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A Textile Architecture-Based Discrete Modeling Approach for Fabric Draping Simulations



Adoption of lightweight composites for structural components is transforming the transportation industry in pursuit of improved performance and better fuel economy. In Liquid Composite Molding (LCM), dry fabric deformation in the draping process gains lots of attention as it affects the fiber orientation, leading to variations in fabric permeability and the resulting final quality of the product due to the change in infusion and curing processes. The lack of robust modeling tools makes the composite manufacturers heavily reliant on trial-and-error approaches to minimize part variability, resulting in high manufacturing costs and limiting innovations for new process and part designs. The current study develops a modeling approach to predict the deformation for dry fabric. In the model, fabric is made of interlacing virtual fiber tows which are represented by Timoshenko beams joint by translational and rotational springs. Dashpots at intersections are used to capture energy dissipation. The proposed model features the simplicity and efficiency in the prediction of shear angle when fabric is subject to 3-dimensional loading. Another highlight of this study is the consideration of characterized relaxation behavior of fabric subject to in-plane shear loading. Cantilever beam bending tests and picture frame tests were carried out to characterize material properties, geometric characteristics, spring stiffness, and damping coefficients. The proposed model was applied to a hemisphere draping model implemented in Abaqus to demonstrate the predictive capability.


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