Nowadays, the mechanical characterization of 3-D spacer fabrics has attracted the interest of many textile researchers. These Spacer fabrics present special mechanical and physical characteristics compared to conventional textiles due to their wonderful porous 3-D structures. These fabrics, produced by warp knitting method, have extensive application in automobile, locomotive, aerospace, building and other industries. In these applications, the compressibility behaviour plays a significant role in the fabric structural stability. This compressibility behaviour could be affected by different knitting parameters such as density of pile yarn, fabric thickness, texture design etc.
The aim of this paper is to introduce and develop an appropriate elastic theoretical model to predict the compressibility behaviour of warp knitted spacer fabric (WKSF). Three theoretical models are proposed, based on modelling pile yarns as the curved bars and are improved in three steps: a) with same curvatures in weft and warp directions (model A), b) curved bar for warp direction and cantilever bar for weft direction (model B), and c) curved bars with two different curvatures in weft and warp directions considering the curvature variations under loading (model C: improved model). The results obtained by the proposed models have been compared with previous model based on simply cantilever bars theory in literature. The results show that the simulation data obtained by the model C are closer to the experimental results comparing to the models A and B. Model C based on different weave parameters could better predict the elastic compressibility behaviour of this kind of WKSF in order to compare with previous models.