Flexible Composites - Strength, Deformation and Fracture Proecesses in Woven and D.O.S. Reinforcement Materials

Torbjörn Dartman

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)


In this thesis the tensile strength, deformation, damage resistance and tear propagation for flexible composites are analysed. There are two essential requirements common to all flexible composites; namely, high tearing strength and good matrix-to-fabric adhesion. The interaction of fabric and matrix is complex. The most critical variables are those of yarn and fabric structure, the mechanical properties of the matrix, the adhesion of fibre-matrix interface and the penetration of the matrix into spun and multifilament yarns. Coated fabrics are an important class of flexible composites and mechanical properties and testing methods for such materials are emphasised in the thesis.

The effect of used yarns and fabric structures has been analysed. Two distinct failure and crack-propagation mechanisms in flexible composites have been analysed: ductile and brittle failure. Four different ways for the crack to propagate have been identified for coated D.O.S.-fabrics (D.O.S. = Direct Oriented Structures). Tongue tear test methods are sufficient for evaluation of tear strength, not only for coated woven materials, but also for coated D.O.S. materials, if a higher rate of extension, use of capstan clamps and detailed expression of the test result is permitted in the test methods.

There is a need to introduce new analysis methods for evaluating the mechanical properties of all the novel kinds of flexible materials that have appeared on the market during recent decades. Examples are D.O.S. materials for reinforcement and use of co-mingled yarns as a matrix material. New test methods are introduced for evaluating damage resistance and crack propagation.

The rule of mixture (ROM) can be used as a first approximation of the tensile behaviour of textile-based flexible composites if the thermo-mechanical history of the fibre and matrix properties is taken into account. The ROM is usually used for rigid composites, but can also be a tool for evaluating the tensile properties of semi-flexible composites, which are defined as an intermediate between the rigid and flexible composites with at least some feature of the flexible composites incorporated, providing non-catastrophic large-strain behaviour. The mechanical properties of D.O.S. materials can be similar to those of semi-flexible composites.

Studies on joint strength of PVC-coated polyester or nylon fabrics with different levels of adhesion, including peel and lap joints, have been carried out. Examples of applications are given, such as the use of decorative textiles in composites for appearance as well as for improved impact resistance.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Production and Materials Engineering
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2002 Nov 29
ISBN (Print)91-628-5426-7
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2002-11-29
Time: 13:15
Place: Sal M:E M-huset, Ole Römers väg 1, Lunds Tekniska Högskola

External reviewer(s)

Name: Rychwalski, Rodney
Title: Professor
Affiliation: Edebacken 11, SE-41728 Göteborg


Article: A1. Andersson, C-H., Dartman, T., Wahlberg, J., Klason, C.:Wetting and Adhesion of some Thermoplastic Materials to Fibres.Interfacial Phenomena in Composite Materials '91, 1991.A2. Seldén, R., Dartman, T.:Viscoelastic Properties of Nylon 6 Fibres and Corresponding FibreAssemblies.Textile Research Journal 68(4), 264 – 272, 1998.A3. Dartman, T., Shishoo, R.:Studies of Adhesion Mechanisms between PVC Coatings and Different Textile Substrates.Journal of Coated Fabrics, 317-335, Vol. 22/April 1993.A4. Dartman, T., Shishoo, R.:Predictions of Performance Characteristics of Coated Fabrics.Technische Textilien/Technical Textiles, Heft 3 September 1995.Technische Textilien/Technical Textiles, Volume 38 November 1995.A5. Andersson, C-H., Dartman, T., Gredinger, P., Asplund, J., Strandqvist, H.:Flexible Composites, Strength, Deformation and Fracture processes.1. Reinforcement structures and tensile strength.Journal Mechanics of Composite Materials, Vol.34, No6. 747-760, 1998.A6. Dartman, T., Eng, K., Andersson, C-H.:Polypropylene Blend Fabrics with Improved Thermal Stability for Flexible Composite Materials.World Congress on Textiles in the Millennium, Huddersfield,6 - 7 July, No 16, 155-170, 1999.A7. Dartman, T., Andersson, C-H., Löfgren, P-Å., Sandgren, Y.:Inexpensive Knitted Hybrid Composites with Improved Impact Resistance.ECCM 9 - European Conference on Composite Materials, Brighton,4 - 7 June, 2000.A8. Dartman, T., Andersson, C-H., Eng, K.:Flexible Composites, Strength, Deformation and Fracture Processes.2. Fibre matrix bonding, crack initiation and propagation mechanisms.Accepted for publication inJournal Mechanics of Composite Materials 2002.A9. Dartman, T.:The Joining of Coated Fabrics - A review.The International Journal for the Joining of Materials, 2 (1):25-32, 1990.A10. Dartman, T., Andersson, C-H.:Adhesion Mechanisms in Joints of PVC-coated Fabrics of Polyester and Nylon.The International Journal for the Joining of Materials, 2(3):78 – 83, 1990.

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Materials Engineering


  • Kompositmaterial
  • Composite materials
  • Textile materials
  • Joints
  • Coated fabrics
  • Tear strength
  • Flexible composites
  • Damage resistance


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