CSIR-Central Leather Research Institute
Dr.M Sugunalakshmi
Sr. Principal Scientist
Academic Qualifications
    MSc (University of Madras)
Contact Details
Dr.M Sugunalakshmi
Sr. Principal Scientist

Polymer Science & Technology
CSIR-Central Leather Research Institute
Adyar, Chennai – 600 020
e-mail: suguna_clri@yahoo.co.in,
Phone:91 44 24911386


B.Sc (Chemistry) Queen Mary’s College, University of Madras (1984)

M.Sc (Polymer Chemistry) University of Madras (1987)

PhD (Polymer Chemistry-Nanocomposites) University of Madras (2012)

Area of Interest:
  • Epoxy and their allied resins synthesis, charaterisations and property evaluations.
  • Epoxy-Nanocomposite materials for high performance applications.
  • Nanoclay as carrier for making Nanodrug formulations.
  • Fibre reinforced Nanocomposites using Glass fabrics, Carbon Fabrics as matrices and Epoxy, Amine Hardener, Nanoclays formulated blends as matrix
  • Flame retardant leathers using self extinguishing characteristics blends of Nanominerals and phosphorous and epoxy.
  • Leather-Hybrids sandwich Materials for damage tolerance, fire proof and ballistic proof leather materials.
Significant Achievements
  • Contributed towards the development of composite materials using epoxy thermoset resins for applications in the area of aerospace adhesives, coatings and Bindings. Several novel epoxy resins and their formulating agents were developed and different fibre reinforced composite (FRP) materials were successfully developed.
  • Contributed in the area of nanoscience and technology for the preparation of nanoclays and their polymer derivatives for the application as reinforcing agent for making epoxy based nanocomposites and nanodrug carriers for the drug delivery applications.
  • Contributed as a team member for the development of resins for the project “Development of manufacturing technology for the preparation of thermoset prepregs” which is a Technology programme funded by the TIFAC and ADA.
  • Contributed as a team member for the project “High performance resins for aeronautical applications” Project scheme aided by the Aeronautic R&D Board.

Notable Contributions in the area of Epoxy Polymers

Epoxy resins have superior physical properties and are used extensively in the field of composites, adhesives surface coatings, and etc. Epoxy resins based on bisphenol A are commercially available and they have good thermal and mechanical properties. The usefulness of epoxy resins in many engineering applications is often limited by their brittle nature. Unlike for thermoplastics, physical blending is not successful for improvement of bond strength and impact strength of epoxy resins. Therefore several approaches to enhance the toughness and thermal resistance of epoxy resins were studied. Amongst, toughening of epoxy via chemical modification of the backbone has been shown to be most effective. . The various state-of-the-art that enhances the thermal and mechanical properties vis-à-vis epoxy modification, have been studied.

I. High performance resins for aeronautical applications.

The objectives of the investigation are to synthesize thermosetting resin systems with intrinsically tough backbones end capped with reactive groups with a view to identify potential matrix materials for high performance composites. “Design, synthesis and characterization of epoxy resins and its related polymers for both high and low performance applications”.

II. Toughening with new epoxy and cyanate ester having rigid rod backbone structures

The tailoring of the epoxy and cyanate ester monomer, involves the
preparation with rigid rod like aromatic ester units. The objective of this study is to synthesize the new epoxide and cyanate ester resins with linear aromatic ester backbone, characterize and study their properties after curing them together. The properties of new epoxy–cyanate system and the standard epoxy–cyanate systems were compared. Thus the formulation with the new epoxy (DGDPI) and (DCDPT) showed high Tg, high thermal stability and good mechanical property.

III. Effect of New Cyanate and Phenoxy Polymer on toughening the TGDDM /DDS/ GMP Formulations

A new phenoxy polymer was added to improve the toughness property. A variety of neat resin casts using different compositions of the blends were made and their physical, chemical, thermal, and mechanical properties were evaluated.

IV. New Epoxy Resins Containing Hard-Soft Segments: Synthesis, Characterization And Modification

The main focus of this study was to synthesize and characterize new epoxy resins made of hard-soft segments based on aromatic and aliphatic backbone. The synthesized new epoxies of ,1,4-, 1,5- and 1,6-methylene groups with terephthalate/isophthalate backbones, and 4-dicyanatodiphenyl-2,2’-propane (DCDPP) cyanate ester were used to modify tetraglycidyl 4,4’-diaminodiphenyl methane/ diaminodiphenyl sulphone (TGDDM/DDS). Solventless curing reactions of epoxy backbones tailored with hard-soft segments were adopted and that was followed by curing of epoxy groups with cyanate to enhance the properties of epoxy formulations.
The system that contains longer methylene spacers and terephthalate backbone exhibits enhanced mechanical properties when compared to the other systems.

V. Chemistry of Siloxane Amide as a New Curing Agent for Epoxy Resins

A novel siloxane amine (SA amine) curing agent has been synthesized and characterized. The dual role of SA amine not only as a curing agent and but also as a toughener was studied. Curing studies of conventionally available epoxy resin, diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A (DGEBA) using SA amine along with diaminodiphenyl sulfone (DDS) has been carried out

VI. Inter-Crosslinking Polymer Materials From DGEBA/PDMS Epoxy Resin Systems:

Diglycidyl ether of bisphenol an epoxy resin was modified with diglycidyl terminated polydimethyl siloxane to improve the mechanical properties. Non-phase segregated intercrosslinking was achieved through processing of the blends. High mechanical strength, good solvent resistance, and good adhesion strength exhibited was attributed to the homogeneous network structures formed between PDMS-Epoxy and DGEBA. DGEBA modified with PDMS-Epoxy had showed an outstanding performance as an adherent to the leather-to-leather bonding.

VII. Epoxy-MMT Clay Nanocomposites: Enhanced thermal stability and Toughness

Epoxy-Clay Nanocomposites were prepared using organically modified clays namely (i) Hexadecyltrimethyl ammonium modified clay (HDTMA) and (ii)Hexadecyltriphenyl phosphonium modified clay (HDTPP). Several Epoxy-Clay Nanocomposites were prepared from different Epoxies such as BDGE, BPDG, BBDG, & TGDDM with 5% HDTMA modified clay and DDS hardener by melt blending method.The enhanced thermal stability observed in the Epoxy-Nanocomposite, revealed that the hard nanolayer acted as barrier for volatile degradation of polymer matrix.

VIII. New PhosphorousCoupling Agents for Epoxy/Clay Nanocomposites

Phosphorous coupling agents could be employed in adhesive a reactive intermediate for modification of the base polymer. They improve not only the initial adhesion (i.e., original bond strength), but they also significantly improve durability in moist environments. Coupling agents are most effective on high energy, inorganic surfaces such as metals, glass, and leathers.

In this work, an Aliphatic P-Hardener (DTDP) was synthesized and characterized. The DTDP had adequate coupling and curing ability showing good thermal stability and mechanical properties of materials. Similarly, three kinds of Aromatic P-Hardeners were successfully prepared and well characterized. The P-hardeners were able to disperse better in the epoxy systems and their amine was expected to link with clay particles and epoxy blends. These were grafted onto epoxy/MMT nanoparticles by using hardeners as compatibilizers and fire retardants in the epoxy formulations.

The epoxy blends containing phosphorus units in combination with the nanoclay layers led to an increased thermal stability compared to UME systems because of high char yield formed due to the synergistic effect of phosphorous and nanoclays.

IX. Studies On The Application Of Nanoclays As Drug Carriers

Nanoclays are now receiving a wide spread interest as advanced materials for drug delivery. Therefore the research was focused on to use Montmorillonite nanoclay as drug carrier. Drugs related to several therapy require regular dosing in immediate time intervals. In order to address these problems, delivery of drugs like Carvedilol, Captopril, Ibuprofen and etc. were tried using MMT clays.

On Going Work

Epoxy resin based nanofillers/blends as fire retardant, heat resistant and moisture resistant materials for leathers

Leather is a versatile material and is used for diverse applications from household to space material. Thus, it is necessary to develop leathers of different textures and characters. Specifically to impart flame retardance to leathers, Nanoclays and organo phosphorous compounds are blended with epoxy. These formulations were prepared since they generate little toxic gas and smoke, and exhibit high flame-retardant efficiency while burning. Thus, the epoxy/nanoclay/ phosphorous blends could be used for fire proof coatings, water repellent adhesives and as matrix for Leather/Fibre sandwich composites.

Several unreinforced epoxy composites, Nanocomposites, Glass fibre reinforced nanocomposites, Carbon fibre reinforced composites, Glass fabric and/or Carbon fabric sandwich leather materials were being prepared.. The flammability study (HRR) showed ’V1’ grating and the burning behaviour study showed ‘Self-Extinguishing’ property. The mechanical property evaluations of fabric/leather hybrid composites are in the process. These materials appear to be very transparent, glossy, and tend to exhibit excellent mechanical and thermal characteristics.

Indigenous development of technology for long pot life one pot epoxy binder

Epoxy-Imidazole adduct shows pot life that exceeds nine months as on till date

Development of GFRP Rebars for the tannery waste water storage tank structures

Preparation of GFRP (Glass fibre reinforced plastic) Rebars which can replace the conventional steel rebar to use in harsh environmental structural application.

Different types of Rebars produced in CLRI Laboratory by varying the chemical formulations with different diameters: Samples kept for Environmental exposure.
Research guidance being provided to the following degree courses
  • MSc: (Chemistry, Polymer Chemistry, Biotechnology)
  • MPhil: (Chemistry, Polymer chemistry, Biotechnology)
  • BE: (Civil Engineering and etc., )
  • MTech:(Biotechnology, CivilEngineering, Mechanical Engineering, Structural Engineering,
  • MPharm: (Pharmaceutics & Pharmacology)
  1. Life member, Society of Polymer Science, India
HRD Activities
  1. Honorary Faculty, Department of Leather Technology, Anna University
  2. Recognized supervisor in Anna University Teaching MTech (Leather Technology) and MTech (Footwear Science) Subjects
    • Science and Technology of Leather Supplements and Synthetics (Course code:LE8012)
    • Footwear Chemicals and Polymers (Course code: FW8201)
  3. Students who wish to doctoral research in the area of Chemistry, leathers, nano- bio, drugs, green chemistry, composite materials, studies are welcome
List of Papers Presented In The International / National Journals
  1. Development of resins for making carbon fibre prepregs. M.K.Sridhar, K.Rangarajan, Kiran V.Pandare, Chandra Ajay, M.Suguna lakshmi, M.V.Ramani, PD-MT-9403, Jan.1994 (Restricted), Materials Science Division, NAL, Bangalore-560017.Sponsor: Aeronautical development Agency (ADA), Bangalore.
  2. Characterization of polycyanurate cured epoxy resins. M.Suguna Lakshmi, P.Kanakalatha, Chandra Ajay, M.K.Sridhar, PD-MT-9516, Aug.1995 (Restricted), Materials Science Division, NAL, Bangalore-560017.
  3. High Performance Resins for Aeronautical Applications-Final Report. M.K.Sridhar, P.Kanakalatha, Kiran V Pandare, Chandra Ajay, M.Suguna Lakshmi, G,Padma, T.Padmavathi, PD-MT-0011, July 2000 (Restricted), Materials Science Division, NAL, Bangalore-560017.Sponsor: Aeronautical Research and Development Board (AR & DB), Bangalore.
  4. Synthesis and characterization of new epoxy and cyanate ester resins. M.Suguna Lakshmi, BSR Reddy, Euro.Polym. J.,38, (2002), 295-281.IF:0.952.
  5. Study on the effect of new cyanate and phenoxy polymer of TGDDM/DDS/GMP formulations. M. Suguna Lakshmi, M. Srividhya, BSR Reddy, J.Appl.Polym. Sci.88(13)(2003), 2693-2973 .IF: 1.187
  6. Modification of epoxy system for industrial applications: Preparation an characterization. M. Suguna Lakshmi, BSR Reddy,Ind. J. of Chem. Tech., 10(2003), 257-264.IF: 0.267
  7. New epoxy resins containing hard-soft segments: Synthesis, characterization and modification studies for high performance applications. M. Suguna Lakshmi, M. Srividhya, BSR Reddy, J. Polym. Research.10(2003), 259-266. IF:0.375
  8. Chemistry of Siloxane Amide as a New curing agent for epoxy resin: Materials characterization and properties., M. Srividhya, M. Suguna Lakshmi BSR Reddy J.Macromol. chem.. and phys.,Vol.206, issue 24, pages 2501-2511, 2005.IF: 2.111
  9. Enhanced thermal stability and structural characteristics of different MMT-Clay/epoxy-nanocomposite materials: M. Suguna Lakshmi, B. Narmadha and B.S.R. Reddy, Polym. Degrad. and Stab. JlVol.93(1), January, 201-213,2008,IF:2.320
  10. Carvedilol/montmorillonite drug nanoparticles: Processing, characterization and dissolution studies, Muralidharan Sriranjani , Haja Bava Bakrudeen, Arumugam Suresh Kannan, M. Suguna Lakshmi , Boreddy Sivarami Reddy , Asit Baran Mandal, Applied Clay Science 48 (2010) 589–593.IF: 2.784
  11. Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Phosphrous-Coupling Agent for the use as Compatibilizer, Flame retardant, Hardener and Adhesion promoter in Making Polymer Networks Suguna Lakshmi M, Omar Ashwaq. H.H. and Reddy BSR,Polymer-Plastics Technology and Engineering journal.Volume 50 Issue 3, 266, 2011 IF: 1.279
  12. Development of Inter-Crosslinking Polymer Materials From DGEBA/PDMS-Epoxy Resin Systems: Processing And Application Study”, M Suguna Lakshmi, BSR Reddy, Malaysian Polymer Journal, Vol. 5, No. 2, p 84-98, 2010.IF:0.056
  13. Intestine-Specific, Oral Delivery of Captopril/Montmorillonite: Formulation and Release Kinetics. M. Suguna Lakshmi , Boreddy Sivarami Reddy, Asit Baran Mandal, Journal of Nanoscale Research Letters.August, 2010. IF: 2.89
  14. Preparation and characterisation of short segment modifiers:Effect of modifiers and nanoclay on epoxy resins, M.Suguna Lakshmi, B.S.R.Reddy, ChemXpress , 2(1), Page 1-21
  15. M.Suguna Lakshmi, New phosphorous hardeners intercalated epoxy/clay nanocomposites enhanced in homogeneity, modulus and heat resistant properties B.S.R.Reddy,ChemXpress 2(1), Page 22-31
  16. M. Suguna Lakshmi, HB Bakrudeen, PP. Naseef, R. Saraswathi, A.B. Mandal, and BSR Reddy. Rosiglitazone maleate/MMT nanohybrid materials: Intercalations, formulations and release studies. Int Jl of Recent Adv in Engg & Tech. Instt for Res and Dev, Vol 2(9,10)Page1-7, 2014, ISSN (Online): 2347-2812. IF: 1.53
  17. Rahul AR, Arundev KY, Hemalatha G ,Mandal A.B, Suguna Lakshmi M. Nano Fillers Incorporated FRP Rebars For The Marine Constructions 2014 Int Jl on Theo and Appl Res in Mechl Engg.,Instt for Res and Dev Vol3(4)page.1-5, 2014, ISSN (Print):2319-318, IF:2.01
  18. M.Suguna Lakshmi, HBBakrudeen, B.Abilash, P.N.Krishnan, A. B. Mandal .Inorganic clay mineral, Montmorrillonite for the Adsorption of Isoniazid drug,formulations and release studies.Int Jl of Recent Adv in Engg & Tech, Instt for Res and Dev Vol 2(9, 10) Page15-22, 2014. ISSN (Online): 2347-2812, IF: 1.53
  19. Suguna Lakshmi Madurai, Venkatesh Madhu, Asit Baran Mandal, Development of Nanocomposite from Epoxy/PDMS-Cyanate/Nanoclay for Materials with Enhanced Thermal Stability for Engineering Applications Int J Of Modern Engg Res (IJMER) Vol. 4 (10), 70-74, IJMER, 2014, ISSN: 2249–6645, IF:1.227
List of Papers Presented In The International / National Seminars
  1. Characterization of polycyanate cured epoxy resins. M.Suguna Lakshmi, P.Kanakalatha, M.K.Sridhar,Int.Symp.On Macromolecules, Thuruvnandhapuram, Jan.1995.
  2. High Fracture Toughness Epoxy Resins, M.K.Sridhar, M.Suguna Lakshmi, P.Kanakalatha, G.Padma, Kiran V.Pandare, Chandra Ajay, Materials Science Division, National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore-560017 India, II-Joint CAE-NAL Workshop on Composites and Structures,X’ian, China, August 1995.
  3. A Study on the effect of new cyanate and phenoxy polymer of TGDDM/DDS/GMP formulations, M.Suguna Lakshmi, M.Srividhya and BSR.Reddy International seminar on frontiers of polymer science and engineering, Dec.9-11, 2002, IIT Kharagpur.
  4. Synthesis, characterization and formulation characteristics studies of hard-soft segmented epoxides. M. Suguna Lakshmi, M. Srividhya, BSR Reddy, Nationals symposium in chemistry, Feb.7-9, 2003, Chennai.
  5. Development of novel amine terminated siloxane amide as a curing and toughening agent for epoxy laminate” M.Srividhya., M.Suguna Lakshmi, and BSR Reddy, International conference on polymers for advanced technologies, MACRO 2004, 14-17 December 2004, Thiruvananthapuram, INDIA.
  6. Design and formulation characteristics studies of hard-soft segmented flexibilizers for TGDDM/DDS epoxy system M. Suguna Lakshmi, BSR Reddy International Conference on Advances in Polymer Blends, Composites, IPNs and Gels: Macro to Nano Scales Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam , March 21-23,2005.
  7. New epoxy resins containing hard-soft segments: Synthesis, characterization and modification studies for high performance applications. M. Suguna Lakshmi, M.Srividhya, BSR Reddy,Science poster, CLRI Foundation day celebrations, Sept.26th, 2005,Chennai.
  8. Synthesis and properties of Phosphorous containing Siloxane coupling agent for the development of thermally stable epoxy polymer networks” M.Suguna lakshmi and BSR Reddy, National Conference on , Recent Trends In Polymer Science And Technology NCRTPST – 2006) July 14th & 15h 2006 PSG College of Technology Coimbatore - 641 004.
  9. New Epoxy and Cyanate Ester Resins Bearing Mesogenic Backbones: Synthesis, Characterization, Structure Formations and Properties. M.Suguna Lakshmi and Dr.BSR.Reddy, National conference on Eco-, Sono- And Nanochemistry & Recent Advancements in Chemistry, 20- 21, December, 2006. New College, Chennai,
  10. Toughness and Thermal property modified Epoxy-Clay Nanocomposites: Preparation, Characterization and Property Evaluations, B.Narmadha, M.Suguna Lakshmi, BSR Reddy, International Conference on Nanomaterial and & its applications (ICNA – 2007), 4th to 6th February 2007, National Institute of Technology, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India.
  11. Effect of Phosphorous Containing Coupling Agents On Thermal, Mechanical And Morphological Properties Of BDGE/DDS-Clay Nanocomposites” A.A. Melvin, P.Kodimalar, M.Suguna Lakshmi and BSR Reddy, International Conference on Advanced Materials (ICAM – 2008), 18th to 21st February 2008, Mahatma Gandhi Universiy, Kottayam, Kerala,
  12. Preparation Of Nanocomposites Based On Carvedilol And MMT Clay For Drug Delivery Applications M Sriranjani, M.Suresh Kannan, H.Bava Bakruddin, M Suguna lakshmi, BSR Reddy, National Conference On Novel Polymeric Materials, January 20-21, 2009, Stella Marys College, Chennai, India
  13. Viscoelastic and Thermal property modified Epoxy-Clay Nanocomposites: Preparation, Characterization and Property Evaluations, M.Suguna Lakshmi, BSR.Reddy, MACRO2009, Recent Advances In Polymeric Materials, March 9-11, 2009, 10th National Conference of The Society for Polymer Science, Chennai Chapter, Indian Institute of Technology Madras INDIA.
  14. Preparations And Studies On The Intercalation Characteristics Of Carvedilol drug Into Inorganic Clay For Drug Delivery Applications, M. Sriranjani, M.Suguna Lakshmi, BSR Reddy. MACRO 2009,Recent Advances In Polymeric Materials , MARCH 9-11, 2009 10th National Conference of The Society for Polymer Science, Chennai Chapter, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, INDIA,
  15. Chemical Toughening And Nanoparticles Toughening Of The Epoxy Matrix Composites For High Performance Applications, M.Suguna Lakshmi, BSR.Reddy, ‘NCSCST, National Conference on Scientific Achievements of SC/ST Scientists and Technologists, 14th to 16th April2009, NAL, Bangalore, India.
  16. INTESTINE-SPECIFIC AND ORAL DELIVERY OF CAPTOPRIL INTERCALATED MONTMORILLONITE: FORMULATION AND RELEASE KINETICS J.Stella Winnarasi, M.Suguna Lakshmi and BSR Reddy, Asit Baran Mandal, ICNP’2010 conference, 24, 25 & 26th, September 2010, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam , Kerala.
  17. EFFECT OF ORGANO-MODIFIED CLAYS ON LOADING OF DRUG PARTICLES: PROCESSING, CHARACTERIZATION AND RELEASE STUDIES. J.Stella Winnarasi, M.Suguna Lakshmi and BSR Reddy, Asit Baran Mandal, ICNP’2010 conference, 24, 25 & 26th, September 2010, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam , Kerala.
  18. Modification Of Epoxy Matrix Composites By Polymers And Nanoparticles M.Suguna Lakshmi and BSR Reddy, ICNP’2010 conference, 24, 25 & 26th, September 2010, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam , Kerala.