Revolutionising the design of 3D textile composites

David Corne, Danmei Sun and George Stylios

The 3D textile materials offer particular properties along all three spatial axes that are not achievable with 2D and other reinforcements. This integrated architecture provides improved stiffness and strength in the transverse direction and impedes the separation of in-plane layers in comparison to traditional 2D fabrics. Because of their high transverse strength, high shear stiffness, low delamination tendency, 3D textile composites from weaving and knitting have received tremendous attention recently. They have emerged as a new class of lightweight material that has potential applications in the aerospace, maritime and infrastructure.  Research in manufacture and modelling of textile composites is an invaluable guide for manufacturers of polymer composite components. The proposed research will focus on developing techniques to underpin the design and engineering of various woven and/or knitted 3D textile preforms and composites. We will adapt existing computational modelling tools to support 3D design; composites will be produced and tested, culminating in a validated model for predicting the properties of 3D textile composites. We will develop the project that will have a practical application and provide real-world impact.