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Auxetic Textiles

By: L. Preethi & A. Sahana


PSG College of Technology Coimbatore



Auxetics are unique materials that exhibit negative Poissons ratio i.e. which expand laterally when extended axially. This is due to the molecular reorientation at micro molecular level and structural deformations at macro scale. These auxetic textiles possess high indentation and fracture resistance, shear modulus and dynamic properties. Producing fibers with auxetic properties involves the modification in polymer preparation stage followed by spinning process. Auxetic fabric structures are produced in major by knitting and are achieved by suitably choosing the structure of fabric. These textiles have potential applications in defense and protective fields and in major other areas which require its properties.

INTRODUCTION: Auxetics are materials that have a negative Poisson's ratio. Elastic characteristics of Engineering materials follows the effect proposed by Simeon Poisson, stating the slight movements between molecules and the stretching of molecular bonds within the material lattice to accommodate the stress. When the bonds elongate in the stress direction, they shorten in the other directions. This behavior multiplied millions of times throughout the material lattice is what drives the phenomenon. When a sample of material is stretched in one direction, it tends to contract (or rarely, expand) in the other two directions. Conversely, when a sample of material is compressed in one direction, it tends to expand (or rarely, contract) in the other two directions. Poisson's ratio () is a measure of this tendency.

Poisson quantified this phenomenon by considering the effect of strain characteristics on dimensions of an object by the relation stated below

where is the resulting Poisson's ratio, is transverse strain (negative for axial tension, positive for axial compression) is axial strain (positive for axial tension, negative for axial compression).

But there exists special kind of materials that behaves negatively to this relation i.e. increases in dimension at applied strain. Those materials are termed as Negative Poissons Ratio (NPR) materials or Auxetics. The whole auxetics field is relatively new. The concept of materials with a negative Poisson ratio was first published in Science in 1987 by Rod Lakes of the University of Iowa, who continues to be a leader in the nascent field. The term "auxetic" was not used to refer to these materials until around 1991, and was derived from the Greek auxetikos, which means "that which tends to increase."

AUXETIC BEHAVIOUR OF MATERIALS: The phenomenon can be lime lighted in following ways Micro molecular level Macro structural level

MICRO MOLECULAR LEVEL Liquid crystalline (LC) polymer might exhibit an auxetic response if transverse rigid rods are incorporated in the main chain. A unique feature of liquid crystalline polymers is the tendency for the transverse rods in the un-stretched state to orient themselves roughly parallel to each other and to the terminally attached LC rods. Upon stretching, the rigid rods should reorient themselves while retaining site-connectivity to give a significant increase in the transverse dimension of the stretched polymer chain

The accompanying increase in inter-chain spacing upon stretching should lead to an auxetic response. A main-chain LC polymer consisting of both terminally attached liquid crystalline rods with terphenyl and ultimately even longer pentaphenyl rods are capable of a full 90 transverse re-orientation upon stretching.

MACRO STRUCTURAL LEVEL At this level, NPR effect is due to the geometric layout of the unit cell microstructure, leading to a global stiffening effect in many mechanical properties such as in-plane indentation resistance, transverse shear modulus and bending stiffness. Figure below shows the deformation mechanism of the auxetic honeycombs along with conventional honeycomb structure. For a conventional hexagonal geometry under the stretch in the y direction the cells elongate along the y-axis and close up in the x direction, leading to a positive Poissons ratio.

However, for an auxetic structure, the cells undergo elongation both parallel and perpendicular to the direction of the applied load.

PROPERTIES: Auxetic materials with negative Poissons ratio have special properties of interest such as High in-plane indentation resistance; Good fracture toughness; High transverse shear modulus; and, High dynamic properties.

Youngs and Shear Moduli: Special feature of auxetic materials is to have higher resistance to shear strain, caused by twisting or tearing forces. This feature can be qualitatively explained by the relations among the shear (or rigidity) modulus G, the Youngs modulus E, and bulk modulus K (the inverse of the compressibility) and Poissons ratio (). For isotropic material, the relations are

In conventional isotropic materials, Youngs modulus (E) is at least twice the shear modulus (G). However, when the Poissons ratio becomes negative, the two moduli become close until, at = -0.5, they are equal. In other words, the material becomes highly compressible but difficult to shear; its bulk modulus and Youngs modulus are much less than its shear modulus. Beyond = -0.5, the shear modulus actually exceeds the elastic modulus. For example, a solid with = -1 would be difficult to shear but easy to deform volumetrically: G>>K. However, if the Poissons ratio approaches the positive 0.5, as in rubbery solids, the bulk modulus (K) greatly exceeds the shear modulus (G) and the material is referred to as incompressible : G<<K.

Indentation behavior: Auxetic materials do not dent as easily as non-auxetic materials and so have more resistance to indentations. When a non-auxetic material is subjected to impact loading, the substrate compresses in loading direction and this material is compensated by expansion in other directions. When auxetics are impacted, due to compression at one direction, other dimensions also decreases. This increases the density of the material and hence resists indentation.

Fracture toughness : Failure of auxetics occurs abruptly without necking. In cellular structure, the fracture propagates in a discrete way i.e. each step advances by one cell width. When the stress at crack tip is high enough in cell wall, local failure occurs and crack advances.

HOW ARE AUXETICS MADE? Auxetic textiles have been manufactured in the following ways Producing fibers with modifications Structuring fabric construction Auxetic fibers: Auxetic fibers can be synthesized by initially preparing the polymer, to indulge in them the auxetic property and extruding it with conventional fiber formation technologies. The polymer preparation for polypropylene fiber production involves the following process The first stage is to compact the polypropylene (PP) powder, which should be finely divided with an average particle size between 50 and 300 m. In the following stage, compaction takes place within the barrel (15 mm of diameter) of the processing rig, which is fitted with a blank die Then the compacted rod is reinserted into the barrel, sintered and extruded.

Flow chart of the process to produce auxetic polypropylene fibres

Schematic diagram of processing rig used to produce auxetic polypropylene fibres

Schematic diagram of melt extruder

1-polymer hopper; 2-barrel; 3-Archimedean; 4-screw feed zone; 5-screw compression zone; 6-screw metering zone; 7- cavity transfer mixing zone (adaptor zone); 8-die zone; 9-cooling roller; 10-nip roller; 11-air knife; 12, 13,14-rollers; 15-guide rail; 16-windup.

The extruded material is chopped and fed into the hopper in the extruder screw, where the chips are heated rapidly by combined heating and pressuring actions. The conventional melt spinning process like extruding, drawing and quenching are accomplished and the out fiber is wound on required package. Structured auxetic fabrics: The other way of imparting auxetic effect in textile fabrics is to modify their structure by coupling the geometry and fabric structure. The most popular one is that mimicked from the honeycomb design and producing similar fabrics with required parameters. Formation of auxetic structured textile fabrics and utilization of available technologies are very limited due to their complicate and special structures. However researchers are sustaining in their work to produce such fabrics with desired level of reliability on their expected performance.

The knitting technology is the most versatile of all current fabric forming process, with a wide multitude of structures and feasibility A research work by Samuel C. Ugbolue , Professor of Materials and Textiles at UMass Dartmouth, employed Fillet knitting structures on warp knitting with one or two needle beds Elastic yarn in the base structure. Conventional and herringbone stitches to produce auxetic structures Different types of yarn Symmetrical or asymmetrical yarn inlays Partial set guide bar Holes formed in courses with return loops This yarn must be placed between the stitch wale in the knitting direction to insure that the fabric structure retains necessary configuration after relaxation. The filling yarn must be laid between neighboring wales to wrap the junctures of the ground loops and provide better stability in the fabric structure. Also a minimum of three or four guide bars are needed to produce such knit structures. After knitting and allowing for some fabric relaxation under standard conditions, the warp knit structures form hexagonal nets. The following knitted fabric is formed from two different yarns using a partial (1-in/1-out), drawing-in of guide bar.



ab & de h bc, cd, ef & fa l

Vertical ribs Tricot course length Diagonal ribs Length of chain course Diagonal horizontal rib disposal to

Disposition of structure: It necessary to change the disposition of the ribs in the net, in order to form a functional auxetic knit structure. During stretch deformation in the wale direction, The distance between point c and f increases. The diagonal ribs bc, cd, ef and fa move to the horizontal disposition, which is perpendicular to the stretch direction. In this mode, the angle is approaching to 0and The distance between vertical ribs ab and de increases. In an assumed condition of deformation and if there is contact between point c and f in the fabric structure and l=h, Then =60 yx= -1.(Poissons ratio) It is noted that the Poissons ratio depends on angle between the positions of diagonal rib: before and after the stretch deformation. The value of the angle depends on the effect of h and l, on the elastic yarn tension and on the basic yarn slippage.

APPLICATIONS: Protective textiles: Body armors: Conventional textile materials applied for personal protection are much thicker, very stiff, heavy and inflexible. Hence it becomes difficult to bear them to different tropics.

Armors made with auxetic textiles can give similar protection with much lighter thickness and low weight. Auxetic materials are also known to have better shock and vibration absorption properties Auxetic materials have another special property in their behaviour when bent. If a sheet of material is bent downwards, it attempts to shrink forming a saddle shaped surface termed as anticlastic curvature If auxetics are curved, it curls the edges downwards taking dome like shape, in the same direction as bending force. This peculiar function of auxetic materials is useful to manufacture better body armours, because auxetic body armour could give the same safeguard but thinner, lighter, and conform better to the synclastic double curvatures of the human body .

A Curvature behavior in non auxetics (anticlastic curvature) B Auxetic curvature (synclastic)

Auxetic fiber reinforced composites: It is well known that the interface between matrix and fiber material is the weakest part of composite materials along with fiber pull out. Under a applied load at one direction, composites undergo lateral compression in both fiber and matrix phase. When auxetic fibrous materials are used, fiber pull out is delayed Crack resistance is improved.

Filtration: Auxetic materials have pore size/shape and permeability variations leading to superior filtration/separation performance in several ways. These materials and structures can be used to replace conventional components in various products used in specialized applications to produce higher quality products.

For example, auxetics can be used to make smart filters where the pore size of the filter can be changed by varying the applied load thus controlling the size of particles that can be allowed to pass through the filter. This also permits easy cleaning of clogged filters . Others: Auxetic materials have also found their place on the operating table: a dilator for opening the cavity of an artery or similar vessels made with an auxetic component has been patented for use in heart surgery and related surgical procedures. In this application, the coronary artery is opened up by the lateral expansion of a flexible auxetic PTFE hollow rod or sheath under tension. A rope or fishnet made from auxetic fibres will have enhanced strength properties. In addition to the strength enhancements, auxetic fibres also exhibit improved wear resistance due to having enhanced indentation properties. This leads to ropes and fishnets having enhanced abrasion properties to counteract the effects of ingress of, for example, sand grains during use. Improved wear resistance should also be useful in other fiber applications such as upholstery fabrics etc.

.Auxetics may be useful in other applications such as packing material, knee and elbow pads, robust shock absorbing material, and sponge mops. Application-Performance characteristic matrix for Auxetic fibres and auxetic fiber based structures

Fibre Application Fracture Tough Composite Materials Personal Protection Clothing Filtration Ropes, Cords Fishnets Upholstery Fabrics & X X

Indent. Resist

Impact Resist

Release Entrapped Particles

Microporous Breathable Structure

Constant Pressure Structure

Conclusion: Auxetics is a science in its early stages that is said to revolutionize advanced composites during the next ten years. Auxetic textile materials exhibit unique properties such as shear modulus, indentation resistance etc., which are to be explored to widen the application arena. Possibilities for up gradation of Conventional textile fibrous materials to impart auxetic properties have to be focused, to develop successful fiber forming technologies. Innovative structures have to be designed to produce fabrics with macro auxetic properties .Applications in smart and intelligent

textiles are being focused due to their deformation properties and sustainability. Commercialization of auxetic textile production must be paid much attention. References: Q. Liu, Literature Review: Materials with Negative Poisson's Ratios and Potential Applications to Aerospace and Defense, Defense Science and Technology Organization, Department Of Defense, Australia Samuel C. Ugbolue et al., The Formation and Performance of Auxetic Textiles, NTC Project: F06 -MD09 Andy & Kim Alderson, Expanding Materials and Applications: Auxetic Textiles, Technical Textiles International, Sep 2005 Anselm C. Griffin et al., Textile Fibers Engineered from Molecular Auxetic Polymers, NTC project: M04-GT21 JEC Composites Magazine/no 28 October-November 2006