Wayne State University

Aim Higher


Susil Putatunda

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Professor, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
313-577-3808 (Phone)
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Postdoctoral Associate, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, 1983-1984 (under Fulbright fellowship program).

Ph.D., Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India, 1983.

M.S., University of Mysore, Mysore, India, 1979.

B.S., Institution of engineers, Calcutta, India, 1975.

Research Interests
  • Fatigue and Fracture
  • Alloy Development and Microstructure Property Relationship
  • Austempered Ductile Iron
  • Austenitic Structural Steel
  • Magnetic Materials
  • Superconducting Thin Film Synthesis by Electroless Deposition
Research Projects


Research Statement and Highlights:

Advanced materials with high strength and toughness are in great demand because they can be used to make structural components lighter and more energy (and fuel) efficient. The research in my group is focused on the development of a new class of engineering materials with high strength, toughness and ductility.

Advanced Structural Steels:

We are developing materials (Bainitic steels, Austempered Ductile Iron) with exceptional combination of yield strength, fracture toughness and fatigue resistance. We have focused on novel materials processing which results in extremely fine grain microstructure and with a combination of several phases i.e. ductile and highly deformable phase e.g. ferrite and a strong and highly resistant to fracture (austenite) phase with high carbon content. Using a combination of unique thermo mechanical treatment and phase transformations, such microstructures are developed in bainitic steels and austempered ductile cast irons.

Superconducting Thin Films:

Superconducting thin films can reduce overall energy consumption and transmission losses. Another major Research activity in my group is development of super-conducting thin films by electroless deposition.

Nano-Composite Materials:

In recent years there has been a significant interest in carbon nano tubes as engineering materials because of their unique physical and mechanical properties. Another focus of our research is on developing Carbon Nanotube reinforced and metal matrix polymer composites.

Other Research Activities:

  • Development of a new class of austenitic structural steels and magnetic materials
  • Stress corrosion cracking behavior of high strength steels

·         S. K. Putatunda, V. Ramasagara Nagarajan, G. Lawes and P.R. Kharel, ”Synthesis Of Superconducting Thin Films of Magnesium Diboride by Electroless Plating”, Materials and Manufacturing Process, 2008, In Press.


·         S. K. Putatunda, V. Ramasagara Nagarajan, G. Lawes and P. R. Kharel,”Synthesis and Characterization of Superconducting Lead Films by Electroless Plating on Metallic and Non-Metallic Substrates”, Materials Science and Engineering B, 2008, In Press. 


·         S. K. Putatunda, E. Buc and R. Naik, “Soft Magnetic Properties of Fe-5 wt % Al Alloy”, Materials and Manufacturing Process, Vol 23, pp 289-294, 2008.


·         S. K. Putatunda and M.T.Ambooken, “Thermo Magnetic Processing of Austempered Ductile Cast Iron”, Materials Science and Engineering, A455, pp 531-555, March 2007.


·         S. K. Putatunda, “Influence of Magnetic Field on the Mechanical Properities of Austempered Ductile Iron (ADI)”, Materials Science Forum, Vol 539, pp4657-4662, 2006.


·         S.K. Putatunda, S. Kesani, R. Tackett and G. Lawes, “Development of Austenite free ADI (Austempered Ductile Cast Iron)”, Materials Science and Engineering A 435, pp112-122, July, 2006.


·         S.K. Putatunda, S. Unni and G. Lawes “Mechanical and Magnetic properties of a New Austenitic Structural Steel” Materials Science and Engineering, A 406, pp254-260, October, 2005.


·         S.K. Putatunda and Jianghuai Yang “Effect of Microstructure on Abrasion Wear Behavior of Austempered Ductile Iron (ADI) processed by a Novel Two-Step Austempering Process” Materials Science and Engineering A 406, pp217-228, October, 2005.


·         S.K. Putatunda, Jianghuai Yang and R. B. Gundlach “Development of an Austenitic Structural Steel”, Material and Design, Vol. 26, pp 534-544, September, 2005.


·         S. K. Putatunda and Jianghuai Yang “Near Threshold Fatigue Crack Growth Behavior of Austempered Ductile Cast Iron (ADI) Processed by a Novel Two-Step Austempering Process” Materials Science and Engineering A, Vol. 393, pp 254-268, February 2005.


·         S. K. Putatunda and Jianghuai Yang “Influence of a Novel Two-Step Austempering Process on the Strain Hardening Behavior of Austempered Ductile Cast Iron (ADI)” Materials Science and Engineering A, Vol A 382, pp 265-279, October 2004.


·         S.K. Putatunda and Jianghuai Yang “Improvement in Strength and Toughness of Austempered Ductile iron by Novel Two Step Austempering Process” Materials and Design, Vol 25 No.1, pp 219-230, February 2004.


·         S.K. Putatunda “Influence of Austempering Temperature on Microstructure and Fracture Toughness of a High Carbon, High Silicon and High Manganese Cast Steel” Materials and Design, Vol.24, No.6, pp 435-443, September 2003.


·         S.K. Putatunda “Improvement in Stress Corrosion Crack Growth Resistance of an Austempered Silicon Manganese Cast Steel by a Novel Two Step Austempering Process” Materials and Manufacturing Process, Vol 18, No 4 pp 667-684, August 2003.


·         S.K. Putatunda and P. P. Rao “Investigations on the Fracture Toughness of Austempered Ductile Cast Iron Austenitized at Different Temperatures”, Materials Science and Engineering A, Vol A 349, pp 136-149, May 2003.



·         S.K. Putatunda and P. P. Rao “Investigations on Fracture Toughness of Austempered Ductile Cast Iron alloyed with Chromium”, Materials Science and Engineering A, Vol A 346, pp 254-265, April 2003.
  • August 5, 2014
    Susil Putatunda,  will deliver the keynote lecture at the Indian Institute of Technology's International Colloquium on Materials, Manufacturing and Metrology (ICMMM), to be held August 8 and 9 in Chennai, India. The colloquium will provide a forum for teachers, researchers and personnel from industry to come together and discuss the latest improvements in the areas of materials, manufacturing and metrology. Putatunda will speak on Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of a Third Generation Advanced High Strength High Toughness Ausferritic Steel.

In the News
  • Susil Putatunda professor of chemical engineering and materials science, has made a chemical process discovery that may lead to the reinvention of steel in Detroit and around the world. Dr. Putatunda's research has led to a new way to design steel that does not require alloying the metal to make it stronger or more flexible. He explained to Xconomy, a technology publication, that this austempering technique is "not being done by any other company in the U.S."

    Read more through the link below.

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  • Susil Putatunda was featured by several news outlets in articles about Detroit Materials Inc., which is based on patented research by Putatunda. Putatunda's research involves austempering, a heat treatment for steel and iron that results in improved mechanical properties.

    On June 2, Detroit Materials finalized a license agreement with The Office of the Vice President for Research at Wayne State University for a Wayne State University patented portfolio of high-strength low-alloy steels and cast irons for demanding applications in the defense, off-highway, tooling and automotive industries.

    Detroit Materials also recently received a $250,000 funding boost from The Detroit Innovate Fund.


    Crain's Detroit Business

    Model D Media


    Southeast Michigan Startup


  • Susil Putatunda was featured by various news outlets for leading the development of an advanced high strength steel. "The steel has been found to have the strength and durability necessary for armored vehicles to resist improvised explosive devices because of its extremely high fracture toughness," said Putatunda. "Our steel could potentially save human lives against explosive attacks."

    CBS Detroit

    Eureka Magazine

    Science Codex

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