VEXTEC Receives Phase II SBIR Award from USAF to Develop Physics Based Fracture Mechanics Methodology

VEXTEC® receives Phase II SBIR Award from United States Air Force (USAF) to develop realistic and physics based fracture mechanics methodology. The benefit of such an approach over the traditional linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) is a significant reduction in errors and uncertainty in the life predictions which result in unreliability or excessively conservatism for some designs. VEXTEC’s proposed approach will use the actual size of the initial flaws and accurately calculate the cycles needed to grow to failure by applying probabilistic, physics-based fatigue crack growth models that will be developed under this program. VEXTEC will demonstrate the feasibility and accuracy of these models to predict small crack growth by comparing with test data working with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company.

“We are excited about this award,” says Dr. Sanjeev Kulkarni, VEXTEC’s Vice President for Sales & Business Development, “along with the two additional awards that we have received in recent weeks, one from the USAF and the other from the Office of Naval Research (ONR). We appreciate the recognition of maturity related to VEXTEC’s technology”. The key in this award is VEXTEC’s method for modeling damage as microstructurally small and physically small cracks by capturing the microstructure of the material and crack closure effects prior to transition to long crack regime.

According to Dr. Robert Tryon, the Principal Investigator on this project and VEXTEC, CTO, “There is a broad potential benefit of this technology in any industry such as Aerospace, Automotive, Energy and Medical Devices, where determining the fatigue life of structures is important along with the direct linking of this to tools used for structural design. VEXTEC sees the generation of significant potential value with the successful transition of these developments for customers in these and other markets.”

Founded in 2000, VEXTEC Corporation has developed patented technology on virtual material modeling and predicting product durability. VEXTEC offers its Virtual Life Management® (VLM®) software and services to a variety of commercial and government customers.