Bending response of reinforced, inflated, tubular braided fabric structural members
Reinforced, inflatable, braided tubular members are seeing increased use in structural applications where low mass and storage volume are critical. However, research on the structural behavior of these members has been limited. This study aims to improve the understanding of the structural behavior of these members via both experiments and numerical models. Eight tubes with braided fabric shells of varying bias angles and integral reinforcing cords were subjected to flexural tests with highly controlled loading and boundary conditions. Three-dimensional shell-based finite-element models relying on independently measured material properties are developed and shown to agree very well with the experimental results.