IIT Madras commercialises state-of-the-Art Software for Photoelastic Analysis and Simulation
Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) has commercialized four state-of-the-art software packages in the field of Photoelastic analysis and Simulation through an industry partner. The software have applications in diverse fields ranging from agricultural applications to locomotion of organisms to mitigating stresses or identifying defects in 3D electronics.
Novel applications for Photoelasticity include areas like biomedical and conventional stress analysis involving complex loading and boundary conditions in aerospace, civil, mechanical, and manufacturing engineering fields as well.
Photoelastic stress analysis has seen a sea change with the advent of digital computers and imaging technologies. Hitherto, there has been no comprehensive software platform to implement such developments in research laboratories and Industries using this technique.
This is the first comprehensive software for experimentally-based photoelastic stress analysis tool. Doctors, agriculturists and biologists are now increasingly turning to use photoelasticity for solving their domain problems. They can authentically process recorded images using the software for deriving important conclusions from their studies.
IIT Madras entered a Licensing and Monetization agreement with Online Solutions (Imaging) Pvt Ltd., Chennai. for licensing these software packages. The agreement was signed on 20th March 2023 and exchanged with Mr. K. Senthil Kumar, Director – Operations, Online Solutions (Imaging) Pvt. Ltd., Chennai, and Mr. S. Sukumar, Director – Business Development, Online Solutions (Imaging) Pvt. Ltd., Chennai, in the presence of Prof. Manu Santhanam, Dean (Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research), IIT Madras, and Prof. K. Ramesh, who is the K Mahesh Chair Professor in the Department of Applied Mechanics, IIT Madras.
These software tools were the result of three decades of research by Prof. K. Ramesh who drove the research with his students and the outcomes of hundreds of research papers and a sustained, focussed research in solving issue after issue of an experimental technique to keep pace with modern developments.
Explaining the importance of these software, Prof. K. Ramesh, K Mahesh Chair Professor, Department of Applied Mechanics, IIT Madras, said, “No such software modules are available till now across the world on exploiting photoelastic technique, which is an experimental approach that is used to validate the solution from numerical approaches. It is not just one problem but the focus has been to develop a complete package for a technique in all its completeness. It is akin to developing a finite element package that is used for numerical solution by solving appropriate differential equations.”
Further, Prof. Ramesh added, “The technique of photoelasticity is increasingly being used in diverse domains such as dentistry, prosthetic development – mitigating stresses developed in the design of knee and hip replacement, design of epidural injection needle shape, improvement of material processing such as in precision glass moulding (used in cameras of cell phones), stresses in 3D electronics apart from several mechanical and aerospace applications involving stress analysis.”
Photoelastic analysis is made simple with the availability of these software modules, which can help industries to adopt this technique more widely for solving their day-to-day design issues as well as development of new conceptual understandings of modern materials that are heterogeneous, porous and functionally graded by research and educational institutions.
The four software packages developed by Prof. K. Ramesh and licensed to the industry include the processing software -DigiTFP®, PSIF and DigiPhoto – for photoelastic analysis based on digital photoelastic techniques developed over the last three decades for other researchers to use. A simulation module called P_Scope® has also been made available, which is expected to bring about a renaissance in solid mechanics education in conjunction with his video lectures on Strength of Materials.
Speaking about this project, K. Senthil Kumar, Director – Operations, Online Solutions (Imaging) Pvt. Ltd., Chennai, said, “We are very proud to be associated with IIT in distributing these unique and prestigious software modules.”
S. Sukumar, Director – Business Development, Online Solutions (Imaging) Pvt. Ltd., Chennai, added, “The software P_Scope(R) can bring about a renaissance in solid mechanics education and it is very satisfying for us to participate in this mission.”
Prof. K. Ramesh, a Fellow of the Indian National academy of Engineering, is the first Indian in the last sixty years to receive the M. M. Frocht award from the Society for Experimental Mechanics, USA for his outstanding contributions as an educator in the field of Experimental Mechanics. He has also been the first researcher from India to have received the Zandman Award from the same society in 2012 for outstanding contributions in the application of photoelastic coatings.
The Office of Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research (ICSR) at IIT Madras coordinates industry collaborations of the Institute faculty and researchers. IIT Madras generated over Rs 1,000 crore in funding and revenue in a financial year for the first time in its history during 2021-22. This sum includes funds from projects sanctioned by the state and central governments and funds from industry consultancy.