A 21st-century laboratory on your desktop
Finite-element modeling (FEM), sometimes referred to as finite-element analysis (FEA), is used to simulate real-world objects for a variety of purposes—from designing new engines to visualizing the effects of loads on building components. FEM paints a very precise picture of a structure and its effects by breaking it down into millions of pieces and subjecting the pieces to real-life stresses and strains.
A PZFlex model, rich in detail and localized to small groups of elements, allows you to look inside a device and understand better what is happening to it as you experiment with different design parameters and configurations. The simulations you construct are excellent substitutes for physical models, which are kept to a minimum. With in-depth knowledge of how your device operates in multiple environments, you can optimize performance and pinpoint problems that may compromise production.
Real-world time-domain results
Researchers are often interested in frequency-domain results and PZFlex accommodates this need. PZFlex returns all initial results in the time domain—exactly as your lab oscilloscope does! Because the “real world” is time domain, you can compare PZFlex results to experimental results immediately, using your actual driving conditions as input. Coupled with Fourier techniques, a single time-domain PZFlex simulation will give you all the frequency-domain results you are interested in.
To produce the same amount of information, a frequency-domain solver would have to run tens, hundreds, or even thousands of simulations. PZFlex exploits the substantial gains in speed and problem size obtained by integrating to steady state in the time domain and then uses the discrete Fourier transform to extract frequency information. This strategy is most advantageous in the mid- to high-frequency regime of medical ultrasound and broadband applications.