Saintgits team gets patent for developing vehicle suspension using areca nut fibres

Aju Jo Sankarathil, Aswathy Ann Mathew, Siffin Saji, Yedhukrishnan Hari, Saheer Shah H and Sachu K S. Photo: Special arrangement

Kottayam: A group of final-year Mechanical Engineering students of Saintgits College of Engineering has secured a patent for manufacturing leaf springs used in vehicle suspension from natural fibres found in areca nuts.

For their innovation of a 'stirrer for the casting of areca nut fibre-based polymer composite materials’, the team led by Assistant Professor Aju Jo Sankarathil secured the design patent from the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks of the Indian Patent Office.

The innovators have planned to set up a joint venture with the Kerala Startup Mission. They have said the applications of this innovation go way beyond leaf springs. “The compounds of areca fibres can be used to make suitcases, post boxes, partition walls and automobile interiors among other things,” said Prof. Sankarathil, who is also a research scholar at Karunya Institute of Technology and Sciences, Coimbatore.

The team comprised Saheer Shah H, Siffin Saji, Yedhukrishnan Hari, Sachu K S and Aswathy Ann Mathew. Aswathy, who is a research scholar at NIT Calicut and an Assistant Engineer in the Irrigation Department is married to Aju Jo Sankarathil. The concept was designed as part of a final-year project.

The team found leaf springs made by combining areca fibres with multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) to be more robust and environment-friendly. “This discovery will be helpful for the environment and it can reduce the use of artificial and raw chemicals,” said Prof. Sankarathil. Areca nut fibres are easily available in Kerala and “they are cheaper and have lower density”.
(The author is a student of B.Tech Robotics and Automation)

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