The Digital Element Approach Fabric and Composite Analyzer (DFCA) was developed by the Fabric and Composite Design group at Kansas State University. It can be applied for fabric and fabric-reinforced composite analysis. The solver of the software uses a digital element approach to simulate filament level motion. In this approach, each yarn is modelled as a bundle of digital filaments and each digital filament is discretized into many rod elements, connected by frictionless pins. As the length of the rod element approaches zero, the filament becomes fully flexible, imitating the actual filament. Contacts between adjacent filaments are checked in each simulation step. If distance between them is smaller than filament diameter, a contact element will be inserted. The contact element can support friction force and compressive force.
Fabric that is modeled at the filament-scale
Because the fabric is modeled at the filament-scale, it enables prediction of the as-woven geometry. The image on the right side shows the geometry of a 3D woven unit cell, which can be replicated to define a fabric and then used directly in fabric mechanics simulation. Alternately, the geometry can be supplied to others to create finite element meshes of fabrics or fabric-reinforced composites. Comparisons of predicted fabric geometry and experimentally observed geometry show good correlation.
The DEA approach developed at Kansas State University has been be utilized to:
Determine filament-level micro-geometries of fabrics as-woven or braided
Determine yarn-level micro-geometries of fabrics as-woven or braided
Simulate fabric deformation during the molding/forming process
Analyze 3-D weaving process kinetics
Determine fabric stress-strain relations
Simulate the progressive fabric failure process
Simulate dynamic response of fabric under impact load
Generate conformal FE mesh for fabric reinforced composites.
The DFCA Version 0.1.0 can be applied to determine the realistic fiber-level and yarn-level micro-geometry of woven fabrics. If you are interested in the use of DFCA and other applications, please contact us for more information!