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 Testing Services

Various departments of the Institution regularly undertake testing work utilizing the elaborate laboratory facilities and the expertise of faculty and technicians. However, routine testing is discouraged as it diverts attention from the primary responsibility of teaching and research. The examples of a few typical testing facility existing are:

  1. Shake Table
  2. Wind Tunnel
  3. Scanning Electron Microscope
  4. Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer
Modern Shake Table Facility

A 20-tonne bi-axial shake table facility for earthquake simulation has been working at the Department of Earthquake Engineering of this Institute since 1986. This is the only such facility currently available in the country and is serving the national needs for seismic qualification of equipment and systems. The facility has also been used in the past to study the performance of new earthquake resistant design concepts. Recently, the shake table facility has been modernised by replacing its old analogue control system with a state-of-art 128-channel digital control system capable of high-speed data acquisition. The new data acquisition system can be used for accelerometer, LVDT and strain gauge measurements.

With the new system one can simulate a previously recorded real earthquake or generate a design spectrum compatible time history for seismic qualification, play various periodic waveforms or perform sine-sweep tests. The new control system utilises the system transfer function to derive the command signal for a specified target motion. This results in a better control over the simulation procedure and the target motion is achieved within a few iterations. A 5-tonne test specimen was specially designed to verify the performance of the shake table with the new control system. This test specimen has been so designed that its mass and stiffness characteristics can be very easily altered for future model studies with different structural members and/or configurations.

Wind Tunnel
The boundary layer wind tunnel

This was the first large boundary-layer wind tunnel in the country developed specifically to cater to studies related to industrial wind engineering. Earlier wind tunnel development had mainly been related to aerospace engineering.

Besides the regular research programmes at doctoral and masters levels (15 Ph.D. theses and 15 M.E. dissertations) the Centre has been active in pursuing sponsored research and consultancy projects. The work related mainly to wind-sensitive structures, such as low / high rise buildings, chimneys, cooling towers, dish antenna, transportation vehicles, bridges and transmission towers. Wind tunnel tests on structure models as well as analytical studies have been carried out, which have led to significant contributions to the understanding of wind effects on this wide variety of structures. Significant work has been done in the directions of aerodynamics of buildings and chimneys and disaster mitigation. From time to time financial support has been received from DST, MHRD, CSIR, AICTE New-Delhi and NSF (USA), British Council (UK). Additional resources are raised out of consultancy services extended to the Government and Public sectors.

Although the activity of wind engineering at this Institute has of necessity been multidisciplinary, the growing demands on this field of work make it imperative that the horizons of coverage are widened. Participation of a wider cross-section of faculty is envisaged to further include thrust areas such as aerodynamics of vehicles (automobiles/railway bogies) aerodynamics, wind-driven snow & avalanches, atmospheric air pollution, wind energy and appropriate technology.


Specialized Instruments at Institute Instrumentation Center:

Scanning Electron Microscope

National Facility on Geochronology/Isotope Geology

Multicollector Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer (TIMS)

Recognizing the need for setting up top-class research facilities for isotope chemistry and geochronology for modelling geodynamic evolution of the lithosphere and mantle of the Indian subcontinent, the Department of Science & Technology (DST) sanctioned in 2000 National Facility on Geochronology/Isotope Geology at the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee.

Under this facility, a state-of-art Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer Triton T1 from Thermo Finnigan, U.K. has been procured by the Earth Sciences Department and installed at the Institute Instrumentation Centre. Mineral separation and clean laboratories have been established for sample processing and to house the main instrument and chemical preparation for isotopic analyses.

The laboratory was inaugurated by the Prof. V.S. Ramamurthy, Secretary, DST on May 19, 2003.

The main machine incorporates features like 21 sample turret, single focusing geometry, new ion optics having large dispersion (810 mm), plug-in type nine Faraday collectors, central channel with ion counter and retarding potential quadrapole (RPQ) and enhanced abundance sensitivity from 2 ppm to 20 ppb by RPQ. The machine has been tested for both negative and positive ionization modes along with performances on SEM and RPQ. Strontium (Sr), Neodymium (Nd) and uranioum standards have been run on this machine, which yielded analytical results within specified error results of these NIST and NBS standards.

Hyphenated Liquid Chromatography-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance-Mass Spectrometer (LC-NMR-MS) Facility

A 500 MHz Fourier Transform Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer (Model Avance 500 Bruker–Biospin, Switzerland) with ultrashielded superconducting magnet (117 Kilogauss) is currently being used for advanced research. So far 72 students and 8 faculty members have received the first phase of spectrometer training. A Hyphenated Liquid Chromatography-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance-Mass Spectrometer (LC-NMR-MS) facility has since been added to the existing NMR. The combination of liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry (LC/MS) is perhaps the most powerful analytical tool available to a laboratory involved in studying events at the molecular level. It can provide a wealth of information on the individual compounds even when they are present in complex mixtures, including identification by molecular mass, structure through fragmentation, and quantization (for example, protein identification, peptide separation, separation of compounds of different charge to mass ratio). The integrated system minimizes sample-handling loss and maximizes efficiency of analysis. Finally, the mass spectrometer allows stable isotopically labeled compounds to act as quantitative references in LC separation, providing the highest possible accuracy. The range of applications cover low to high mass, polar to non-polar, and complex mixtures to purified compounds, all analyzed with the specificity unique to mass spectrometry.

The LC-NMR-MS system has On- and Stop-flow quaternary HPLC pump with vacuum degasser (1100 series Agilent Technologies), a LC-NMR Triple Resonance Probe 1H/13C/15N 3 mm flow cell with Z-gradient coil and Esquire 4000 bench top Ion Trap LC-MS/MS mass spectrometer. In the on-flow mode, the outlet of the LC-detector is connected directly to the NMR probe. While the Peaks are eluting, NMR spectra are continuously acquired. The chromatographic System is used to move the samples/peaks through the NMR cell. Alternatively in the Direct stopped flow mode the outlet of the LC-detector is connected to the NMR probe via Bruker peak Stop Flow Unit (BSFU). A LC detector (normally UV) is used to detect peaks eluting from the column. When a peak is detected, the flow continues until the peak arrives in the NMR cell. At this time, the chromatography (LC related pump, data acquisition, gradient) stops and the NMR experiments are performed. Once the NMR experiments are completed, the chromatography resumes until the next peak is found. This process can be repeated several times within one chromatogram. Triple Resonance Flow Probe (1H/13C/15N) attached with 60 microlitre flow cell is helpful for the measurement of one dimensional 1H and Inverse based 2D experiments for the indirect detection of 13C and 15N. Simultaneously we can perform MS experiments with one injection. The advantage of hyphenated system is minimized sample contamination and sample variation. Esquire 4000 bench top mass spectrometer consists of Atmospheric Pressure Interface–Electrospray Ionization, API-ESI, interface to generate ions; a quadrupolar Ion Trap field for mass accumulation, selective mass isolation, excitation for collision induced dissociation [MS(n)] and sequential mass ejection; and an ion detector to generate the spectrum.