Scientific and technological summary

The vast majority of the currently available textile design software applications, which are capable to graphically represent textile structures, are limited to the visual representation, without any kind of mechanical or physical evaluation of the properties of the textile structures. Since their only mission is to represent the visual image of the yarns/fabrics, these software tools do not take raw materials, types of structures or their influence over the physical properties of the final textile into account. None of these currently available applications is capable to simulate the physical-mechanical properties and behaviour of the textiles. Hence these systems lack the ability to assist in the rapid manufacturing process configuration.

To overcome the described functionality limits of the currently available textile design systems, the objective of this project has been the development of a simulation system for the physical-mechanical properties of the textile structures that enables the rapid manufacturing process configuration.

The system supports the product development and production for all products in textile value-added chain (yarns, woven fabrics, knitware, and needle-punch non-wovens). This virtual construction system allows the performance prediction of multifunctional textiles before the starting to manufacture. Production machine settings can be both computation input an output. This will thus reduce dramatically the effort to produce small production lots and the process setting-up times (small or large lots).

Figure 1: User activity

The project has had therefore the following main objectives:

  • Development of the simulation model of the physical properties of the basic structural units that compose the multifunctional textile structures. Mathematical models have been developed to simulate the behaviour of the 4 textile structures studied in this project (yarns, woven fabrics, knit fabrics and non-woven fabrics). Starting from their manufacturing parameters and machinery setup.

 

  • Development of a finite elements simulation system to simulate the physical properties of the textile structures, based on the mathematical models developed for these textile structures.

 

  • Development of an artificial-intelligence based simulation system for the physical properties of textile structures. This A.I. based simulation system complements the results of the finite elements simulation system to fill in the gaps where the finite elements system cannot simulate. The composition of both systems generates a very strong and robust composed system that generates precise results.

 

  • Implementation of the 2 simulation models (finite elements and A.I.) in one single composed simulation system that is the core of the MODSIMtex software package which has been the final milestone of the project.

 

  • Integration of the simulation system results into the manufacturing process through the adequate interfaces, to produce real multifunctional textiles using the parameters established during the design process with the simulation software MODSIMtex. This way the design phase and the manufacturing phase are seamlessly integrated for the first time in the textile industry. This integrated software package MODSIMtexhas been focused to the final user, and it has been the final deliverable of the project. The software has been divided into many modules oriented to each kind of machine inside the process, in order to be adapted specifically to it.

 

Figure 2: Calculation scheme