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Member Spotlight: Acellent

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Meet Acellent Technologies, Inc.

Acellent, headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., provides integrated Structural Health Monitoring and Management (SHM) systems that allows customers in real time or on-demand to monitor the integrity of their high-valued structural assets and to optimize their operation and efficiency anywhere and anytime.

Structural Health Monitoring is a new and upcoming technology that is increasingly being used by the industry as a possible method to improve the safety and reliability of structures and thereby reduce their operational cost. The core of the technology is the use of self-sufficient systems for the continuous monitoring and inspection of structures with minimal labor involvement. The aim of the technology is not simply to detect structural performance and reliability issues, but also provide an early indication of physical damage. The early warning provided by an SHM system can then be used to define remedial strategies and enhance structural performance.

SHM technology is becoming an integral component of an increasing number of future engineering structures. The drivers for this technology are immense. Within the global markets (aerospace, pipeline, civil infrastructures) the need to strengthen competitiveness while improving safety and security has become a crucial concern to both manufacturers of the platforms and their operators. Acellent provides advanced SHM diagnostic systems consisting of a flexible sensor network layer, diagnostic hardware, and intelligent diagnostic software for use in real-time Structural Health Monitoring of these platforms.

What would you like others to know about Acellent and its capabilities?

Acellent provides complete structural health monitoring solutions to our customers. This includes the sensor network, hardware for data acquisition as well as software for data analysis. The company has several different hardware platforms and a suite of software packages that can be used for different SHM applications.

Our goals are to:

  • Improve structural operational efficiency
  • Enhance performance and minimize downtime of the structural platform
  • Evaluate structural degradation in real time
  • Prolong structural life spans
  • Reduce maintenance and inspection costs
  • Enable condition-based maintenance

Some of the applications where Acellent’s technology can be applied are:

  • Composite Structural Health Detection – to detect the structural integrity of large composite structures such as wings, fuselage, blades etc.
  • Hot-Spot Monitoring – to inspect localized regions of a structure with a dense sensor network.
  • Crack Detection – For monitoring and quantifying cracks in metal structures and components and their subsequent propagation.
  • Corrosion Monitoring – to monitor corrosion growth in metal structures and components.
  • Impact Monitoring – Includes large-area continuous monitoring of structural impact events in real time.
  • State Sensing – For monitoring the various states of a structure, such as temperature and strain, as well as structural integrity and reliability.

Acellent products and systems have been developed to provide real-time built-in structural assessment of all structures including hidden or inaccessible areas. The types of structural assessments include:

  • Damage size, type, and location
  • Real-time warnings of structural integrity for performance enhancement
  • Prolong structural life-span
  • Reduce structural maintenance costs and facilitate Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) of structures

Why is Acellent interested in Flexible Hybrid Electronics? What opportunities do you see?

Acellent has developed novel structural health monitoring technologies through the use of built-in distributed sensor networks integrated with structures. The basic idea is to use a network of distributed sensors/actuators embedded on a thin dielectric carrier film called the SMART layer, to monitor and evaluate the integrity of a structure. The SMART Layer manufacturing utilizes some aspects of Flexible Electronics manufacturing process used by the electronics industry. Acellent is therefore interested in exploring FHE to continue to enhance its SMART Layer products.

How did you get involved in NextFlex, and what are you seeking to achieve through NextFlex?

Acellent is one of the founding members of NextFlex. Through NextFlex we hope to work with other members and groups to continue to enhance our SHM systems, make their manufacturing more cost-effective, and identify additional applications for the technology.

What types of activities has your company engaged in with NextFlex since becoming a member?

Acellent has participated in several meetings for Nextflex including Innovation Day, roadmap development, and as a reviewer for proposals for the NextFlex Project calls.

For more information about Acellent, visit www.acellent.com.

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