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Computational Modeling of Knitted Textile Architectures

Computational Modeling of Knitted Textile Architectures

Knitted fabrics are hierarchically structured materials exhibiting a complex set of structure-property-behavior relations driven by yarn-level interactions. Compared to other materials such as fiber-reinforced composites or metals, knitting gives the designer much finer control over the manufactured structure, fitting the broader “materials-by-design” framework. While manufacturing capability is sufficiently advanced to allow digital morphological design and production of knit structures from a diverse array of input materials, a lack of predictive simulation capability hinders progress in certification and deployment of smart garment devices, which are envisioned as material platforms for applications such as actuation or medical sensing. A key objective of our current research is to develop robust data-driven simulation tools to study mechanical/multi-physics behavior of smart textiles. To this aim, we propose an integrated computational materials engineering (ICME) strategy linking multiscale mechanical testing, numerical simulation, computational mechanics and manufacturing. Specifically, hierarchal mechanical testing from the single fiber scale to yarn grid level pattern(s) in parallel with full-field strain mapping is being performed. The internal structure is imaged in two and three dimensions using microscopy and tomography methods. For simulations, accurate geometric representations of knit structures are accomplished through emulation of the manufacturing process and subsequent relaxation of the 3D structure. Computational mechanics methods are also being developed and used to investigate the role of structure and material properties in determining deformation behavior of knitted materials with a goal to provide quantitative feedback to manufacturing. Contact us at for more information.



 Genevieve Dion, MID
 Center for Functional Fabrics, Drexel University; Department of Design, Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, Drexel University
David Breen, PhD Geometric Biomedical Computer Group, Department of Computer Science
College of Computing & Informatics, Drexel University
Antonios Kontsos, PhD Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, College of Engineering, Drexel University


A Design Framework for Programmable Manufaacturing of Customized Knitted Materials funded by Naitonal Science Foundation, Design of Engineering Materials Program (1537720; PI Breen).



Liu D, Shakibajahromi B, Dion G, Breen D, Kontsos A. A Computational Approach to Model Interfacial Effects on the Mechanical Behavior of Knitted Textiles (3). J Appl Mech. 2018 Jan 12.

Vallett R, Knittel C, Christe D, Castaneda N, Kara CD, Mazur K, Liu D, Kontsos A, Kim Y, Dion G.Digital fabrication of textiles: an analysis of electrical networks in 3D knitted functional fabrics. Proc SPIE 10194, Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications IX, 1019406 (May 18, 2017).

Liu D, Christe DI, Shakibajahromi B, Knittel C, Castaneda NA, Breen D, Dion G, Kontsos A. On the Role of Material Architecture in the Mechanical Behavior of Knitted Textiles. Int J Solids Struct.

Dion G. Garment device: challenges to fabrication of wearable technology. 2013. In: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Body Area Networks (BodyNets '13); 2013 September 30-October 2; Boston, MA. Brussels, Belgium: Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering. p 97-102.