Beach Sand & Minerals

  • Physical, chemical and mineralogical characterization of ilmenite minerals.
  • Development of process flowsheets for the production of high grade synthetic rutile and other byproducts from ilmenite.
  • Plasma processing and chemical beneficiation of ilmenite to synthetic rutile.
  • Studies on the characterization and utilization of ilmenite beneficiation byproducts for value addition.
  • Studies on the utilization of agro based reductants in metallurgy.
  • Rare earth metal extraction and refinement to ultra high purity.
  • Studies on oxidative removal of iron from metallised ilmenite.
  • Microwave processing and beneficiation of minerals.

Light Metals Alloys and Composites

Research and Development of Light Alloys and Composites have been carried out at NIIST, since its inception as RRL in 1978. The requirement of lightweight materials with high-performance for various engineering applications in the areas of aerospace, automotive, nuclear, defense, energy and general engineering has led to extensive R&D efforts in the development of Al and Mg alloys, metal and polymer matrix composites and functionally graded materials. The LMAC section concentrates on the following research and development activities

  • Al and Mg Alloys development
  • Metal Matrix Composites (MMC)
  • Functionally Graded Materials (FGM)
  • Ultrafine Grain and Nanostructured Alloys and Composites
  • Polymer and Rubber based Composites
  • Engineering Components and Structures based on advanced alloys and composites.
  • Near net shape casting processes – Squeeze, Investment, Centrifugal, Semisolid and low pressure of Al and Mg alloys and their composites,
  • Premium quality Al alloy castings
  • Low pressure cast of Mg alloys and their components
  • Recycling of Al alloys and their composites
  • Standardization of Heat treatment schedule
  • Structure Property Correlation
  • Characterisation of Moulding Sands
  • Fatigue and fracture studies of engineering materials
  • Micromechanical modeling
  • Arachaeometallurgy
  • Consultancy and Testing Services.

The R&D activities of the section is supported by project funding from CSIR Taskforce & NMITLI, DST, ARDB, DRDO, ISRO (LPSC and VSSC).

The LMAC section supports extramural research programmes through Ph.D. Researh programmes, M.Sc. (Engg.) by research, M.E., M.Tech and M.Sc. Projects in the interdisciplinary areas of Materials Science and Engineering, Metallurgy, Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Production Engineering  and Polymer and Rubber Technology.


The Materials Research Activity of NIIST started with the arrival of Prof. P.K. Rohatgi as the first Director of CSIR- Trivandrum Complex on August 1, 1977 and was expanded later on November 30, 1977 with the formal creation of Materials, Glass and Ceramics (MGC) Division. The initial objectives of this Activity were to identify and characterize renewable and the abundant materials resources of Kerala, develop materials using these resources and carry out energy related research. In addition, the evaluation and testing of materials manufactured by local industries and rendering technical advice to them were also the objectives. Since its inception, this Activity has contributed significantly towards achieving these objectives. However, MGC was subsequently bifurcated into ‘Materials Division’ and ‘Glass and Ceramics Division’ in 1982 and later in 1994, the former Division as ‘Metal Processing Division’, with major research initiatives in the areas of Cast Metal Matrix Composites (MMC), Al alloy development and Castings, Archaeometallurgy and Modelling and Simulation. In 2005, consequent of merger of various divisions of the laboratory, Metal Processing Division was renamed as Light Metals, Alloys and Composite Section under the Materials and Minerals Division.

Research Highlights


  • Currently no data available

Moments of Workshop