• Developed Aluminum alloys and components for space (mounting frames), defence (piston) and automotive application
  • Established Pilot Scale Squeeze Casting facility for High Strength Aluminum alloy components (340 tones)
  • Developed Software for Casting Design and Simulation (licensed to more than 185 companies)
  • Developed High Temperature Magnesium alloys for automotive and aerospace applications.
  • Developed Bio-degradable and Bio-compatible Mg alloys and Coatings for Metallic Absorbable Implants
  • Developed Aluminum metal matrix composites and functionally graded composites and components automotive (brake rotor disc, Cylinder liner), neutron shielding (Al-B4C sheets), defence (first gear housing, piston ring) and aerospace applications.

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.

Research Activities

Research and Development on Metallic Materials with main focus on 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, defence, 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. This group concentrates on the following research and development activities

  • Al and Mg Alloys development
  • Metal Matrix Composites (MMC) and Functionally Graded Materials (FGM)
  • Casting Simulation and Modelling
  • Integrated Computational Materials Engineering
  • Surface Engineering
  • Ultrafine Grain and Nanostructured Alloys and 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
  • Micromechanical modeling
  • Arachaeometallurgy
  • Consultancy and Testing Services.

This group collaborates actively with R&D Institutes like DRDO, ISRO (LPSC and VSSC) and gets externally funded projects from funding agencies like ARDB, DST, DBT, ICMR etc. This group also supports extramural research programmes through Ph.D. Research 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. In 2010, the activity was renamed as Metallic Materials.

Research Areas

  • Beneficiation and enrichment from low grade or lean grade ores.
  • Beach sand minerals and its value addition (TiO2, Mullite etc.,)
  • Rare Earth Metallurgy (Nd, La, Sc etc.,)
  • Industrials Waste materials utilization (Red mud, Leach liquor, steel plant wastes and urban mining wastes etc.,)
  • Value addition to low grade graphite ore (Graphene & Graphene oxides)
  • Modelling and Simulation of the processes
Research Highlights


  • Currently no data available

Moments of Workshop