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Numerical modelling of thermally bonded nonwovens: continuous and discontinuous approaches

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Emrah Demirci
  • Xiaonan Hou
  • Memis Acar
  • Behnam Pourdeyhimi
  • Vadim Silberschmidt
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>05/2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Solid State Phenomena
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)164-169
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Nonwoven fabrics are web structures of randomly-oriented fibres, bonded by means of mechanical, thermal or chemical techniques. This paper focuses on nonwovens manufactured with polymer-based fibres and bonded thermally. During thermal bonding of such fibres, as a hot calender with an engraved pattern contacts the fibre web, bond spots are formed by melting of the polymer material. As a result of this bonding process, a pattern of bond points connected with randomly oriented polymer-based fibres form the nonwoven web. Due to their manufacturing-induced composite microstructure and random orientation of fibres, nonwovens demonstrate a complex mechanical behaviour. Two distinct modelling approaches were introduced to simulate the non-trivial mechanical response of thermally bonded nonwovens based on their planar density. The first modelling approach was developed to simulate the mechanical behaviour of high-density nonwovens, and the respective fabric was modelled with shell elements with thicknesses identical to those of the bond points and the fibre matrix having distinct anisotropic mechanical properties. Random orientation of individual fibres was introduced into the model in terms of the orientation distribution function in order to determine the material’s anisotropy. The second modelling approach was introduced to simulate low-density nonwovens, and it treated the nonwoven media as a structure composed of fibres acting as truss links between bond points.