Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics


Mechanical, Industrial and Systems Engineering

First Advisor

David G. Taggart


The rising demand in inflatable structures gives rise to the need to accurately predict the non-linear behavior of the woven skin material of these structures. The simulations which are in place right now often oversimplify the behaviour of the fabric, not using the full potential woven fabrics or inflatable structures could have.

This research aims to develop a tool with which a variety of different fabrics can be modelled and simulated to let a designer explore different kind of materials and yarns before making a decision on which fabric to use without the need for extensive laboratory experiments.

In order to do so, three dimensional models are constructed using the TexGen program designed by the University of Nottingham. These models are based on a 1000 denier fabric which is tested experimentally parallel to this thesis. The result of the experimental tests is then used in an effort to refine and verify the models.

It is shown that these models vastly depend on the yarn properties. Even properties that would be expected to have a minor influence on the overall fabric behavior like transverse and shear properties are crucial for the accuracy of the model. Despite the fact that the model as it stands cannot predict the behavior of the fabric as accurately as necessary to use it as a tool to design new fabrics, it is a first step in the development of such a tool.



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