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Polona Dobnik Dubrovski

Petra Filipović Čebašek
Analysis of the Mechanical Properties
of Woven and Nonwoven Fabrics as an
University of Maribor,
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering,
Textile Department,
Integral Part of Compound Fabrics
Smetanova 17, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia
In this paper the difference between the mechanical properties of woven and nonwoven fa-
brics is presented, and the important role of constructional parameters (particular the cover
factor) of reinforcement fabric in the compound fabric is stressed. Some basic mechanical
properties, such as tensile strength, elongation at break, work to rupture and the force by 1%
of elongation were measured and analysed. The stress/strain diagrams show the differences
in the behaviour under defined loads of different woven and nonwoven fabrics. The results
show that the fabric with good mechanical properties is not always suitable as reinforcement,
where the needle punching is used as a method of linking layers into compound fabric.

Key words: technical textiles, compound fabrics, construction parameters, cover factor,
reinforcement fabric, mechanical properties.

§ the woven fabric’s constructional pa- bility in the warp and weft direction, and
n Introduction rameters, offers the highest cover or yarn packing
In comparison with apparel textiles, the § the number of layers in the compound in relation to fabric thickness [2].
main advantage of technical textiles is fabric structure,
their purpose of use, which requires less § the methods and parameters of bond- When engineering woven fabric as re-
but very specific project demands of ing and finishing. inforcement in the compound fabric for
them. The use of compound fabrics for specific end use (conveyor belts), the
technical applications is constantly in- Nonwovens are normally made from following project demands should be
creasing. One type of compound fabrics, continuous filaments or from staple fibre taken into consideration: high breaking
which will be the focus of our discussion, webs or batts strengthened by bonding strength, low elongation at break, high
consists of at least three layers, upper and using various techniques such as adhe- Young′s module level, high tensile force
lower nonwoven needled fabrics, and sive bonding, mechanical interlocking by 1% of elongation, and fabric thickness
reinforcement layer(s) of woven or non- by needling or fluid jet entanglement, lower then 1 mm [8]. Woven fabric me-
woven fabric. For example, nonwoven- thermal bonding and stitch bonding [3]. chanical properties are the function of the
woven-nonwoven (NWN) compound With the proper selection of fibres, tech- mechanical properties of the fibres used,
fabric or nonwoven-malimo-nonwoven nological process of web production, and the mechanical properties of constituent
(NMN) compound fabric can be usedas methods of web bonding and finishing, yarns, the woven fabric geometry (yarn
conveyor belts in the automotive, chemi- the desired properties and applicabil- linear density, thread density, type of
cal, mining and textile industries, as well ity of nonwovens can be achieved. The weave) and the technological parameters
as in many public institutions such as mechanical properties of nonwovens of spinning, weaving and finishing proc-
airports and hospitals. Nonwovens are depend on the constructional parameters esses [9]. By studying the load-exten-
widely used textile materials because of of the web (the basic structure element sion properties of woven fabrics, most
their low production costs, and so they of the web, the fibres’ composition and researches focused on the basic weaves,
have great growth potential. Needle- orientation, the method of web produc- rather then the fabric’s tightness [10].
punch technology is one of the oldest tion), and the type of web bonding and
bonding technologies, but the statistical finishing [4]. In the case of needle punch In the case of Malimo fabric, which can
data of worldwide nonwoven production production, it has been stated that the ten- also be used as a reinforcement instead
processes prediction for 2020 shows that sile properties of needle punched fabrics of as a woven fabric, the mechanical
the use of needle-punch technology will are above all highly dependent upon the properties depend on the mechanical
continue to grow [1]. Woven technical frictional properties of the constituent properties of longitudinal, transversal
textiles are designed to meet the require- fibres, as well as the way in which the and stitching yarns, as well as on the type
ments of their end use. Their strength, fibres are arranged [5, 6, 7]. of stitching.
thickness, extensibility, porosity and du-
rability can be varied. Higher strengths Comparing the mechanical properties The mechanical properties of a com-
and greater stability can be obtained from of nonwoven and woven fabrics, the pound fabric are not simply the arith-
woven fabrics than from any other fabric mechanical properties of the latter are metical sum of the properties of a sepa-
structure using interlaced yarns [2]. shown to be much better. The use of rate layer in a compound fabric. When
woven fabric in the compound fabric engineering needle-punched NWN or
When engineering NWN or NMN com- structure is therefore inevitable in order NMN compound fabric, not only woven
pound fabrics, the following parameters to achieve proper mechanical proper- or nonwoven fabric geometry parameters
should be taken into consideration: ties. Woven fabric as an integral part of must be taken into account. Another
§ the nonwoven fabric ‘s constructional compound fabric has a reinforcing role. very important parameter is the number
parameters, Woven reinforcement exhibits good sta- of reinforcement layers of fabric in the

50 FIBRES & TEXTILES in Eastern Europe July / September 2005, Vol. 13, No. 3 (51)
compound textile structure. The number Table 1. The constructional parameters of fabrics as an integral part of compound fabric.
of layers in the compound fabric depends
Warp - weft Warp - weft Fabric Fabric
above all on the mechanical properties of Ref. Raw
linear density, density, Weave mass, thickness,
sample material factor
the reinforcement fabric. By using woven tex threads cm-1 g m-2 mm
fabric with excellent mechanical proper- WF1 PES 111-111 6-2 plain 104 0.262 0.26
ties, such as high breaking strength, low WF2 PES 228-232 11-10 basket 482 0.752 0.79
elongation at break, and a high Young′s WF3 PES 110-044 20-11
4–end broken
324 0.758 0.66
module level, the number of layers in the twill
MF4 PES 110-110 11-10 tricot stitch 298 0.541 0.61
compound fabric can be reduced. When
NF5 PES - - - 280 2.021 -
needle punching, on the other hand, the
reinforcement fabrics can be damaged to
such an extent that their tensile properties
rapidly become impaired, and the tensile
properties of compound fabrics also be- WF -1 WF -2
come unsuitable [8].

This paper reports the main difference
between the mechanical properties of
woven and nonwoven fabrics. The differ-
ence between the mechanical properties
of the different fabric constructions being
used as reinforcement in the compound
NWN or NMN fabric structure is also
emphasised. The aim of the presented WF -3 WF -4
research was to establish which fabric
is most suitable as reinforcement in
compound fabric, according to their
constructional parameters as well as their
mechanical properties.

n Experimental
Materials and Methods Figure 1. Photomicrographs of reinforcement fabrics at magnification ×20.
Our experiment was focused on compo-
und fabrics that consisted of at least three tional parameters of the fabrics used are elongation at break, stress by 1% elonga-
fabric layers. The upper and lower layers listed in Table 1. The weaves of woven tion, and work of rupture. All the fabrics’
were nonwoven fabrics (NF5) – fibrous specimens were as follows (description mechanical properties were measured ac-
webs, made by conventional pneumatic following standard ISO 9354): plain (10- cording to standard ISO 5081.
system and bonded on the pre-needle 01 01-01-00), basket (10-02 02-02-00)
machine. As the reinforcement layer, and 4-end broken twill (21-01 03-01-02
three types of multifilament woven fa- 03 02 01). n Results and Disscusion
brics (WF1, WF2, WF3) and one nonwo-
ven Malimo fabric (MF4), with differing We used the dynamometer to measure The results of measured mechanical
constructional parameters, were involved the following mechanical properties of properties of tested fabrics are listed in
in this research (Figure 1). The construc- the fabric specimens: breaking strength, the figures below (Figures 2-5), while

Figure 2. Breaking strength of samples. Figure 3. Breaking elongation of samples.

FIBRES & TEXTILES in Eastern Europe July / September 2005, Vol. 13, No. 3 (51) 51
Figure 4. Stress by 1% elonfation of samples. Figure 5. Work of rupture of samples.

Figure 6. Stress-strain curves of WF1. Figure 7. Stress-strain curves of WF2.

Figure 8. Stress-strain curves of WF3. Figure 9. Stress-strain curves of WF4.

the stress-strain curves (five specimens
of each fabric) are shown only for the
longitudinal direction of fabric samples,
while this direction is more important for
end-use. (Figure 6-10).

By analysing the behaviour under stress
of the different woven fabrics, the non-
woven Malimo fabric and the conven-
tional nonwoven fabric (fibrous web), the
Figure 10. Stress-
strain curves of following conclusions can be drawn:
NF5. § In the case of the woven and Malimo

52 FIBRES & TEXTILES in Eastern Europe July / September 2005, Vol. 13, No. 3 (51)
fabrics, a higher Young’s module besides the mechanical properties the NWN or NMN compound fabric for spe-
occurs, which means that the higher constructional parameters of fabrics cific end use.
stress is needed to extend the fabrics should also be taken into account,
regarding the conventional nonwoven as they have an influence on bond- The results clearly show that the fabric
fabric. For the last-mentioned fabric, ing. When producing NWN or NMN
with excellent mechanical properties is
the lower stress extends the fabric to compound fabrics, great attention
a much greater range. There is almost is given to the methods and condi- not necessarily suitable as reinforcement
no resistance to the force in the area tions of linking the needle punching, in the compound fabric. In the case of
of elasticity, which is the result of the among others. By the method of needle punching as a linking method,
low strength of the web, so plastic de- linking separate layers into one, the the cover factor has a great effect. As we
formation already occurs in the area of macropores in the reinforcement layer have established, it is sometimes better to
low tension. should be big enoughfor the needles use more than one layer of woven fabric
§ After the yield point, the behaviour of to run easily through the fabric and with lower mechanical properties, but
the stress–strain curve of the woven not cause much damage. Previous
with appropriate constructional param-
and Malimo fabrics differentiate in research shows that the cover fac-
eters, so that the possibility of damage in
comparison with the conventional tor should not exceed 60% [8]. The
nonwoven fabric. The slope of the low cover factor reduces the damage the linking/needle punching phase is re-
stress-strain curve of the woven fab- caused to the reinforcement fabric by duced. In this way the mechanical prop-
rics (and Malimo fabric) decreases needles and preserves the mechanical erties of individual layers are preserved,
against the slope of the initial seg- properties of the reinforcement fabric. and the desired mechanical properties of
ment, while the slope of the stress- According to the cover factor value of the compound fabric are achieved.
strain curve of the conventional non- the fabrics tested, WF2 and WF3 are
woven fabric increases. not appropriate for reinforcement in
§ All the values of measured mechani- the compound fabric, and the value References
cal properties are much better for any of NF4 is near the limit. The decision
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WF2 – WF3 – MF4 – WF1, n Conclusion nal, 1996, Vol. 66, No. 11, pp. 713-722.
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§ Breaking elongation: It is well-known that the mechanical ting the Mechanical Properties of Nonwo-
WF1 – MF4 – WF 3 – WF2. properties of a compound fabric are not ven Geotextiles with the Finite Element
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§ By deciding which fabric to use as re- fabrics and nonwoven Malimo fabric)
inforcement in the compound fabric, that can be used as reinforcement in a Received 26.10.2004 Reviewed 14.04.2005

FIBRES & TEXTILES in Eastern Europe July / September 2005, Vol. 13, No. 3 (51) 53