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Fabric Mechanics

Unit CellThe Fabric Mechanics group at Kansas State researches woven and braided fabrics. Software developed by the group uses a digital fiber consisting of a chain of rod elements connected by frictionless pins, with contact between adjacent fibers. Several digital fibers are assembled into a yarn, with yarns optionally assembled into tows. The yarns (or tows) can then be woven or braided into fabrics.

Because the fabric is modeled at the micro-scale, it is possible to predict the as-woven geometry of the fabric. The image shows the geometry of a 3D woven unit cell, which can be replicated to define a fabric and then used directly in a simulation. Alternately, the geometry can be provided to other users for use in creating a finite element model of the fabric. Comparisons of the predicted woven geometry and the experimentally observed geometry show good correlation.

The software developed at Kansas State can be used in dynamic simulations to predict penetration and draping of the fabric. Explicit integration is used and, because of the large number of elements in the digital fiber, the option is provided for parallel processing on a computer cluster.