Finite element analysis of woven airbeams
Davids W. G.
Peterson M. L.
Publication Name: Proceedings of the 2006 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
The underlying mechanics of airbeam structures continues to be a topic of current research. Airbeams are attractive because they have the advantage of outstanding strength-to-weight ratios, can deform without causing irreversible damage to the structure, and the deflated storage space is small. Major challenges in the analysis of airbeams include capturing fabric wrinkling under small compressive strains and incorporating the effects of internal pressure. This paper presents results from analyses of cylindrical woven airbeams using the commercial finite element software package ABAQUS. Models are created using a combination of shell and membrane elements, and loaded in three point bending. The models are solved as quasi-static using the ABAQUS/Explicit solver. The effects of mesh density and material damping on solution accuracy are investigated. Results of the finite element models are compared to experimental data.