Mechanics of air-inflated 3D distance fabric

Vlastimil Votrubec, Josef Žák


3D distance fabrics are modern and promising material for lightweight inflatable structures. The applications are used in sport, boats, tents, construction, military etc. Its advantages are large load capacity per unit weight, stiffness dependent on pressurized air, fail-safe structure. However, the mechanics of inflated fabric panel is not still described enough. This paper gives basic theory and its experimental verification about mechanical behaviour of distance fabrics. The mathematical model of air-inflated distance fabric panel is created based on analytical theory of cylindrical bending of plates. Material data of the fabric required for performing computations of the model are determined from tensile tests. The reliability of the analytical model is experimentally verified. For that purpose the air-inflated fabric panel was made and tested. Results obtained both experimentally and analytically are compared and discussed. The experiment proves the validity of the mathematical model and allows us to predict the behaviour of distance fabrics.


air-inflated distance fabrics; drop-stitch fabrics; 3D woven fabrics; mechanics of fabrics

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DOI: 10.24132/acm.2021.650