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3D Woven fabric and its application in the composite industry

Weaving is a method of textile production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric. The longitudinal or lengthwise threads are called the warp and the lateral or width-wise threads are the weft or filling. Other methods of forming fabric are knitting, crocheting, felting, and braiding or plaiting.

Different Types of fabric weaves

Though Plain, Twill and Satin are the basic weaves, there are a lot of commercial weave structure available as below-

1- Plain weave
8- Leno weave
15- Crepe weave
2- Rib weave
9- Oxford Weave
16- Lappet weave
3- Basket weave
10- Bedford cord weave
17- Tapestry Weave
4- Twill Weave
11- Waffle Weave
18- Striped weaves
5- Herringbone weave
12- Pile weave
19- Checquered weaves
6- Satin weave
13- Jacquard weave
20- Double cloth weave
7- Sateen weave
14- Dobby weave

3D Woven Fabric: The fabric consisting of three different sets of yarns; warp yarns (y-yarn), weft yarns (x-yarn), and (z-yarn) while Z-yarn is placed in the through-thickness direction of the preform is known as 3D woven fabric. 3D fabrics can be produced via weaving, knitting, and non-weaving processes. The 3D fabric could be formed to near net shape with considerable thickness.

Advantages of 3D Woven Fabric in the composite industry:
👉3D woven fabrics are very useful in applications where the composite structure is subjected to out-of-plane loading, thanks to the extra strength provided by the z-yarn in the through-thickness dimension. Thus it can better resist delamination, which is the separation of layers due to out-of-plane forces.
👉3D woven fabrics have high formability, which means they can easily take the shape of the mold in case of complex composite designs.
👉3D woven fabrics have a highly porous structure, which decreases resin infusion time.
👉3D orthogonal woven fabrics have less or no yarn crimp (the difference in length of yarn, before and after weaving); therefore, mechanical properties of fibres are almost fully utilized in warp and weft directions. Thus, it could benefit from the maximum load-carrying capacity of high-performance fibres in these directions.
👉The shape of 3D woven fabrics can be tapered in all three directions during the weaving process, producing near net shape fabrics such as I-beams and stiffeners. This means that these preforms could be placed directly in the mold without any additional labour work.

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