A Finite Element Structure Generator for

Nonwoven Fibre Fabrics
Master Thesis Presentation
Supervisor:Prof. Dr. rer. nat. habil. Dirk W. Schubert
Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Math.techn. Gunnar Possart
Friedrich–Alexander–Universität Erlangen–Nürnberg


Nonwoven Materials
Concept of the Thesis
Fabric Structure Generator
Modelling in ABAQUS
Results and Discussions
Conclusion and Outlook


engineered fabrics used across a wide range of applications and products. 3 . Nonwoven Materials Nonwovens are unique.1.

making it suitable for more specific jobs.Motivation • Even though the nonwovens capture a huge market worldwide. by optimising the respective manufacturing processes 4 . the full potential of these materials has not been utilized yet. • This will help the nonwoven industries to improve the mechanical properties of the nonwoven. • It is important to understand the effect of material’s microstructure on the overall properties of nonwovens and their deformation behaviour at microscopic and macroscopic levels.

Memi¸s Acar. Karsten Leucker. and Vadim V. Computational Materials Science. 5 . Xiaonan Hou. 46(3):700–707. Silberschmidt.. Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. 2015. Master thesis.Microstructure of Nonwovens Rectangular Bond Points Elliptical Bond Points • (a) and (b ) show rectangular bond point pattern1 on a 20 gsm thermally bonded nonwoven fabric. ISSN 09270256. 2009. 2. 1. • (c) and (d) show elliptical bond point pattern2 on a 15 gsm polypropylene thermally bonded nonwoven fabric.

Concept of the Thesis Matrix of calender pattern bond points Unit Cell 6 .2.

• The purpose of the FSG program is to generate a 3D fibrous structure as per the orientation distribution function (ODF). 7 . • The fibrous structure provided by the FSG program is then simulated in ABAQUS to study its deformation behaviour under different boundary conditions.Flow chart of modelling and simulation of nonwoven fibrous structure ODF Number of fibres FSG 3D Fibrous Structure Modelling & Simulation in ABAQUS Layer controlling parameters • A discontinuous finite element fabric model has been developed in ABAQUS using a C++ program .Fabric Structure Generator (FSG).

Fabric Structure Generator Number of Fibres required Layer controlling parameters ODF file 8 .3.

1 0 Number of fibres Probability ODF Processing Orientation angle (degree) 90° (Y) 0° (MD) Processing 175.5 34.5 75.5° 180° (X) 0° (X) -85.5 15.-85.5 1.5 74.5 -5.9 0.5 95.5 35.8 0.5 165.6 0.3 0.5 145.5 175.5 54.5 0.1 1 0.5 -25.5 85.5 135.5 65.5 55.5 14.4 0.2 0.5 -45.5 Orientation angle (degree) 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 5.5 25.5 45.90° (CD) 90° (CD) 270° (Y) 9 .5° .7 0.5 -65.5 105.

Fibre generation 90° (Y) A N B M 180° (X) θi 0° (X) 270° (Y) 10 .

txt (25 gsm polypropylene thermally bonded nonwoven fabric) Stage 1 Formation of Bond points + Processing of ODF 11 .Fabric Structure Generation – Stage 1 User Input Data • Number of fibres requested by user = 150 • Layer limiting factor = 10 • Density factor = 15 • ODF file = ODF1.

Fabric Structure Generation – Stage 2 Stage 2 Placing the fibres freely in the fabric layers till Where . L C = Layer number request L f = Layer limiting factor L C <= L f 12 .

the program will try to fit the fibre 15 times in the existing layers . 13 .Fabric Structure Generation – Stage 3 Stage 3 Density factor gets activated as LC>Lf Where . L C = Layer number request L f = Layer limiting factor (10 in this case) Before creating a new layer.

Coordinates of the fibres .Length of the fibres 14 .Fabric Structure Generation – Stage 4 Stage 4 The program writes all the necessary information about the fabric structure in data files .Fibre orientation angles .

15 .  Further the relation between number of fibres Vs fibre length and fibre length vs fibre orientation are plotted to study the microstructure of the fabric.Fabric Structure – Stage 5  The fabric structure with and without bond points is plotted via GNUPLOT.

Python program reduces this time to 20 seconds .  Manual modelling requires about 8 – 10 hours.4. Modelling in ABAQUS  A python program has been developed which guides ABAQUS to model the fabric structure using the data files provided by the FSG program. 16 .

42 Initial shear modulus 680 N/mm2 Initial bulk modulus 4023 N/mm2 C10 340 N/mm2 D1 0.Modelling Parameters Material Parameters Material Polypropylene fibre Material model Hyperelastic .Neo Hooke model Poisson ratio 0.000497141 mm2/N 17 .

Boundary Conditions Boundary Condition 1 Boundary Condition 2 Boundary Condition 3 18 .

7 mm to 1.5.6 mm. 19 . high density fabric structure     Analysis tools for studying the microstructure of the fabric structure. Results and Discussions ODF1. Fibre length varies from 0. 60 o to 70 o and 160 o to 170 o. Most of the fibres are in the range of 0.7 mm to 2.4 mm length There are no fibres in the region belonging to 20 o to 45 o.

Undeformed Structure ODF1. high density fabric structure 20 .

stress). D-F. high density fabric structure  The fibres connecting the bond points E-F carry no stress as they are fixed using ’ENCASTRE’ boundary condition.  The fibres connecting the bond points D-B along the loading direction carry higher level of stress. due to their short fibre length and low orientation angle with respect to the loading direction. 21 . F-B and B-E have lower stress concentration (approximately 25% to 30% of max.  The fibres connecting the bond points E-D.Boundary Condition 1 (BC1) ODF1.

E-D and E-F participate in the load bearing process. high density fabric structure  The fibres connecting the bond points D-B experience no stress as they are at ’ENCASTRE’ boundary condition. all the fibres connecting the bond-point D-F. F-B.  As the structure is stretched.  The structure has relatively uniform stress distribution as compared to deformation observed using BC1.Boundary Condition 2 (BC2) ODF1. 22 . B-E.

Boundary Condition 3 (BC3) ODF1.  The strain generated is small in horizontal direction compared to the strain in the vertical direction. 23 .  Later. high density fabric structure  As the structure is stretched. F-B. B-E and E-D join the load bearing process  The fibres joining the bond points E-F are at low stress concentration. the fibres connecting the bond points D-F. the fibres in the vertical direction connecting the bond point D-B start bearing load.

High Density Fabric ODF1.6%  Strain for BC2 = 87. F-B. Hence the overall relative stresses in the fibrous model during biaxial tension is at a lower side. E-D and E-F participate in the load bearing process from the start of the deformation  Strain for BC1 = 67.5%  Strain for BC3 = 128. high density fabric structure  The fibrous model behaves stiffer under uniaxial tension in the horizontal direction (BC2) . but the stresses in rest of the fibres in CD are very low.FEA Result – ODF1. B-E.78%  During the biaxial deformation (BC3) the stresses developed in the fibres joining the bond points D-B (in vertical direction) are very high. 24 . This is because of a large number of fibres connecting the bond points D-F.

• This behaviour depends on the microstructure of the fibrous web i. their location and orientation in the structure. Conclusion and Outlook • A novel finite element model has been developed to simulate the deformation behaviour of the fibrous structure under uniaxial and biaxial tension. • To define the 3D microstructure of the fibrous web. • Each fibrous structure showed unique deformation behaviour under different boundary conditions. the number of layers in the structure and the material properties of the fibres. • Using this tool 12 unique fibrous structures were created via 4 different ODFs and were simulated in ABAQUS.6. 25 . • The fibrous models were able to successfully simulate the anisotropic deformation behaviour of the actual nonwoven fibrous network. the number of fibres in the structure.e. a tool has been developed using C++ programming language Fabric structure generator (FSG).

Possible Future Work • The finite element model used in the current thesis is still in the developing stage. • Actual fibre properties – Elastoplastic and viscous behaviour can be introduced in the model. 26 . • There is a need to sudy the mesh dependency of the fibrous structures. • FSG-program can be modified to incorporate more bond point patterns. as it limits the maximum deformation of the fibrous models during simulation.

THANK YOU ! 27 .