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A predictive model for flexible woven composites

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ben BridgensORCiD, Professor Peter Gosling


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A predictive model has been developed to determine the biaxial stress-strain response of flexible woven composites, without the need for biaxial testing. Sawtooth and sinusoid models of the fabric unit cell have been formulated, with spring elements between crossovers used to represent the coating. In both models a constant yarn cross-sectional area has been maintained, resulting in a relationship between unit cell length and yarn thickness which eliminates the need to determine the yarn crushing stiffness. All model parameters are determined from standard tests: yarn and matrix tensile moduli are inferred from uniaxial strip tests, weave geometry is measured from digital photographs of the material cross-section. A state-of-the-art biaxial test rig and new test protocol have been developed to fully establish the stress-strain behaviour of flexible woven composites used for tensile roof structures. This enables meaningful comparison to be made between the model output and actual fabric response. The model is truly predictive: parameters are not optimised to fit the model output to a particular data-set. The model provides a more accurate representation of fabric behaviour than current industry best practice (i.e. use of elastic constants based on biaxial test data), but without the need for specialist testing, equipment or software. The model is currently being extended to include shear response, again using purpose built, innovative test equipment and test protocols. The model has been developed for architectural fabrics, but is equally applicable to other woven composites and could be applied to problems of feasible drape during lay-up. A key application is for reverse engineering of woven composites: appropriate fibre/yarn and matrix properties and weave geometry can be calculated to provide a material with optimal properties for a given application.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bridgens B, Gosling P

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: International SAMPE Symposium and Exhibition

Year of Conference: 2009

Pages: 20pp

Publisher: SAMPE


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781934551059