Geometrical modelling and numerical analysis of thermal behaviour of textile structures
Siddiqui, Muhammad Owais Raza
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The thermal properties of fabric are an important factor in the understanding of the thermo-physiological comfort of clothing. The principal aim of this research was to develop novel numerical methods, Graphical User Interface (GUI) plug-ins and experimental setup to evaluate the effective thermal conductivity and thermal resistance of different textile structures which has significant impact on the thermal comfort of clothing. The numerical methods also include the analysis of the effect of fibre orientation, thermal anisotropy of fibre, temperature dependent thermal conductivity and fibre volume fraction on the effective thermal conductivity and thermal resistance of textile fabrics. The research covers the development of geometrical models of woven, knitted, nonwoven and the composites fabric structures, evaluation of their thermal properties by using finite element method, creation of user friendly plug-ins and the extended application tools. Micro and mesoscopic scale modelling approaches were used to investigate the effective thermal conductivity and thermal resistance of textile structures. Various techniques, including scanning electron microscopy, x-ray microtomography and experimental method have been adopted to obtain the actual 3D dimensional parameters of the fabrics for finite element analysis. Research revealed that, the thermal anisotropy of fibres, fibres material orientation and temperature dependent thermal conductivity of fibre have significant impact on the effective thermal conductivity of fabrics because experimental and simulated results were highly correlated with the consideration of above mentioned factors. In addition a unique technique has been developed in modelling fabric coated by microencapsulated phase change material for temperature stable textile and clothing system. User friendly GUI plug-ins have been developed to generate both microscopic and mesoscopic scale models for finite element analysis. The plug-ins were developed by using Abaqus/CAE as a platform. The GUI Plug-ins enable automatic model generation and property analysis of knitted fabrics and composites. Apart from finite element analysis of various fabric structures, an experimental device has been developed for testing thermal conductivity of fabrics which is capable of testing small sample size within very short period of time. The device was validated by commercial available apparatus for testing of fabric thermal conductivity.