1. Realistic Plastic & Rubber Simulation
  2. Micromechanics Model Validation
  3. Small Scale Mechanical Testing

Realistic simulation is imperative to modern product development, given today’s globalized, hyper-competitive business environment.  Market leaders leverage simulation to accelerate design cycles and get products to market faster, all the while spending fewer resources.

Psylotech addresses two unmet simulation needs. First, we provide a complete solution for realistic plastic and rubber simulation. Until Psylotech’s Visca™, such polymeric materials have been notoriously difficult to simulate, because their properties change with loading history, temperature and environment. Second, we provide instrumentation to validate models between nanometer and macroscopic length scales. Our miniature universal load frame complements theoretical and numerical research following the presidential Materials Genome Initiative.

Applications

visca_oilplatformCommercial finite element codes do not effectively simulate rubber & plastic in extreme oilfield conditions. Product development and sustaining therefore require time consuming & expensive validation testing. Realistic rubber simulation would drive substantial innovation, even when oil prices are low.

Psylotech provides an ABAQUS software add-on module, making it easy for clients to quickly integrate effective polymer simulation into their existing process. With this tool, many products could be refined through simulation and virtual prototyping, including:

  • Failure of packers deployed over extended periods in harsh environments
  • Dynamic loading temperature build-up in mud motors and submersible pumps
  • O-rings in roller cone bits

In this challenging time of low oil prices, implementing simulation can help efficiently use resources and prepare for turn around. Learn more about our advanced polymer simulation process.

Car companies are federally mandated to achieving 54.5 mpg average mileage by 2025. Lightweight structures are key to reaching this target. Psylotech’s Visca™ polymer simulation solution enables a streamlined path to quickly incorporate sophisticated temperature and strain-rate dependent properties into composites and the adhesives needed to join them to the car’s structure. Psylotech’s µTS miniature load frame can test through-thickness properties on aluminum castings or welded joints.

Indeed, any load-bearing plastic part stands to benefit from Psylotech’s Visca™ simulation solution. Some examples include: improving tires, understanding brake pad fade, designing dashboards for high-rate air-bag deployments and evaluating under-hood plastic part lifetime.

militar_kevlar_transImagine the design of lightweight composite body-armor for soldiers. Psylotech technologies can meaningfully impact this life-saving application. The miniature universal load frame can provide simulation validation data for fibers in kevlar, soft tissue and bone. Visca™ polymer solution provides rate and temperature dependence for the composite matrix. Designers can simulate the entire impact event, from body armor panel to soft tissue to bone. The result is an optimized jacket design through virtual prototyping.

Other light-weight structural polymer military applications can also benefit, such as tank & ship armor, missiles, ordinance and air frames.

visca_medicalThe Visca™ polymer simulation solution effectively accommodates elevated temperature, cyclic loading, pressure and even solvent absorption effects on polymers. Virtual prototyping of polymer implants like synthetic heart valves or synthetic cartilage can improve component lifetime and quality, potentially resulting in quicker FDA approval and reduced need for future operations to replace worn implants.

Psylotech’s µTS small scale testing is also a powerful tool for medical implants. Stent testing can provide local strain fields during deployment. Measuring interfacial strength between bone and rods or screws can combine with simulation to optimize such operations. Ask us how to customize grips for your biological materials, including fluid baths and temperature control.

16248023_mlAdvanced materials have been known to improve athletic performance in everything from golf to skiing to racquet sports. Consider golf. The Visca™ polymer simulation solution can guide engineering design, tuning balls or carbon fiber shafts to specific weather conditions. Otherwise, performance on a cold morning or a hot summer’s day can be substantially different.

Indeed, any sport application involving composites stand to benefit from Psylotech’s simulation and instrumentation. Effective simulation can quickly optimize layup and materials in everything from skis to surfboards. In athletic shoes, the complete interfacial strain field between shock absorbing foams and hard rubber treads can be tested. Carbon fiber tennis racquets can be lightened and optimized for resonance. Contact us to discuss innovation in your sporting goods application.

12075061_mlThe country’s bridges are aging, many operating beyond their intended service lifetime. Carbon fiber has been proposed as a solutions to reinforce concrete support structures. Visca™ provides a simulation solution to predict lifetime for the fix, potentially including environmental exposure and loading history. The µTS offers insight into the small-scale interface between the cement and carbon fiber.

Water & gas pipelines are also aging and require replacement. Visca™ can predict lifetime of modern PVC pipeline materials, including temperature and loading history effects.

6920310_mlComposite airframes and satellite structures, as well as the adhesives needed to join them, are strong candidates for realistic nonlinear viscoelastic modeling. Consider for example a composite wing. This beam-like structure sees cyclic loading from each flight and also creep loading during flight. As airplanes like Boeing’s 787 utilize more and more composites, experimentally validated micromechanics models becomre more and more crucial. The µTS provides experimental validation. Visca™ improves quality and lifetime prediction.
34614964_mlNote also, Visca™ itself considers time dependent response from multi length-scale based mechanisms. Fillers and plasticizers are commonly assumed to uniformly affect a polymer over its complete response. In reality, fillers only affect a limited range of length scales. Ask us how Psylotech’s approach can enable virtual design of experiments to accelerate the development of new materials tuned to specific applications.

Technology

Psylotech’s proprietary, ultra high resolution sensor technology is the cornerstone of an advanced motion control platform.  If these sensors were incorporated into your bathroom scale, you could accurately measure the mass of an envelope someone handed you when weighing yourself (see image). The platform is applied to two products 1/polymer simulation and 2/meso-scale testing.

Psylotech’s Visca™ polymer simulation solution consists of 1/novel experimental data and 2/a game-changing software add-on module for commercial finite element analysis (FEA) software.  A proprietary instrument leverages the high resolution sensor technology to produce a unique set of data for FEA.  The data are then input to a first-principles based software, which combines mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer and materials science.  The novel software has roots in decades of development in the  technical literature.  Visca™ packages decades of expertise into a complete, cost effective solution for plastic & rubber simulation.

Psylotech’s µTS miniature universal load frame spans length scales between nano and macro.  This frame solves the problem of local strain measurement on small scales with digital image correlation and microscopy.  The µTS uniquely validates theoretical and numerical advances in small-scale materials science.

About

Psylotech was founded by Dr. Alex Arzoumanidis in 2006 to market a novel high resolution sensor technology.  With this robust, proven technology, clients could quickly differentiate their products and gain market share.  Psylotech emerged from the Great Recession with a modified business model, directly marketing its own differentiated product in the mechanical test instrument space, focusing on polymers and the meso-scale.  The value of our instruments is in the data they produce and the simulations they enable.  As such, we also offer software tools to unlock the value of that data.

The high resolution sensor technology has its roots in Alex’s doctoral research at the University of Texas at Austin, where he first developed experimental methods to test polymers.  After graduating, he worked for 5 years at Schlumberger in R&D, where he clearly saw the need in industry for realistic polymer simulation.  An expert in viscoelasticity, he is the vice chair of the Society of Experimental Mechanics’ Time Dependent Materials Technical Division (TD).  Additionally, he is the chair of that TD’s track at the 2016 SEM annual meeting.  He is also an affiliate of Northwestern’s Segal Design Center.

Contact

Psylotech Incorporated
1616 Payne Street
Evanston, IL 60201

Tel: 847-328-7100

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