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DOI : 10.2240/azojomo0203

Materials Engineering Research and Education in Indonesia

 

Mardjono Siswosuwarno

 

Copyright AD-TECH; licensee AZoM.com Pty Ltd.

This is an AZo Open Access Rewards System (AZo-OARS) article distributed under the terms of the AZo–OARS https://www.azom.com/oars.asp which permits unrestricted use provided the original work is properly cited but is limited to non-commercial distribution and reproduction.

 

AZojomo (ISSN 1833-122X) Volume 2 April 2006

Topics Covered

Abstract

Keywords

Introduction

Study Programs in Materials Engineering

Scheme of Research Funding

Research in Materials Engineering

Closing Remarks

Acknowlegements

References

Contact Details

Abstract

This introductory paper describes the current state of R&D in materials science and engineering in Indonesia.  The paper reviews the industries that produce materials, as well as industries that utilize materials.  Study programs in material science and engineering are available in the University of Indonesia (Jakarta), ITB (Bandung) and ITS (Surabaya).  Moreover, materials technology are included also at other departments, such as the Depertment of Chemistry and Physics of other universities.  Research is performed at the universities, government research agencies and to a certain extent in industries.  The activities of the Reserch and Development materials technology are briefly highlighted.

Introduction

Indonesia has a many of natural resources, such as minerals, coal, oil and gas, as well as tropical rain forest and plantations which should be a good starting point to build materials industry.  But the richness in natural resources is not enough, we need technology, educated people, finance, management, etc, and above all integrity of the people.  A brief review on materials industries and its utilization in Indonesia [1] as well as its research effort is presented in this paper.

With annual production of about two million tons of steel, the Krakatau Steel Ltd in Cilegon is the largest steel plant in Indonesia and the only steel industry which starts from iron ore to produce long and flat products.  Pellets of iron ore which are imported from Brazil and Sweden are directly reduced in the HyL III plants.  The source of energy as well as reductor is natural gas (mostly methane) coming from Cilamaya Area - West Java through pipeline of approximately 300 km long.

The steel making process is performed in electric arc furnaces (EAF) with sponge iron and small portion of steel scrap as input materials.  Further processes are classics, namely hot rolling processes on the slabs and billets to produce plates, reinforcing bars, profiles and wire rods.  Most of the steel belong to the group of structural steel.  Steel sheets are produced in the cold rolling mill, followed by annealing and temper rolling.

A large portion of the steel plates are to produce steel pipe, mostly for the oil and gas industries.  The steel pipes produced meet the API 5L X65 grade, also linepipe for sour gas service.  A large part of the steel sheets are utilized by automotive industries for car frame and body.  The steel sheets meet the formability requirements for stretch-forming and deep-drawing.

Another portions of steel plates and sheet go to the construction fabrication industries, for example the manufacturers of agro-industries equipments: palm oil, sugar, tea, etc., LPG gas container heat exchangers, oil & gas platform, ships and railway coach and wagons, as well as to the general fabricators.

Steel industries which are mostly located in the region of Jakarta and Surabaya start with steel scrap as raw material for their EAF, while the others start from billets to produce reinforcing bars.  Other steel industries are located in Medan-North Sumatra and Makassar-South Sulawesi.

Some ideas have emerged in employing coal base iron reduction process.  Thus, utilize Indonesian coal as a part of the reduction process.  The lengthy economic crisis has delayed its further development.  A similar case has occurred with the development of a stainless steel plant.

Bearing in mind that steel products should be developed, there are on-going R&D projects on specialty steels, such as (HSLA), transformer sheet, and high strength-high ductility-high formability steel sheet.

In the field of steel casting, there are foundry industries whose products are to serve the mining industries, cement plants, sugar industry, heavy equipment, etc.  In the field of cast iron, most of the industries utilize scrap as raw material.  In the case of steel scrap as input material, induction furnaces are used, while the scrap of cast iron as well as sponge iron and imported pig iron are melted in the cupola furnaces.  Most of the cast iron castings is gray type, and a smaller part is nodular cast iron.  A large portion of cast iron products are sent to the automotive industries, such as brake drums, engine blocks and cylinder heads.  Other products are train brake shoes, brake valve, pump casing, etc.

Extractive industries are in the field of aluminium, tin, nickel and copper.  The aluminium plant in Kuala Tanjung - North Sumatra converts the imported alumina to produce aluminium ingot using hot electrolysis process.  The aluminium ingot produced by the plant is around 225 000 ton per year.  About half of the aluminium ingot is further used by domestic industries.  Another half of the ingot production is exported to Japan.

Tin mining and tin refining are the oldest metallurgical industry in Indonesia.  The mining activities are located in Bangka and Belitung islands, including offshore dredging.  The tin smelting plant is located in Muntok - Bangka.  Most of the tin is export commodity.  A small portion of the tin is used to produce tin plate.

In Soroako and Pomalaa-South East Sulawesi there are two industries producing nickel matte and ferro-nickel, respectively.  The copper ore mine in Tembagapura in the middle of Papua (or Irian Jaya) sends the slurry of copper concentrate through a pipeline to the harbor of Amamapare.  Further extractive processing is performed abroad.  A part of the concentrate is processed at a copper refining and smelting plant in Gresik - East Java.

There are several semi-finished products of copper produced by Indonesian industry, such as wire and cable mostly for the electric power distribution and telecommunication.  Some of the industries start with the remelting of copper ingot and scrap, while the others start with hot rolling of copper billet and followed by wire drawing and annealing process.

In the field of aluminium, several extrusion plants start with aluminium ingot melting  and alloying to produce billets by semi-continuous casting.  Most of them have their own dies shop.  All of them have heat treatment facilities for the extruded profiles.  Some of them have surface treatment facilities as well, i.e. anodizing.  Finished parts of aluminium alloys are manufactured for the automotive industries, such as engine block, cylinder head, piston and motorcycle’s wheel hub.

It is also interesting to note that recycling activity has an important role.  It is mainly due to the cheap labor force.  Many people make their in come in collecting, classifying and selling scraps.  Beside recycling of steel, cast iron and aluminium scrap, there are significant use of recycled lead, especially for the manufacturing of battery cells.

The upstream polymer industries producing raw materials for polymer industries are located in petrochemical centers, such in Palembang-South Sumatra, and Cilegon and Merak-Banten.  All products are derivatives of petrochemical products.  The down stream polymer industries came to Indonesia earlier than the upstream industry.  They produce semi-finished and finished products.  In terms on “continuity” of processing, it is still further from “continuous”.  There are several “missing links” in the chains of processing from upstream to downstream.

Natural polymers such as rubber and cellulose have high economic values.  The rubber plantation has been the traditional agro-industry which employ many people as it is labor intensive.  The uses of blend of natural - and synthetic rubber are found in several engineering finished products.  Pulp from the domestic forestry is the main raw material for the paper industry.  Other natural polymers such as bamboo and  ijuk (palm tree fibers) are still further developed to have a better - and smarter use of it.  The development of natural silk industry is an on-going stage in at least two provinces: West Java and South Sulawesi.

The improvement in the ceramics industry is probably in the method of processing and handling, i.e. the use of machinery in forming and firing equipment.  Other clay based ceramics are floor-tiles and wall-tiles, as well as bath room wares on which glazing process is needed to close the pores.  Engineering ceramics such as insulators up to medium voltage electric power transmission (20kV) are manufactured domestically.  Fine ceramics which are still in small production find their application in the electronic components such as resistors.

Glass fibers are produced by an industry in the viccinity of Jakarta.  The uses of composites are mostly for small size water tank, bathtub, furnitures, panels for car, bus and truck, boats and yacht.  They are manufactured using glass fiber and liquid resin which cured at room temperature.  The application of composites in the Indonesian aircraft industry and airlines so far are still limited to the non structural members, such as fairings, wing trailing edges and interior panels, although its application for the load carrying structure is under development.  All of composite parts in the aircraft are manufactured from prepreg.  The curing process takes place at elevated temperature, mostly in the autoclave.

Study Programs in Materials Engineering

Usually the fields or topics in materials are treated separately in various departments, for instance extractive metallurgy in the mining department, manufacturing technology of metals in mechanical engineering, polymer sciences in chemistry department, manufacturing technology of polymers in chemical engineering, magnetic and electronic materials in department of physics.  Study program in materials engineering – as an integrated effort- is rather new in Indonesia.  ITB (Institute of Technology, Bandung) started to open an undergraduate program in materials engineering in 1995, while the graduate program in materials science & engineering was started three years earlier.  A rather similar approach has been followed by UI (Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta) and ITS (Surabaya).

There are ~ 45 new students annually at the study program in Materials Engineering of ITB.  In each new academic year the graduate program has approximately 10 to 15 new participants from various disciplines, such as chemistry, physics, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, metallurgy, etc.

Scheme of Research Funding

We are fostering the tradition of research which practically did not exist until recently.  Research works are performed in the Universities and the Research Institutes, such as LIPI (The Indonesian Institute of Science), BATAN (The National Agency for Nuclear Energy), BPPT (The Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology), etc.

Some of the research funding is provided by the government.  At the moment, the industries show more interest in the development and “trouble-shooting” type of work.

The government, through the ministry of research and technology has various funding schemes to support research activities: bottom-up proposals, as well as top-down research topics.  Research funds are to be competed among team researchers.  The topics are grouped and assessed by ten panels, as follows:

•        System and Policy

•        Agriculture and Food

•        Health

•        Environment

•        Earth  & Marine Sciences &Aerospace

•        Transportation

•        Energy

•        Manufacturing

•        Micro-electronics & Informatics

•        Materials

The number of topics ( for the ten groups of fields) funded under these scheme in the last ten years is summarized in Table 1 [2].

Table 1.Number of Research Topics funded by the Ministry of Research & Technology

RUT

Tahun

Total

93

94

95

96

97

98

99

00

01

02

03

I

1

109

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

295

2

 

103

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

83

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

II

1

 

149

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

369

2

 

 

135

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

85

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

III

1

 

 

142

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

343

2

 

 

 

131

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

70

 

 

 

 

 

 

IV

1

 

 

 

106

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

235

2

 

 

 

 

95

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

35

 

 

 

 

 

V

1

 

 

 

 

153

 

 

 

 

 

 

400

2

 

 

 

 

 

143

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

104

 

 

 

 

VI

1

 

 

 

 

 

148

 

 

 

 

 

335

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

121

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

66

 

 

 

VII

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

110

 

 

 

 

252

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

92

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

50

 

 

VIII

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

163

 

 

399

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

154

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

82

IX

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

90

 

179

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

89

X

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

62

62

Total

 

109

252

360

322

318

326

335

158

213

244

233

2870

Another scheme is the so called partnership research, in which a company or an industry is encouraged to perform joint research with an institute.  The result is expected to be a pilot processing unit.  The company should share the research cost.  Therefore the proposed topics should be of  the interest of the industry involved.

The Department of National Education provides funds to be competed by the academic staffs.  This scheme is to improve their ability in performing research.

Research in Materials Engineering

The topics can be classified in two main streams, namely the structural materials and the functional materials.  In the structural materials are for instance the development of high performance concrete, bamboo composites, housing panels.  In the functional materials there are research in thin films, membranes, degradable polymers.

The key players from the universities in material research are mostly staff members from UI, ITB, UGM and ITS.  While from the research institutes are from LIPI (from Institutes for Applied Chemistry, Applied Physics and Metallurgy), BATAN (from the Material Center), from BPPT (from the Institute for Testing & Construction).  Just until recently there are new teams from outside Java, for instance from Medan, Bandar Lampung and Makassar).

Closing Remarks

An overall evaluation on the research scheme has been made [2].  Some important points are as follows:

•        The scheme of funding has improved the communication among researchers.

•        It has reduced the iddle time of laboratory equipment.

However it shows only a small economic impact.  Its results are not attractive enough to the potential users.  The results should be further worked-out as pilot processes.

Acknowlegements

This presentation was sponsored by the 21st Century COE Program of Nagaoka University of Technology  for “The 1st Regional Workshop at Hanoi”.

References

1.       M.Siswosuwarno, M., “Materials Utilization and Materials Industries in Indonesia”, the Indonesian - German Joint Seminar on Materials Research and Development for Environment-Friendly Applications, Jakarta, 24-25 June 2002.

2.       ”Guideline for the Selection of the XI- Actually there were chances to build the most of the chains of industries, for instance during the oil-boom period. Integrated Research Proposals”, Ministry of Research and Technology, Jakarta, 2003.

Contact Details

Mardjono Siswosuwarno

 

Materials Engineering Study Program
Institute of Technology
Bandung

 

Email: [email protected]

 

 

Published in print form in “Advances in Technology of Materialsand Materials Processing Journal, 6[1] (2004) 103-106

 

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