Scientist who unravelled the secret of the Mehrauli pillar dead | india | Hindustan Times
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Scientist who unravelled the secret of the Mehrauli pillar dead

india Updated: Dec 10, 2009 01:29 IST
HT Correspondent

Noted archeometallrugist of IIT-Kanpur Dr R Balasubramanian—who unraveled the mystery of the 1,600-year-old iron pillar of Mehrauli that has not corroded since it was built— died of cancer on Wednesday. He was 48.

Dr Balasubramanian leves behind his wife Dr Gyatri Saini Balasubramanian and two daughters Gauri (16) and Gargi (11).

He was cremated at the Bhaironghat on the banks of river Ganga on Wednesday afternoon.

Dr Balasubramanian, who was a professor at the Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering at IIT-K, died of tooth cancer early Wednesday morning.

He had undergone a major lower jaw surgery six months ago at Chennai from where he was discharged.

But later, complications developed within a fortnight and he died.

Dr Balsubramanian was archeological-metallurgist (archeometallurgist) of world fame and had unraveled the mystery of the 1,600 years old iron pillar in Delhi that has not corroded despite harsh weather conditions till today.

Balsubramanian found out that that a thin layer of “misawite” prepared with iron, oxygen and hydrogen protects the cast iron pillar.

Recently, he was working on the Taj Mahal to ascertain the measurement unit used by then archeologists in constructing the wonder.

He has been associated with 20 sponsored, software and consultancy projects. He specialised in the field of material hydrogen system, environmental degradation of materials, structural property co-relation advance materials and Indian archeometallurgy.