Mechanical Properties and Computational Methods for Composites Formed of Pre-stressed Knitted Textiles

Cube proposed by: Sean Ahlquist

Unit: Architecture & Urban Planning

About this project: 
The potential of knitted textiles for use in structural composites and other applications, such as medical implants and scaffolds for tissue engineering, offers automation with advanced CNC machinery and highly articulated degrees of customization in fiber directionality and densities. CNC knitting machines allow for variability across the type of fibers utilized and their regulation (tension) as they are knitted, producing differentiated conditions of pre-stress in the overall textile. The gross topology of the textile is highly variable as well, where machines of multiple knitting rows allow for complex topologies of intersecting tubes and volumes to be accomplished of completely continuous knit structures with minimal anomalous conditions. This research proposes the utilization of pre-stressed knitted textiles for reinforcements in structural composites, for such uses as tailored materials for tissue engineering scaffolds, examining manufacturing methods, testing their mechanical properties, and developing computational methods for simulating their performance.