Carborundum Universal Limited (CUMI), a cutting-edge materials science firm, has entered into a technology partnership with IdeaForge Technology, a private sector drone manufacturer. Together, they will develop nanomaterial-reinforced products that will make drones – or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – lighter, stronger and more durable.
“CUMI, a leading organization in the field of materials science and part of the 120-year-old Murugappa Group, today announced its collaboration with IdeaForge Technology, India’s leading drone manufacturer, to jointly develop state-of-the-art nanomaterial reinforced composite parts for drones declare. The company announced this on Thursday in Chennai.
CUMI’s strength lies in nanomaterial-reinforced composite materials – such as graphene-reinforced polymers – that hold promise to replace structural parts for aerospace applications.
In March, CUMI had announced a “Licensing Agreement for Transfer of Technology” (LAToT) with the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) to manufacture ceramic radomes to be used in aerospace and missile systems.
Ceramic radome technology is recognized worldwide as an essential, state-of-the-art technology for ballistic and tactical missiles and high-performance aircraft. Missiles go through extreme surface temperatures while traveling through the atmosphere and re-entering the atmosphere from space. To withstand those temperatures, the missile radome at the tip of the missile is made of ceramic.
,[These advanced materials] Offers a number of improvements in physical properties compared to standard composite materials, which may include higher mechanical strength, greater stiffness and rigidity, better electrical and thermal conductivity, better fire retardant and higher barrier to moisture and gases,” the company said. said today.
“Nanocomposites also offer unique design possibilities for specific applications. The use of suitable nanomaterials can help create drones that will be smaller, lighter, stronger and more durable,” the company said.
CUMI is one of the first companies in India to produce the wonder material – Graphene – for aerospace and defense applications. CUMI’s state-of-the-art composite technology is also used to manufacture high-tech UAVs.
“The use of nanomaterial-reinforced composites in drones offers many exciting possibilities such as high specific modulus or strength and is likely to shape the future of airframes and related structural components of drones,” said Sunil Jha of IdeaForge Technology.
“Ideaforge has done pioneering work in advancing drone technologies and has positioned itself as a leader in the Indian UAV market. I am confident that with the deep expertise we have gained in the field of materials, this partnership will drive significant synergies and shape the next generation of drone technologies,” said Subbu Venkatachalam, Head of Marketing, CUMI.
IdeaForge Technology has established its reputation among India’s leading drone manufacturers and was ranked 7th globally in the dual-use category (civil and defence) drone manufacturers in December 2022 by the trade magazine, Drone Industry Insights.
IdeaForge has the largest operational deployment of indigenous UAVs across India. On average, on March 31, 2023, an IdeaForge-manufactured drone takes off every five minutes for surveillance and mapping applications. IdeaForge UAVs have completed over 350,000 flights.
CUMI, established in 1954 as a tripartite joint venture, is a leading materials science company. Its consolidated revenue during FY2023 was Rs 4,650 crore and PAT was Rs 414.
CUMI is a mine-to-market company with integrated operations that include mining, power generation, fusion, manufacturing, marketing and distribution. CUMI has more than 5,500 employees worldwide, has a geographic presence spanning six continents and exports products to more than 50 countries.