Finite element forming simulation of locally stitched non-crimp fabrics

A. Margossian, S. Bel, J. M. Balvers, D. Leutz, R. Freitas, R. Hinterhoelzl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Locally stitched non-crimp fabric preforms are stacked fabric layers that are sewn together. Using a seam improves the manufacturing process by providing tailored and easy to handle preforms. On the other hand, local stitching modifies the forming behaviour of the layup. Single-lap shear tests and modified bias-extension tests are used to characterise and model the seam behaviour during forming. The modelling of such a stitching is performed using the commercially available finite element software PAM-Form® (ESI Group). The mechanical behaviour of the seam is modelled by a simple multi-linear approach. A comparison between experiment and simulation of the double diaphragm forming of a generic helicopter side frame with a locally stitched non-crimp fabric preform shows valuable benefits gained from such a model. After improvements, the finite element model can be used to determine the influence of the seam on the forming behaviour and thus optimise the arrangement of the stitches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-162
Number of pages11
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


  • A. Preform
  • D. Mechanical testing
  • E. Forming
  • E. Stitching


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