Wrinkle-Free Textile. While wearing a crisply ironed, or wrinkle-free shirt makes a good impression, researchers UBC’s Okanagan campus are working to solve the issue of wrinkling when it comes to making textile composites.
Textile composites are known for their strength and durability. Abbas Milani, professor in UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering, explains: “A simple wrinkle in the manufacturing process can alter the end product, diminishing its strength by 50 percent.”
Wrinkling is one of the most common flaws in textile composites as these materials are already used for mass production in the aerospace, energy, automotive and marine landscapes. Moreover, there is growing interest in textile composites from the fashion industry in recent years.
To ‘iron-out’ the problem, researchers at UBC’s Composite Research Network-Okanagan have investigated several de-wrinkling methods and have discovered that they can improve effectiveness by pulling the materials in two directions simultaneously during the manufacturing process.
They did this by creating a custom-made biaxial fixture, more of a clamp that stretches the textile taught and removes unwanted bumps and folds.
“The challenge was to avoid unwanted fibre misalignment or fibre rupture while capturing the out-of-plane wrinkles,” says graduate student Armin Rashidi. “Manufacturers who use these types of composites are looking for more information about their mechanical behaviour, especially under combined loading scenarios.”
The research included stretching the material and then using specialised image processing and 3D scanning to analyse the necessary forces and its impact on the wrinkling and de-wrinkling of the material.
“Composite textiles are changing the way products are designed and built in advanced manufacturing sectors,” says Milani, director of the Materials and Manufacturing Research Institute. “As we continue to innovate in the area of composite textiles to include more polymer resin and fibre reinforcement options, this research will need to continue to provide the most up-to-date analysis for manufacturers in different application areas.”
The original research, “A multi-step biaxial bias extension test for wrinkling/de-wrinkling characterisation of woven fabrics: Towards optimum forming design guidelines” was published in the Materials & Design journal, and can be found here.