C & DS




Significance of Engineering Chemistry

  • S.V. Hari Krishna

    Asst. Prof., Dept of S & H

    SIET, Narsapur (W.G.Dist)

         Chemistry is the branch of science that deals with the study of composition and properties of matter. So chemistry is relevant to every walk of life. Chemistry is needed everywhere in life. Without a chemical reaction there is no single moment in life.
         Chemistry plays an important role in engineering. Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry are the basic sciences learnt by a student in school and Intermediate courses. Engineering students must have basic understanding of these subjects.

         Syllabus of Chemistry in engineering stream extends the knowledge acquired at Intermediate level. The subject is offered as ‘Engineering Chemistry’ for the students in their first year of engineering and it is common for all the branches of engineering. Here Engineering chemistry forms a bridge between basic sciences and engineering subjects. Engineering courses like CE, EEE, ME, ECE, CSE and IT need the basics of chemistry directly or indirectly.
    Significance of Engineering chemistry in various branches are discussed below
    CSE & IT
         Computers have found their entry into every field now-a-days and this computerization needs software that should be developed by a computer engineer. There are many a number of software being used in the field of chemistry either in research or in analysis. Software is required to interpret the data obtained from the experiments of research to get the output, it may be in the form of graphs or chemical structures etc. Field of chemistry is vast, in future there is a need of developing software packages that would be useful in the field of chemistry. If a software engineer has the fundamentals of chemistry, it is easy to him/her to develop software to the required task.
         Some software packages are being developed for designing new molecules. Before going to do the practical work in chemistry, now we can guess or estimate the final result using simulation software. Simulation software helps to know the getting possibilities for the final result which reduces the time taken for the chemical process, reduces the waste of chemicals which also reduces the pollution etc. To design and develop simulation software, software professional must have the knowledge on chemistry. So there is a need of chemistry in engineering also for the CSE & IT Branches, it may not help for their core subjects, but it will be helpful to do their projects and also in their professional life.
         For the development of super computers, one must have knowledge on chemistry also.
    ECE & EEE
         Electronics is nothing but manipulation of electrons, one must know how to manipulate an electron. For that knowledge of chemistry is necessary, for instance good knowledge on elements, its properties; valency electrons etc. Engineering chemistry helps ECE & EEE students in all aspects. It helps to understand what happening in conductor, semi-conductor and insulator. For the fabrication of electronic devices, knowledge of chemistry helps to choose the material for it. i.e. for manipulation of electrons.
         Electronic chips are very important for a electronic device, selection of materials for making a chip is based on chemistry of that materials. Nanotechnology is emerging technology by which nano-tubes (CNT) are used for electronic communication. These nano-tubes can be synthesized in bulk through chemical synthesis only.
         Chemical vapor deposition method is used for the fabrication of VLSI IC’s where n+ electrons are induced into the silicon wafers.
         Electronic sensors and Bio-sensors are available for various detecting or diagnosing purposes. To fabricate/ design a sensor or bio-sensor one must have knowledge of chemistry. Especially in bio-sensor, an electronic device receives signal only through the chemical reactions. For this purpose also chemistry is needed in engineering.
         Now a days there is a great research on conducting polymers, which have several advantages and applications over traditional silicon based materials. To design or fabricate a device an electronics engineer must have fundamentals of chemistry then only he/she can select a right material for that particular purpose.
         Display systems are well developed, we have LCD’s and LED’s etc. In LCD i.e liquid crystal display, liquid crystals are nothing but organic molecules. To study LCD how it is working and how the properties can be enhanced on must know the concepts of chemistry.
         Day to day consumption of electricity is being increased; accordingly we should plan to meet the demands. From this view photo voltaic cells being developed to get the electricity in a conventional way. Many countries are concentrating on the production, fabrication of solar cells and their related material to get efficient and low cost solar panels. One should have knowledge of chemistry to invent or discover a efficient material for the fabrication of solar cells.
         Batteries are widely use in various electronic devices all over the world. Now there is a great research on battery materials to increase the efficiency & the backup, reduction in weight, volume and its cost etc. Battery materials are mainly anode, cathode and electrolyte. To choose a material for a battery, basics of chemistry is mandatory.
         Not only the above said points, but also many a number of applications in the field and research, engineering chemistry plays a significant role in ECE & EEE at present and in coming future.
    Mechanical Engineering
         The pillars of Mechanical engineering were made by the basic sciences and we can see the role of chemistry everywhere in mechanical engineering. A mechanical engineer must know material science that comprises of physic and chemistry, properties of metal and alloys, composition of alloys, its stability, reactivity etc that are related to chemistry. Without a fuel no machine or vehicle runs, the efficiency, quality and other properties of a fuel can be studied only by chemistry.
          In research of finding a new, suitable and efficient fuel, chemistry needs a lot. Even after production of exhausts or residues from the operation of an engine, chemistry is necessary to treat that and making it harmless to the environment. If a mechanical engineer chooses a fuel which is suitable for an engine, he/she has to think of its exhausts also, there their knowledge of chemistry helps a lot.
          Lubricants are necessary to reduce the friction between two metal surfaces when they are in contact with each other. A mechanical engineer must know the suitable lubricant for that purpose at their environment. To know the nature and properties of a lubricant knowledge of chemistry is necessary.
         Like that many of the things related to chemistry must be known by the mechanical engineer, which will be helpful to him/she at their student life, professional life and even in research.
    Civil Engineering
         Like Mechanical engineering, ECE and EEE; Civil engineering also has a great significance of chemistry. It starts from the manufacture of cement, making of concrete, selection of material for reinforcement. Chemistry of setting and hardening of cement, decides the stability of it. To meet the challenges and requirements of civil engineer for a construction can be made on the basis of chemical reactions occurring in the materials incorporated.
         Now a day’s many a varieties of ceramics and refectories are available, to meet the manufacturing of a required ceramics or refractory for suitable purposes, one must have the knowledge of chemistry.
         To select a place or area for a construction, a civil engineer must analyses the nature and properties of the soil. Soil analysis must be done and to understand it knowledge of chemistry is must. Even water analysis has to be done at that area to understand the interactions between the construction and the surrounding which may be soil or water.
         To know and develop the upcoming technologies in civil engineering in a better way, knowledge of chemistry will be great source of knowledge to a civil engineer.
         Engineering chemistry is significant not only for the above said braches but also to the other engineering branches like Automobile engineering, Petrochemical engineering, Agriculture engineering, Food technology, Ocean engineering etc.

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