Regression equations were generated to model the properties of interest and generate response surfaces and contour plots. The predicted properties of the nanocomposites were in good agreement with the experimental results. The contour plots were overlaid within the applied constraints to identify the combination of factor ranges that gives the optimal performance of the nanocomposites for application as control system bladders in satellite launch vehicles.

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2010

Dr. Meera Balachandran, Stanly, L. P., Mulaleekrishnan, R., and Bhagawan, S. S., “Modeling NBR- layered silicate nanocomposites: A DoE approach”, Journal of Applied Polymer Science, vol. 118, pp. 3300-3310, 2010.[Abstract]


Abstract The mechanical behavior of acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) – organo modified layered silicate was modeled using Design of Experiments (DoE). Response surface methodology (RSM), a DoE tool was used to optimize the formulations for optimal performance of the nanocomposites. A Box-Behnken design with three factors and three levels was used to model the relationship between mechanical properties and levels of ingredients. The factors studied for the design are silica content, nanoclay loading and vulcanization system. The nanocomposites were evaluated for tensile strength, modulus, elongation at break and hardness. The effect of heat aging on mechanical properties was also studied. The predicted properties of the nanocomposites are in good agreement with the experimental results, which confirmed the prognostic ability of response surface methodology. The model equations were used to generate response surfaces and contour plots to study the interaction between the variables. The contour plots were overlaid within the applied constraints to identify the required combination of variables that gives the optimum performance for the nanocomposites.

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Publication Type: Book Chapter

Year of Publication Title

2020

S. P. Kumar, K. Reddy, S. Narendra, Unnikrishnan D., and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Performance Enhancement of UHMWPE with Surface Functionalized Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes/Graphite”, in In Structural Integrity Assessment, R. V. Prakash, R. Kumar, S., Nagesha, A., Sasikala, G., and Bhaduri, A. Kumar, Eds. Singapore: Springer Singapore, 2020, pp. 231-240.[Abstract]


Carbon nanostructures have been effectively used to reinforce polymers due to their excellent mechanical propertiesMechanical properties. This paper investigates the thermal and mechanical properties of ultra-high-molecular weight polyethylene UHMWPEUHMWPE nanocompositesNanocomposite reinforced with acid-modified multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT)Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNT) and graphiteGraphite. The UHMWPEUHMWPE nanocomposites were prepared by melt mixing at 200&nbsp;°C. The test specimens were compression moulded at 215&nbsp;°C and 7.36&nbsp;MPa and mechanical and thermal properties were studied with respect to nanofiller content. Evaluation of mechanical and thermal properties of the nanocompositesNanocomposite showed that the addition of up to 1% MWCNTMulti-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNT) to the UHMWPE significantly improved the tensile and flexural properties by 30%. In the case of graphiteGraphite, tensile properties decreased while flexural property increased. While the thermal properties such as specific enthalpy and percentage of crystallinity increased with nanofiller content. These observed results are attributed to the nanofiller content as well as the dispersion of the nanofiller in the polymer, which was substantiated by morphological analysis using transmission electron microscopy. However, at higher concentration of carbon nanofillers, both mechanical and thermal properties showed a slight decline due to the formation of agglomerates.

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Publication Type: Conference Proceedings

Year of Publication Title

2019

A. Ravindran, Kamaraj, M., Vasanthmurali, N., V, M., and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Nanosilica reinforced EPDM Silicone Rubber Blends: Experimental and Theoretical Evaluation of Mechanical and Solvent Sorption Properties”, Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on "Advances in Materials and Manufacturing Applications (IConAMMA 2019). Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham,Bangalore, India, 2019.

2019

B. S, Vivek, A., V Krishna, V., Mittal, S. Sagar, and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Synthesis and Characteristics of MMT Reinforced Chitosan Nanocomposite”, Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on "Advances in Materials and Manufacturing Applications (IConAMMA 2019)” organized by Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham , Bangalore, 2019.

2018

A. Neelesh and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Hybrid Nanocomposites of EPDM-Chlorobutyl Rubber Blends for Radiation and Hydrocarbon Environments, Rubber and elastomers Symposium”, 34th International Conference of the Polymer Processing Society (PPS-34). Taipei, Taiwan, 2018.

2018

S. Vasudevan, V, P., and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Influence of admixtures on properties of concrete and optimization using response surface methodology”, Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on "Advances in Materials and Manufacturing Applications (IConAMMA 2018). Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham ,Bangalore, India, 2018.

2018

S. Kumar P, Jayanarayanan, K., and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Thermal and Mechanical Behavior of Functionalized MWCNT Reinforced Epoxy Carbon Fabric Composites”, Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on "Advances in Materials and Manufacturing Applications (IConAMMA 2018). Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham ,Bangalore, India, 2018.

2018

N. Ashok and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Gamma Radiation and Hydrocarbon Ageing Effect on Mechanical Properties of EPDM – CIIR Hybrid Nanocomposites”, Proceedings of the Second International Conferences on Structural Integrity (ICONS-2018), Session VD Structural Integrity of Composite Materials. . Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam and Society for Failure Analysis, Chennai Chapter together with Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Indian Structural Integrity Society (InSIS) and Indian Instutute of Science, Bangalore at Indian Ins, 2018.

2017

S. Kaizer Taj Basha, R, D., Menon, A. U., Ashok, N., and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Cure and Degradation Kinetics of Sulfur Cured Nanocomposites of EPDM - NBR Rubber Blends”, of the second edition of Icon AMMA a three day International Conference on "Advances in Materials and Manufacturing Applications (IConAMMA 2017). Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham ,Bangalore, India, 2017.

2017

Dr. Meera Balachandran and Ashok, N., “Influence of Nanofiller Type on Mechanical and Solvent sorption behavior of Nitrile Rubber based Nanocomposites”, Proceedings of Fourth International Conference on Nanostructured Materials and Nanocomposites organized by International and Inter University Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology(IIUCNN), . Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, India, SIL6, 2017.

2017

S. Kumar P, Dr. Meera Balachandran, and D, U., “Experimental Study of Thermal and Mechanical Properties of UHMWPE – Acid modified MWCNT Nanocomposites”, Proceedings of Fourth International Conference on Nanostructured Materials and Nanocomposites organized by International and Inter University Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology(IIUCNN), . Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, India, SIL23, 2017.

2017

S. Narendra R. K, Dr. Meera Balachandran, and D, U., “Experimental Study of Thermal and Mechanical Properties of UHMWPE – Graphite Nanocomposites”, of Fourth International Conference on Nanostructured Materials and Nanocomposites organized by International and Inter University Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology(IIUCNN), . Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, India, SIL46, 2017.

2017

S. Narendra K. Reddy, Unnikrishnan, D., and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Investigation and Optimization of Mechanical, Thermal and Tribological Properties of UHMWPE - Graphite Nanocomposites”, Materials Today: Proceedings, vol. 5. Elsevier Ltd, pp. 25139-25148, 2017.[Abstract]


The objective of this study is to investigate the influence of nano-sized graphite on the mechanical, thermal and wear characteristics of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) - Graphite (Nano 27) nanocomposites. Mechanical, wear and thermal properties were analyzed for nanocomposites containing 0.5, 1, 1.5 and 2% graphite and compared with unfilled UHMWPE. The wear properties of the nanocomposites were modeled and optimized for nano-graphite content and process parameters viz. sliding velocity and load. Response surface methodology (RSM) was utilized for modeling and optimization for reducing the wear rate in the nanocomposites. The degree of wear and the worn surfaces were evaluated by Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM). © 2018 Elsevier Ltd.

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2017

D. Kavitha and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Influence of high permittivity nanoparticle on water tree growth in XLPE nanocomposite”, Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Circuit, Power and Computing Technologies, ICCPCT 2017. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., 2017.[Abstract]


The objective of this work is to investigate the influence of high permittivity nanoparticle on resistance to water tree growth in XLPE nanocomposites and indentify their weight percentage for improvement in properties. The nanocomposites based XLPE with suitable nanofillers would be prepared and evaluated for ageing behavior to improve the life of power apparatus used in the high voltage underground power cable insulations. It is proposed to develop simulation models to predict the electrical field distribution and water treeing phenomenon in the nanocomposite using Finite Element method (FEM). Based on the studies, suitable nanofiller or combination of nanofillers and a suitable composition of the nanocomposites would be identified for optimum performance of the insulation. The inception and growth of water trees in the nano dielectrics would be investigated and correlated with the theoretical studies based on simulation. © 2017 IEEE.

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2016

N. Ashok, Webert, D., Suneesh, P. V., and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Mechanical and Sorption Behaviour of Organo-modified Montmorillonite nanocomposites based on EPDM – NBR Blends”, Proceedings of International Conference on Advanced Materials SCICON’16 . Department of Sciences, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amrita Nagar, Coimbatore, India, p. 153, 2016.

2016

A. Jayakrishnan, D, K., A, A., Nagarajan, N., and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Simulation of electric field distribution in nanodielectrics based on XLPE”, Proceedings of International Conference on Macromolecules: Synthesis, Morphology, Processing, Structure, properties and Applications ICM 2016 organized by International Unit on Macromolecular Science and Engineering (IUMSE), . Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala, India held at School of Chemical Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, p. 27, 2016.

2016

A. Suresh, Pattath, K., Mohammed, A. C., and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Simulation studies on Electric field propogation in cross-linked Polyethylene Nanosilica Composites”, Proceedings of International Conference on Macromolecules: Synthesis, Morphology, Processing, Structure, properties and Applications ICM 2016 . International Unit on Macromolecular Science and Engineering (IUMSE), Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala, India, 2016.

2015

A. Jayakrishnan, Viswakumar, K., Arthi, A., Nagarajan, N., and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Simulation of electric field distribution in nanodielectrics based on XLPE”, Proceedings of International Conference on Recent Advances in Nano Science and Technology 2015 (RAINSAT-2015) organized by Sathyabama University in association with CSIR . Central Leather Research Institute at Sathyabama University, Chennai, p. 54, 2015.[Abstract]


Recently, there has been a growing interest in the use of nano-sized fillers in order to enhance the properties of a material. The mechanical, barrier and electrical properties of polymers can be enhanced by use of nanofillers in appropriate amounts. The tremendous improvement in polymer properties on incorporation of nanoparticles arises from large interfacial area and large interfacial interaction between the nanofiller and the polymer matrix. There is several reported literature on the influence of nanofillers on dielectric properties of polymeric insulators, mainly epoxy resins. Literature on theoretical analysis for determining the influence of fillers and the dependence of its size, shape and composition on the electrical properties of the composite are limited. Cross linked polyethylene (XLPE) is widely used as insulation in underground high tension cables. The life of cables can be extended by delaying the breakdown of insulation. The breakdown of insulation depends on the distribution of electrical stress in insulation. The electric field and stress distribution in polymer insulation can be altered by adding nanoparticles, depending on permittivity of the nanofiller and its weight percentage in the polymer. This paper attempts to simulate the electric field distribution in XLPE and the effect of different kinds of nanofillers, namely nanoclay, nanosilica and nanoclacium carbonate on the same. Simulations were also performed in COMSOL Multiphysics software to evaluate the effect of nanofiller content on electrical field distribution in XLPE. It was found that the composite with the highest difference in the electric field values between the polymer and the nanofiller offers the best resistance against electric field propagation and that the dielectric properties of the nanocomposites become better with increased amount of nanofillers. However, at a very high weight percentage, the properties of the composite deteriorate due to the fact that for higher weight percentage the inter-particle distance reduces allowing for more agglomeration. The nano-filler with the highest difference is found to be nano-silica.

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2014

P. Manswini, Reddy, R., Kavitha, D., and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Mechanical, thermal and dielectric properties of cross-linked polyethylene nanocomposites”, Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Polymer Processing and Characterization (ICPPC 2014), International and Interuniversity Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. Kottayam, Kerala, India, p. 17, 2014.

2013

P. Srikrishnarka, Reddy, R. S. Pruthvi Ra, Siddarth, K., Vishal, R., Bhagawan, S. S., and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Studies on Polyaniline (PANI)/Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) based blends”, National Conference on Recent Trends in Materials Science and Technology - 2013 (NCMST-13) organized by Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology. IIST (Valiamala), Thiruvananthaputram, Kerala, 2013.

2012

S. S. Bhagawan and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Nanocomposites : Property Dependence on Filler Shape and Content”, 3rd Int Conf on Natural Polymers, Bio-polymers, Bio-Materials, their composites, Blends, IPNs & Gels Polyelectrolytes & Gels: Macro to Nano Scales, by Centre for Nanoscience & Nanotechnology at M.G. Univ & Beijing Univ of Chemical Technology, China. Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala, p. 27, 2012.

2010

S. S. Bhagawan and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Nitrile rubber nanocomposites for control bladders : Application of DoE technique”, International Multicomponent Polymer Conference IMPC2012 organised by Institute of Macromolecular Science & Engineering,School of Applied Sciences, Engineering & Health, RMIT University, Australia & Centre for Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, M.G. University. Kottayam, p. 48, 2010.

2010

S. S. Bhagawan and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Elastomer-based nanocomposites : Trends and Challenges”, Proceedings of National conference on "Frontiers in Polymer Nanomaterials and Composites. B S Abdur Rahman University, Chennai, 2010.

2010

Pradip P Sairam, Sreeja M R, Dr. Ajith Ramesh, and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Mechanical And Visco-Elastic Properties Of Silicone Rubber – Nanoclay Composites And Its Application In Vibration Damper”, Proceedings of International Conference on Manufacturing Science and Technology (ICMST 2010). Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology and Materials Research Society of India, Thiruvananthapuram, 2010.

2010

S. S. Bhagawan and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Role of DoE [Design of Experiments] in Development of Nanoclay – Nitrile Rubber Composites”, Proceedings of International Conference on Manufacturing Science and Technology (ICMST 2010). Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology and Materials Research Society of India, Thiruvananthapuram, pp. 8.4 – 8.5, 2010.

2010

S. S. Bhagawan and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Elastomer Based Composites”, Proceedings of International Conference on Latest in Polymers – 2010. J.J. Murphy Research Centre, Rubber Park India (P) Ltd., Kochi, Kerala, p. 11, 2010.

2010

S. S. Bhagawan and Dr. Meera Balachandran, “Approaches in Modeling Properties of Polymer Nanocomposites”, Proceedings of Second International Conference on Natural Polymers, Bio-polymers, Bio-Materials, their composites, Blends, IPNs and Gels Polyelectrolytes and Gels: Macro to Nano Scales (ICNP-2010). Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala, pp. 35-36, 2010.

2009

Dr. Meera Balachandran, J. Ganesh, A., Varshan, A. V. R., Sriram, D., and Bhagawan, S. S., “Process parameter optimisation in automobile component manufacture using Design of Experiments”, National Conference on Quality Improvement Concepts and their Implementation in Higher Educational Institutions. Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore, pp. 25-26, 2009.

2009

Dr. Meera Balachandran, Muraleekrishnan, R., and Bhagawan, S. S., “Optimizing the Properties of Nanoclay – Nitrile Rubber Composites using Box-Behnken Design”, Proceedings of ISAMPE National Conference 2009(INCCOM-8) “Emerging Trends in Composite Materials and Technology”. Thiruvananthapuram, pp. 147-153, 2009.

2008

Dr. Meera Balachandran, Stanly, L. P., Muraleekrishnan, R., and Bhagawan, S. S., “Design of Experiments for Optimizing NBR Nanocomposite Formulations”, International conference on Advances in Polymer Technology. Cochin, p. 82, 2008.

2007

Dr. Meera Balachandran and Bhagawan, S. S., “Short natural fibre reinforced polyester composites : Property Optimization using DoE”, Proceedings of Innovations in Composites for the New Century, International and INCOMM-6 Conference on Future trends in Composite Materials and Processing. IIT Kanpur, pp. 307 – 310, 2007.

2006

Dr. Meera Balachandran, Lakshmi, K., and Saravanan, R., “Studies on Novel Polythiourea and its Composites For Conducting Applications”, National Conference on Recent Trends in Polymer Science and Technology. PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, 2006.

2006

Dr. Meera Balachandran and Bhagawan, S. S., “Mechanical behaviour of nanoclay–NBR composites”, Proceedings of Asia Rub Tech Expo. Cochin, India. p. 64, 2006.

2005

Dr. Meera Balachandran, Kutty, S. K. N., and Bhagawan, S. S., “Transport Properties And Mechanical Behaviour Of Nitrile Rubber / Polychloroprene Rubber Blends”, National Conference on Polymers. SJCE, Mysore, 2005.