Vol.6 No.5 October 1998
| Editorial Staff |
Mohinder Singh, Ashok Kumar, D S Bedi
Manoj K Pant
S B Gupta, SK Tyagi
|From the Desk of Special Editors |
Non-Metallic Materials for Strategic Applications
Though materials constitute a very small part of the universe, they form the backbone of every civilisation and its progress. Non-metallic materials which are either devoid of metals or which contain metals in chemically-bound form were considered not long ago as auxiliary materials to metals for various applications. With the advent of newer non-metallic materials with a strong structure-property correlation base, they now form a separate domain altogether. The scope and classification are so diverse that it is impossible to cover all aspects of these materials being developed and used by DRDO in a few pages. Application of non-metallic materials cover diverse areas, such as structural, electronic and electrical, protection against harsh environment, sensing, and camouflage to name a few. Materials such as polymers and ceramics which were once very limited in application, are today strong contenders for use in electrical conduction, high temperature applications, and light-weight but strong structures, mainly due to the advantages such as light-weight chemical inertness, desired responses to various stresses and predictable performance over a wide range of conditions.
Simultaneously, advancements in processing technologies of non-metallic materials are opening up possibilities of achieving tailor-made components and structures in otherwise conventional materials. Scientists and technologists today are endowed with unlimited options to realise specific properties in non-metallic materials for application in both Defence and non-Defence areas. Many of the concepts and materials developed for application in Defence such as composite materials, ceramic-polymer hybrids, stealth materials and speciality polymeric materials find widespread application in civil and in non-Defence strategic areas. DRDO with its infrastructure and expertise can meet the challenges of developing new tailor-made materials required for strategic as well as general applications.