Virtual Life Management® Technology
VEXTEC predicts the life of manufactured parts by simulating the behavior of the materials they’re made from.
Virtual Life Management Technology is built on three inescapable truths:
1. Durability is not a function of applied stress, alone, but rather a combination of that stress and the material’s reaction to it.
2. The materials we use to build complex components and systems are not homogenous.
3. Computer cycles are shorter and cheaper than physical testing cycles or prototyping.
Using these ideas as a foundation, VEXTEC’s Virtual Life Management® technology is a computational framework that accurately accounts for a material’s reaction to the stress imparted upon it, its variability and all its various damage mechanisms, its geometry, and the conditions of its usage over time. The result is a Virtual Twin® – a 3D, time and condition-based product simulation that accurately and efficiently reflects the real world physics of how, when and why damage occurs.A manufactured component is really an assembly of millions of individual material grains of minute size that have been formed together to make up its microstructure. The process of manufacturing creates a variety of material microstructure complexities within each product coming off the assembly line. In the field, as products are flown, driven, pushed, pulled, heated, cooled, or exercised in any combination of ways, stress is imparted on the product and absorbed throughout its material microstructure. Computational software like Finite Element Analysis (FEA) predicts how this energy is distributed in unequal patterns. However, it’s well known that not all product failures occur at the highest stress areas, nor do they originate at the global component level where FEA is applied. Failure is actually a localized process that occurs deep within the material microstructure itself.
VLM ® Technology
The probability of degradation is predicted for every simulated grain, and component durability is derived by aggregating the results of those millions of grain degradation simulations.
In addition to simulating every grain within the microstructural arrangement, VLM® also simulates the effects of voids, inclusions, defects, grain boundaries, etc., in short, all the various features that are derived from real world processing, to determine how they, too, will react to the stress energy imparted upon them. A single fleet durability prediction can consist of hundreds of billions of individual simulations processed together. To forecast the durability of component fleets being operated in complex in-service usage scenarios, cloud computing enables our VLM technology to conductthese hundreds of billions of simulations in processing times measured in hours rather than months or years.
Standard Process for activating a Virtual Twin® product simulator
The simulator is calibrated with whatever is “known” about product performance – whether that is existing in-service failure data or experimental results.