HOW DOES IT WORK?
WHAT IS IT FOR?
The ChronoMEMS® solutions use a new generation of hybrid MEMS sensors that function without any electronics or energy source. They are capable of counting and memorizing mechanical incidents, such as deformations, vibrations, impacts and accelerations over periods lasting several decades.
Once installed on the structure (an aircraft, ship, vehicle, bridge, pipeline, building, etc.), this innovation operates like a black box that records the real life of the support. In this way, the ChronoMEMS® innovation addresses the need for structural health monitoring, which produces data to improve dependability. Precise and individual knowledge of the events affecting the monitored structure reveals its potential residual lifespan and allows for unmatched quality in the assessment of its operating reliability. This means that the ChronoMEMS® solutions can be used to take operational decisions immediately and on the spot, for example for fleet management purposes. An approach diametrically opposed to big data! These solutions can also be used to optimize maintenance in operational condition, with a view to cutting operating costs.
They form an essential supplement to simulations and theoretical models, because the ChronoMEMS® solutions produce objective and individual information on the actual use of a structure that is isolated or part of a fleet.
The applications of ChronoMEMS®
• Passive health and usage monitoring systems (P-HUMS),
• Individual monitoring and/or fleet management by capturing factual information in situ that can be used to determine the residual lifespan of the monitored structures,
• Maintenance in operational condition and maintenance according to condition in order to make equipment more available,
• Optimization of maintenance in order to cut operating costs,
• Safety and reliability of structures and components using a decision-support system before returning to service after an incident (“GO/NO GO” type operational decisions),
• Detection of critical and/or out of spec events based on the impartial monitoring of the actual conditions of use.
ChronoMEMS® is very simple to implement, due to its passive character. There is no need to install cables, electronics or batteries.
ChronoMEMS® is service- and maintenance-free.
ChronoMEMS® has an unlimited lifespan. This means that it can be installed on facilities that will last for several decades.
Every ChronoMEMS® is tested individually before shipment, so there is no need for on-site calibration. And unlike conventional stress measurement devices, it does not have to be re-calibrated.
The information produced by ChronoMEMS® is 100% useful, while other widely-used techniques demand complex post-processing of the data. Since there is no need for post-processing in the field, the number of ChronoMEMS® sensors can be multiplied so that each structure is monitored individually, instead of just a sample. Consequently, the information is significantly more reliable.
The information in ChronoMEMS® is tamper-proof. The information can only be altered or modified by destroying the sensor.
ChronoMEMS® is an infallible monitor of the physical condition of the monitored structure, because the mechanical memory in situ is inalterable. Errors of interpretation are ruled out by the simple read-out system.
ChronoMEMS® is compatible with severe environments. In particular, it is insensitive to all forms or radiation and electromagnetic interference. It is also suitable for use in pyrotechnical environments and can even be configured to withstand temperatures of several hundreds of degrees.
Ultra-compact, ChronoMEMS® can be easily integrated into any object requiring real-time monitoring.
It is available in a range of versions offering functionalities tailored to users' needs:
- A non-connected version with direct visual readout (100% energy-free)
- A version that can be interrogated from a short distance using a passive RFID chip (100% energy-free)
- A highly autonomous connected version (10 years) via LoRa communication module
Les versions RFID et connectées ouvrent les perspectives d’emploi de ChronoMEMS® aux systèmes automatisés de surveillance des structures et équipements dans un contexte d’exploitation opérationnel temps réel.
These solutions are designed to be passively activated when a critical threshold is exceeded due to thermal factors. The sensor detects the expansion of the monitored support and indicates the amplitude of the thermal event. Applications include the detection and quantification of overheating or excessive cooling. The temperature range stretches from -195°C to +600°C. The sensors can be equipped with a mechanical memory.
These solutions are designed to be passively activated when a critical stress threshold is exceeded due to mechanical factors (traction, compression, bending, etc.). They quantify the amplitude of the mechanical event to which the monitored structure is exposed. With its totally passive mechanical memory that can contain tens of millions of cycles, ChronoMEMS®Stress is the only energy-free mechanical fatigue sensor on the market. In the ultra-simplified version without a mechanical memory, this sensor can be used as a unique event marker, or a “spy” that detects the occurrence of phenomena, such as excessive mechanical loads due to an accident or use out of scope, warping, etc.
These solutions, which are adapted to pressurized appliances and pressurized gas or liquid pipelines, capture and record variations in pressure across a broad range and with high sensitivity. Since they are passive, these sensors can be used in explosive and pyrotechnical environments. These sensors can be equipped with a mechanical memory.
These solutions are designed to monitor levels of so-called “low g” parasite accelerations and, in particular, to count the series of accelerations when transporting loads, in handling operations, in the event of malicious acts, misuse or use out of scope. The ranges of acceleration thresholds covered are customized to meet the customer’s needs. They generally cover accelerations of between 1 g and a few tens of g. These sensors can be equipped with a mechanical memory. SilMach also offers “high g” passive monitoring solutions, ranging from a few hundred g to several thousands of g.