VEXTEC engineers and scientists have conducted research in conjunction with many significant Federal programs or initiatives, including those from every branch of the Department of Defense (DoD), and NASA.
The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency within DoD launched a major initiative to develop prognosis technology for use in development of future military products. VEXTEC was selected as a participant under the initial seeding effort and our work was later affiliated with three different major industry OEM prime contractor programs.
ArmyBased on the success of commercial success of our VLM technology, the Army selected VEXTEC - from among hundreds of other companies – for Commercialization Pilot Program funding. VEXTEC is evaluating the viability of “cold spray” repair process technology for critical helicopter components. This technology has been evaluated by several helicopter OEMs as a means to reduce Army and Navy helicopter repair time and cost. VLM will accelerate the evaluation process through the use of its Virtual Twin™ product simulation technology.
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Dayton, Ohio provided VEXTEC with initial VLM development seed funding. Challenged with the ever-increasing maintenance cost of turbine disk replacement, AFRL continues to fund the application of VLM has an enhancement technology to commercial finite element software. VLM is now being applied to aircraft structures as well as engines. Also our technology is being used to accelerate the time to market of new state of the art materials including metals, composites, and metal/composite combinations.
NavyOur association with the Navy was spurred by technological needs under the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) development program. Our technology has since been applied to aircraft engines, avionics equipment and other military programs including H60 and H53 helicopter fleet maintenance applications. Simulations combining traditional finite element analysis with the behavior of the processed material at the microscopic grain level are providing a new level of insight into transmission system failure prognosis. VLM failure forecasts have shown significant savings opportunities by reducing the need for extensive physical testing.
Our research for NASA was initiated following the failure of a prototype test of a reusable launch vehicle (RLV) composite fuel tank. Although manufacturers maintain tolerance controls over processes – slight variation in part geometries, hole sizes, material batches, etc., are all realistic anomalies despite these controls. Our work established a software framework for implementing systematic trade-studies between performance and reliability while considering real world processing variability.