August 5, 2006
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Aug 4: India is all set to enter the exclusive club of three nations which produce aviation lubricant, a highly strategic material currently imported by the country.
Only the USA, Japan and France produce aviation lubricant, whose technology is kept a closely guarded secret by these nations. City-based Indian Institute of Chemical Technology has successfully produced five litres of aviation lubricant for tests on aviation engines. It will be commercially available from next year.
"Aviation lubricant is a highly strategic material with very stringent technology. It is also a highly guarded technology. It has to function well at both high temperatures of 140 degrees C and low temperatures of minus 40 degrees C," IICT director JS Yadav observed.
He said developing synthetic aviation lubricants indigenously was very important as the exporting countries might bring the entire aviation fleet of an importing country to a grinding halt by simply refusing to sell the product. "The IICT technology will make India self-sufficient in aviation lubricant soon. The Indian Oil Corporation will market the product commercially," he told reporters.
The country now imports 200 tonnes of aviation lubricant worth Rs 100 crore. "We have produced five kgs of lubricant. Our target is to produce 75 kgs in one batch for full testing of the flight engine. We will achieve this next month," Dr Yadav observed.
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