TEXTILE RESEARCH JOURNAL, vol.91, pp.1117-1131, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)
The paper examines the washing behavior of fabric by using the finite element method (FEM) along with the Coupled Eulerian-Lagrangian (CEL) approach. Many prototypes of e-textiles with different functions have been developed for various applications in laboratories worldwide, but only a limited number of products exist on the market. The washing process, even for mild wash cycles, damages mainly conductive yarns and electrical contacts on wearable fabrics. A hydrodynamic simulation method is proposed to investigate the mechanical response of fabric during a washing cycle, using the FEM and CEL approaches with the Abaqus finite element solver. The FEM is described with the following inputs: the fabric properties; the Mie-Gruneisen equation of state (EOS) for water; the ideal gas EOS for air; the geometry of the model; the drum spin data; and the boundary conditions. The movement of fabric inside the drum and reaction forces on the drum are utilized to verify the simulations. The fabric movements that are attributed to be the reason for damage in a conductive yarn showed a typical washing response. The frictional dissipation energy results show different regions depending on the motion and interaction of the components inside the drum. Also, the contact forces were determined. These forces can be input for future damage modeling studies. The findings of the study are expected to be used in development phases of reliable e-textile products with an extended life of service and readiness for the market.