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Construction and Building Materials
journal homepage: www. elsevier.com/loc ate/conbuildmat
Mechanical properties for preliminary design of structures made from PVC coated fabric
Andrzej Ambroziak ^{⇑} , Paweł Kłosowski
Department of Structural Mechanics and Bridges Structures, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Gdansk University of Technology, Naru towicza 11/12, 80233 Gdan´ sk, Poland
highlights
The authors show that it is possible to compare directly results of uniaxial and biaxial tensile tests. Utilization of uniaxial tests results can lead to similar effects in the FEM calculations as application of biaxial tests. We describe laboratory tests necessary for identiﬁcation of nonlinear elastic properties of the coated fabric.
article info
Article history:
Received 26 February 2013 Received in revised form 4 August 2013 Accepted 29 August 2013 Available online 3 October 2013
Keywords:
Fabric/textiles
Mechanical properties
Mechanical testing
abstract
In this paper, laboratory tests necessary for the identiﬁcation of nonlinear elastic immediate properties of the PVC coated polyester fabric (like AF 9032) are described. The material parameters are speciﬁed on the basis of the uniaxial tensile tests in the warp and weft directions as well as on the base of the biaxial tensile tests. For the identiﬁcation process techniques based on the least squares method are used. The authors show that it is possible to compare directly the results of uniaxial and biaxial tensile tests and apply these results for preliminary design of tensile structures made form coated fabrics. 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
The subject of the research and laboratory tests is technical wo ven fabrics made of polyester ﬁbers covered by PVC (polyvinyl chloride). Technical woven fabrics (architectural fabrics) are applied in civil engineering structures for both seasonal and per manent constructions. They are often used for widespan surfaces, membrane structures, hanging roofs and pneumatic constructions. Their great functionality lays in low deadweight and the possibility of covering large surfaces with relatively small number of supports. These innovative architectural engineering systems provide designers a variety of aesthetic free and light forms. For example, the roof of the O2 Arena in London is one of the big gest structures of this type in the world. They are also used for roofs of sport structures like stadiums, the Formula (1) tracks’ stands, etc. Typical technical woven fabric usually consists of two families of threads – the warp and the weft (ﬁll), see Fig. 1 . The PVC coated fabrics have been used and tested from the sixties of previous cen
⇑ Corresponding author. Tel.: +48 601660795. Email addresses: ambrozan@pg.gda.pl (A. Ambroziak), klosow@pg.gda.pl (P. Kłosowski).
09500618/$  see front matter 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
tury [1] . Reinhardt [2] gave the experiment results of biaxial and uniaxial tensile tests for polyester fabrics coated with PVC and con cludes that the results of tensile strength in both cases are equal. Stubbs and Thomas [3] developed a nonlinear elastic constitutive model for coated fabrics. This model, which accounts for the basic mechanisms of yarn rotation, yarn extension and coating exten sion, was obtained by expressing the equations of equilibrium for a unit cell of the material in terms of effective continuum stresses and strains. Argyris et al. [4,5] described the numerical analysis of membrane structures made of PVCcoated fabrics. In those papers, the mechanical and numerical modelling of viscoelastic materials was proposed with the new schemes for integration of the rheological relations in the time domain. SzostkiewiczChatain and Hamelin [6] presented numerical and experimental stiffness characterisation methods for polyester plainwoven fabric coated with PVC and proposed inverse and experimental stiffness identi ﬁcation methods. Bassett et al. [7] gave a review of the various experimental approaches used for measuring fabric mechanical properties. Wei et al. [8] presented tearing behaviour of ﬂexible composites reinforced with woven fabrics. Bigaud et al. [9] pre sented a comprehensive investigation on the mechanical proper ties of a PVCcoated plainwoven polyester fabric with initial cracks. Bridgens and Gosling [10] proposed two techniques for
A. Ambroziak, P. Kłosowski / Construction and Building Materials 50 (2014) 74–81
75
coated fabric and the type of analysis which has to be made, is always a disputable problem. The authors propose an easy method to express typical properties of the coated fabric in the engineering ﬁnite element based design. It is possible to apply the ﬁnite element in the plane stress state with the special substructure suitable to describe behaviour of the thread families (especially the change of an angle be tween the families during deformation). This concept called the dense net model has been already presented several times (see e.g. [26,27,23] ). It is easily applicable in selfmade or commercial ﬁnite element codes and can be used with different types of material description of threads behaviour. In this model, it is assumed that the fabric forces in the threads families depend on the uniaxial strain in the same family only (the friction between threads families in this concept is neglected; therefore inﬂuence of the coating cannot be fully included in such an approach). Consequently, the threads forces increment of the warp D _{r} _{n} _{1} or weft direction D r _{n} _{2} is calculated from the following equations:
Dr _{n}_{1} ¼ F _{1} ð e _{n} _{1} Þ De _{n}_{1}
Dr _{n}_{2} ¼ F _{2} ð e _{n} _{2} Þ De _{n}_{2}
^{ð} ^{1} ^{Þ}
aforementioned coated woven fabric behaviour. Ning and Chen [11] described the mechanical performance of ﬂexible composites reinforced with multiaxial noncrimp fabrics (NCFs). Luo et al. [12,13] analysed tensile and tearing properties of the PET ﬁbber biaxial warp knitted fabrics coated with PVC under uniaxial tensile loads. Chen et al. [14] investigated tensile behaviour of PVCcoated woven fabrics under mono and biaxial loads. Additionally, the authors examined and compared two methods used to record strains (the needle extensometer and photograph method) and their inﬂuence on the stress–strain curves. Luo and Hu [15] pre sented a study on the mechanical properties of PVCcoated biaxial warp knitted fabrics with and without initial cracks under multiaxial tensile loads. Galliot and Luchsinger [16] proposed a nonlinear material model to describe the yarnparallel behaviour of PVCcoated polyester fabric under biaxial tension for two types of polyester fabrics. Kłosowski et al. [17] gave the nonlinear visco elastic description of the PVCcoated textile material in linear and nonlinear approach. Galliot and Luchsinger [18] investigated behaviour of coated fabrics by using the shear ramp tests method. Abot et al. [19] performed an experimental study to determine the role of woven fabric architecture and its geometrical parameters on the interlaminar shear response of laminated composites. Brid gens et al. [20] compared results from two biaxial test machines using ﬁnite element analysis. Zhang et al. [21] presented the mechanical properties of PVCcoated fabrics utilizing the Precon traint ^{} technology. In accordance with the requirements of the environment protection, it should be noted that it is possible to use recovery method (e.g. swelling method [22] ) to separate and reuse waste PVCcoated PET fabrics. Numerous test types and constitutive models have been pro posed to describe the coated woven fabrics behaviour [23] . In prac tical engineering applications use of some of these models is limited due to the large number of material parameters, which have to be identiﬁed or difﬁculties with performance of laboratory tests. When the analysed structure is nonstandard, a special kind of tests or models must be applied. On the other hand lack of stan dards for design of tensile structures made form coated fabrics causes that different types of tests are developed but comparison of results of such experiments is difﬁcult. The rules for designers have to be clear and simple to be applied in commercial engineer ing software. In this paper, the authors try to compare results of uniaxial and biaxial tests results and propose the best way to use them in the design process.
2. Material model of fabrics – dense net model
Many theoretical models, described in previous chapter, have been developed for description of a coated fabric. Some of them assume that the polymer structure of fabric possess elastic, nonlinearelastic [24] , viscoelastic [4] or viscoplastic [25] characteristics. The choice of the model, which is conditioned by the type of a
where F _{1} ð e _{n} _{1} Þ and F _{2} ð e _{n} _{2} Þ are the uniaxial material functions of the threads and are called the longitudinal stiffnesses. For the deﬁnition of these functions any type of the constitutive equation can be used. They are usually speciﬁed on the basis of the uniaxial, or in more complex investigation, like e.g. the biaxial laboratory tests. Basing on the geometrical relationship, the threads force r _{n} _{i} and strain e _{n} _{i} can be expressed by the stress r _{x} and strains e _{x} components in the plane stress state as follows:
e _{n} ¼
r _{x} ¼
8
>
<
>
:
¼
e
e
n1
n2
r
r
x 1
x 2
^{s} x 1 x 2
9
>
=
>
;
10
0
cos a sin a sin a cos a
2
2
8
>
<
>
:
e
e
x 2
x 2
^{c}
x 1 x2
9
>
=
>
;
1
¼ 4 0
0
2
6
cos ^{2} a sin ^{2} a sin a cos a
3
7
5
r
r
n 1
n 2
¼ ðT xn Þ ^{T} r n
¼ T x n e x
ð 2 Þ
where a is the actual inclination angle between the threads families during the deformation process (similar geometrical relationships has been used by Xue et al. [28] ). The angle between thread families a , changes during deformation and is cal culated according to the current values of stress components _{r} _{x} _{2} and _{s} _{x} _{1} _{x} _{2} in the fab ric from the relation:
a ¼ arc tg ^{r} ^{x}^{2}
s
x 1x 2
:
ð
3 Þ
Consequently, the constitutive relation in the plane stress state of the whole element, expressed by the threads forces, takes the form of:
r _{x}_{t} ¼ r _{x}_{t} _{} _{D} _{t} þ Dr ¼ r _{x}_{t} _{} _{D} _{t} þ D _{x} De _{x}
ð 4 Þ
where r _{x}_{t} are the stress components in actual time increment t, r _{x}_{t} _{} _{D} _{t} are the stress components in last increment t D t , D r and D e _{x} are the increments of stress and strain components between these time increment, D _{x} is the elasticity matrix which can be expressed as:
D _{x} ¼
2
6
6
6
6
4 F _{2} ð e _{n}_{2} Þ sin a cos ^{3} a
F _{1} ð e _{n}_{1} Þ þ F _{2} ðe _{n}_{2} Þ cos ^{4} a F _{2} ðe _{n}_{2} Þ sin ^{2} a
F _{2} ð e _{n}_{2} Þ sin ^{2} a cos ^{2} a
F _{2} ðe _{n}_{2} Þ sin ^{4} a
cos ^{2} a F _{2} ð e _{n}_{2} Þ sin a cos ^{3} a
F _{2} ð e _{n}_{2} Þ sin ^{3} a cos a
3
7
7
7
F _{2} ð e _{n}_{2} Þ sin ^{2} a cos ^{2} a 5
7
F _{2} ðe _{n}_{2} Þ sin ^{3} a cos a
ð
5 Þ
The dense net model has been successfully used in calculation of several hang ing roofs e.g. 4000 m ^{2} roof of the Forest Opera in Sopot in Poland ( [29,30] ) and in many theoretical investigations on technical fabrics properties ( [17,23] ). The standard FEM systems do not support the fabric material models like the dense net model. Therefore an open system, which enables user to introduce own code for constitutive description is necessary. From the wide range of available commercial programs, the computer system MSC.Marc has been selected due to its ability to introduce usersubroutines. For the introduction of the dense net mod el into the MSC.Marc system, the userdeﬁned subroutine HOOKLW [31] , which is prepared for general description of anisotropic elastic materials, has been applied. The coated fabrics are mainly used for membrane structures modelling which is impossible in the Marc system using isoparametric fournode membrane elements (see e.g. [32,33] ). As this element uses bilinear functions for displacements interpo lation, the strains distribution is constant throughout the element. The analysis can be made in the total Lagrangian approach with the initial tensile stress stiffness and the fourpoint Gaussian integration for calculation of element stiffness. The detailed description of element can be found in the Element Library MSC.Marc [31] (ele ment: quad4 class and 18 – type number).
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A. Ambroziak, P. Kłosowski / Construction and Building Materials 50 (2014) 74–81
Fig. 2. Uniaxial tensile tests stand.
3. Laboratory tensile tests
3.1. Uniaxial tensile tests
The subject of the following investigation is the coated fabric AF9032 manufactured as polyester threads (PES) and doublesided coated with PVC. Its speciﬁed weight is 1085 g/m ^{2} and average thicknesses is about t _{t} ¼ 0 : 001 m. The weave angle of the fabric is a _{0} = 90 . In the laboratory tests the strengthtesting machine Zwick Z020 operated by computer and a video extensometer have been used. The specimens of the AF9032 fabric have been cut from the same batch of fabric in the warp and weft direction. For the uniaxial tensile tests (see Fig. 2 ) specimens have had the overall dimensions 50 mm 300 mm with working sizes: 50 mm in width, grips separation of 200 mm and the extensometer gage length about 50 mm. The specimens have been subjected to ten sion with grip velocity of 100 mm/min according to PNEN ISO 1421:2001. Tests have been continued up to specimen’s rapture. The proper way of collection of the laboratory results is to give the best approximation of measurable quantity and range in which this quantity is speciﬁed. Hence the obtained results of identiﬁca tion require appropriate statistical overworking with allowances for error analysis, see e.g. [34] . Starting form determination of the arithmetic mean value of certain of stresses or strains x , de ﬁned as
N
x ¼ ^{X} _{N} ;
i¼1
x
i
ð 6Þ
Fig. 3. Strain–stress curves – uniaxial tensile tests.
Fig. 4. Biaxial tensile tests stand – specimen type A.
where x _{i} is a value determined from i test, and N is a number of tests. Following, the standard error of the mean of the speciﬁed range s _{x} is speciﬁed by
s x ¼
ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ
q
N 1 P ^{ð} ^{x} i ^{} ^{} ^{x}^{Þ} ^{2}
1
ﬃﬃﬃﬃ
:
p
N
ð
7Þ
Finally, the results of identiﬁcation in the following chapters
will be presented as x
The transformation of the data obtained from the strength ma chine (curves displacementforce) to curves strain e – stress _{r} (kN/
m) is required. Results obtained from the uniaxial tensile tests (three specimens for warp and three specimens for weft have been examined) are presented in Fig. 3 . It is worth pointing out that curves have a very repeatable characteristic and shape; therefore it is difﬁcult to distinguish each of them in Fig. 3 .
s x .
3.2. Biaxial tensile tests
In the biaxial tensile tests performed on BIAX Z020 Zwick sys tem equipped also with video extensometer (see Fig. 4 ), the cross shaped specimens have been applied. The arm width has been 100 mm, therefore on testing area of 100 mm 100 mm the gage length of about 50 mm in both direction has been indicated, see Fig. 5 . In all tests initial grips separation of 300 mm has been se lected. The overall dimensions of the specimen cutting form bath of fabric have been 400 mm 400 mm. The specimens have been
Fig. 5. Biaxial cross specimen.
A. Ambroziak, P. Kłosowski / Construction and Building Materials 50 (2014) 74–81
77
Table 1 Load rate for different load ratio.
Force ratio 
Warp direction (kN/m/s) 
Weft direction (kN/m/s) 
1:2 
0.50 
1 
1:4 
0.25 
1 
1:8 
0.25 
2 
1:1 
1 
1 
2:1 
1 
0.50 
4:1 
1 
0.25 
8:1 
2 
0.25 
subjected to tension (constant force rate) in the direction of the warp and weft threads with different force ratios. In the literature different force ratios in the warpweft direc tions for coated fabrics investigations can be found. For example, Bridgens and Gosling [10] presented in their paper the results of the biaxial tests with stress proportion _{r} _{w}_{a}_{r}_{p} : _{r} _{w}_{e}_{f}_{t} of 1:1, 5:1, 1:5. The biaxial tensile tests for assumed strains proportion (this type of tests is much more difﬁcult) in the direction of warp and weft have been also performed. For instance, in [35] the results of the biaxial tests with strain proportion e _{w}_{a}_{r}_{p} : e _{w}_{e}_{f}_{t} = 2 are given. In the present study seven stress (force) ratios ( _{r} _{w}_{a}_{r}_{p} : _{r} _{w}_{e}_{f}_{t} ) 1:1, 1:2, 1:4, 1:8, 2:1, 4:1, 8:1 have been considerate. This range of proportions covers almost all ratios given in the literature. Tests have been car ried on up to the rupture of the specimens with the constant force rate. Assumed load rates for different force rations in the tests are collected in Table 1 . In the beginning, the inﬂuence of specimens’ shape on the strain–stress curve and the value of Ultimate Tensile Strength (UTS) have been examined. Two types of specimens called A and B have been chosen and tested in biaxial test stand in 1:1 load ra tio. The type A ( Fig. 4 ) is typical cross shaped specimen, while in the type B arm of the cross have been cut into ﬁve stripes to avoid inﬂuence of transverse deformation ( Fig. 6 ). The character of the strain–stress curves (see Fig. 7 ) and the value of UTS for warp (UTS _{w}_{a}_{r}_{p} ) and weft (UTS _{w}_{e}_{f}_{t} ), (see Table 2 ) for the A and B types of specimens are almost the same. It can be concluded that for the investigated type of textile fabric, the inﬂuence of the trans verse deformation of specimen’s arms is negligible. Basing on those results, the A type specimen has been selected for further tests. Re sults obtained from biaxial tensile tests for 1:1 load ratio are given in Fig. 8 (specimen A type). The comparisons of the results for other force ratios are shown in Figs. 9 and 10 . The repetition of tests results obtained for the warp and small divergence of tests results for the weft can be ob served very well. The reason for this fact is that the warp direction
Fig. 6. Biaxial tensile tests – specimen type B.
Fig. 7. Strain–stress curves – comparison of specimen type A and B.
Table 2 Results of the UTS – comparison of specimen type.
UTS _{w}_{e}_{f}_{t} (kN/m) 
UTS _{w}_{a}_{r}_{p} (kN/m) 
A 86 ± 1 
88 ± 2 80.8 ± 0.4 
B 80.7 ± 0.4 
Fig. 8. Biaxial tensile tests, 1:1, strain–stress curves – specimen type A.
Fig. 9. Biaxial tensile tests, comparison of different stress ratio (1:1, 1:2, 1:4, 1:8).
has been assumed as basic for specimens cut. The weft direction is not always perpendicular to the warp direction (very small changes in the virgin fabric can be observed). Therefore not always is there the same number of complete threads in the weft direction in the cross arm. Following, it should be noted that for the weft and warp for load ratio 1:2, 2:1, 4:1 results are very similar to those ob tained for 1:1 stress ratio. The calculated coefﬁcients of determina
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A. Ambroziak, P. Kłosowski / Construction and Building Materials 50 (2014) 74–81
Fig. 10. Biaxial tensile tests, comparison of different stress ratio (1:1, 2:1, 4:1, 8:1).
Table 3 Coefﬁcient of determination R ^{2} .
Force ratio 
Warp 
Weft 
1:2 
0.95 
>0.99 
1:4 
0.47 
>0.99 
1:8 
<0.10 
0.96 
2:1 
>0.99 
>0.99 
4:1 
0.98 
0.90 
8:1 
>0.99 
0.35 
Fig. 11. Biaxial tensile tests (stress ratio 1:1), comparison with uniaxial tensile results.
tion R ^{2} are given in Table 3 . All curves for different load ratios have been compared to mean stress–strain curves of 1:1 load ratio. Only for the load ratio 1:8 for the warp and for load ratio 8:1 for the weft signiﬁcant differences to 1:1 stress ratio results can be observed. For the load ratio 1:8 it can be noticed ( Fig. 9 ) that strains for the warp have negative values. In this type of fabrics when the weft threads are subjected to high loading in comparison to the warp, the weft threads straighten and the warp threads become folded. Therefore, it can be concluded that in the engineering applications, for this type of fabric, 1:1 stress ratio is representative, as 8:1 stress ratio ( r _{w}_{a}_{r}_{p} : r _{w}_{e}_{f}_{t} ) is seldom applied in hanging roof constructions. Finally, comparison of biaxial stress–strain curves with uniaxial tensile test results is given, see Fig. 11 . It can be ascertain that uni axial tensile tests results give a good approximation of the biaxial stress state for 1:1 load ratio. Therefore ﬁnally, for the investigated type of coated fabric, it can be concluded that uniaxial tensile tests give a good outlook on its mechanical properties.
4. Concept of nonlinear elastic identiﬁcation
In this paper, the nonlinear elastic parameters for the PVC coated fabric AF9032 are identiﬁed. These properties do not depict
Fig. 12. Graphical concept of identiﬁcation.
Table 4 Nonlinear elastic properties of coated fabric – uniaxial tests.
UTS 
F [kN/m] 
e [] 

Warp 
116 ± 1 
1280 ± 15 
0–0.0141 ± 0.0004 0.0141 ± 0.0004–0.0981 ± 0.0003 0.0981 ± 0.0003–0.174 

197 
± 1 

1075 ± 5 

Weft 
104 ± 2 
193 ± 5 
0–0.0323 ± 0.0007 

465 
± 15 
0.0323 ± 0.0007–0.060 ± 0.001 

105 
± 2 
0.060 ± 0.001–0.1627 ± 0.0005 

880 
± 20 
0.1627 ± 0.0005–0.247 
Fig. 13. Graphical visualization of identiﬁcation – uniaxial tests.
Fig. 14. Comparison of identiﬁcation results and uniaxial tests.
A. Ambroziak, P. Kłosowski / Construction and Building Materials 50 (2014) 74–81
Table 5 Main differences between fabrics test standards.
79
PNEN ISO 1421:2001 
ASTM D751 

Test rate 
100 mm/min Strip length: 200 mm, or 100 mm if strain exceeds 75% Specimens 50 mm width 
300 mm/min 75 mm Specimens 25 mm wide (or other wide when speciﬁed) 
Grip distance 

Strip test 
Fig. 15. Results of calculation – comparison with identiﬁcation.
the full work conditions of fabric in real structures, but can be used by engineers to estimate behaviour of coated fabrics, especially in the initial stage of the design process. Additionally, they can be an introduction to the comprehensive investigation of nonlinear behaviour of technical woven fabrics. After the analysis of the strain–stress curves, it is possible to ob serve for the warp and weft some characteristic points of curvature change, see e.g. [6,24] . The strain–stress function in the adequate strain ranges has been assumed to be the piecewise linear rela tions. The authors assume that three inclination coefﬁcients of the straight lines F1A , F1B , F1C specify the longitudinal modulus for the warp and four inclination coefﬁcients of the straight lines F2A , F2B , F2C, F2D specify the longitudinal modulus for the weft in the admissible range of strains, see Fig. 12 . Finding the inclina tion coefﬁcients, in the assumed range of strain, the intersection points e _{P}_{1} , e _{P}_{2} for the warp and e _{P}_{1} , e _{P}_{2} , e _{P}_{3} for the weft are
determined. These intersection points specify the range of applica bility of an individual parameter. On the basis of this numerical algorithm for individual tests, the coefﬁcients F1A , F1B , F1C for the warp and F2A , F2B , F2C, F2D for the weft have been determined, using the least squares regression in the Marquardt–Levensberg variant [36] . The results of the piece wise linear approximation for the uniaxial tensile tests are given in Table 4 . The approximation functions of stiffness are shown in Figs. 13 and 14 are compared with the laboratory tests results. The authors have noticed a good correlation of stress–strain rela tion (the coefﬁcient of determination R ^{2} > 0.98 for presented func tions is reached). The values of the ultimate tensile strength for the uniaxial tensile tests for the warp UTS _{w}_{a}_{r}_{p} = 116 ± 1 kN/m and for the weft UTS _{w}_{e}_{f}_{t} = 104 ± 2 kN/m are obtained. The manufacturer ( http://architecturalfabrics.com/productdata/9032.php ) of the tested fabric gives the following value of the ultimate tensile strip strength: UTS _{w}_{a}_{r}_{p} = 115.6 kN/m and UTS _{w}_{e}_{f}_{t} = 115.6 kN/m. These values have been established according to ASTM D751 standard. This small difference of the UTS value can be explained by using different types of grips or different test rate required by the stan dard applied in tests methodology, see Table 5 .
5. Numerical simulations
To verify the results of the identiﬁcation, the numerical simula tion of the biaxial tension tests has been performed. The following geometrical parameters a = 300 mm (cross length), b = 100 mm (with) and t = 1 mm (thickness) have been taken, see Fig. 5 . The re sults obtained from MSC.Marc system, with the nonlinear elastic properties for the warp and weft applied according to Table 4 , are compared with the laboratory tests, see Fig. 15 . The authors no tice good agreement of the stress–strain relation, received from both MSC.Marc calculations and the identiﬁcation results (the determination coefﬁcient is R ^{2} > 0.90). The results of the HMH
Fig. 16. Map of equivalent stress [1e + 6 = 1 kN/m].
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A. Ambroziak, P. Kłosowski / Construction and Building Materials 50 (2014) 74–81
Fig. 17. Map of equivalent of total strain (–).
Fig. 18. Damaged specimen after biaxial tensile test.
equivalent stress and strain are shown in Figs. 16 and 17 , respec tively. The maximal values of the equivalent stress are located nearby corners, where in experiments the damage of specimens has begun, see Fig. 18 . This simple test conﬁrms the correctness of material parameters identiﬁcation.
6. Conclusions
The authors of the present paper investigated the immediate nonlinear elastic properties of AF9032 coated fabric. The identiﬁ cation of the nonlinear elastic model has been successfully per formed on the basis of the uniaxial tension tests. The most important ﬁnding of the research is that in engineering calcula tions in the preliminary design stage the uniaxial tensile tests’ re sults can be directly used also to describe biaxial behaviour of the structure. The biaxial tests need expensive laboratory equipment which is often not available for a designer. But in the most of typ ical numerical calculations the uniaxial tests results are good en ough. On the other hand, the designer must at least take into account the piecewise characteristic of the strain–stress relation. The results of the sophisticated biaxial tests are more difﬁcult in interpretation, therefore also their usage in numerical applications
is more difﬁcult. It should be noted that, if full mechanical (includ ing plastic or rheological) properties of the coated fabrics have to be established, it would be necessary to perform additional types of tests (e.g. cyclic tests, rheological tests). The cyclic tests show how immediate stiffness parameters change in following cycles. In the rheological tests the long term tensile strength limit (LTS) can be speciﬁed. The material parameters, which have been determined above, could be directly used in the FEM analyse of having arbitrary shapes structures made of the investigated PVCcoated fabric (with different warp to weft ratios of stresses).
Acknowledgment
The authors would like to acknowledge the National Science Centre, Poland (Grant No. UMO2011/03/B/ST8/06500) for the ﬁnancial support of the research.
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