Modelling of Woven Fabrics with the Discrete Element Method
D. Ballhause; M. Konig and B. Kroplin

doi:10.3970/cmc.2006.004.021
Source CMC: Computers, Materials, & Continua, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 21-30, 2006
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Keywords Woven Fabrics, Textile Membranes, Microstructure Representation, Discrete Element Method.
Abstract The mechanical behaviour of woven fabrics is dominated by the kinematics of the constituents on the microscopic scale. Their macroscopic response usually shows non-linearities which are due to the mobility of the interlaced yarns. The major deformation mechanisms of fabrics, i.e. the crimp interchange in case of biaxial tension and the trellising motion of the yarns in case of shear, reflect the dependency of the macroscopic material behaviour on the microstructural deformation mechanisms.\\ We present a novel modelling approach for woven fabrics which is capable to represent directly and locally the microstructure and its kinematics at yarn level. With only a small set of assumptions on the micro-scale the complex macroscopic material behaviour can be directly obtained. The proposed model uses the Discrete Element Method (DEM) for the representation of the fabric's microstructure. It is intrinsically dynamic since the equations of motion are solved numerically for every mass point through an application of an explicit finite difference technique. The model covers the full mobility of the fabric's microstructure while being efficiently enough to model macroscopic patches of the material.\\ With this model we can study the influence of the different material features of the micro-scale on the macroscopic material behaviour. With some further extensions accounting for coatings or embeddings, the range from pure fabrics to fabric reinforced membranes and composites can be covered. Problems related to large deformations and localization as well as damage can be addressed with the presented modelling approach.
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