The aim of this thesis is to investigate the possibility of using a commercial finite element analysis (FEA) package to assemble technical apparel from its constitutive pattern pieces. The potential to predict the form and functionality of an assembled garment without the need to create a physical prototype is attractive to pattern engineers and others involved in the design and development of technical apparel.
A novel method of assembling existing two dimensional pattern pieces around a three dimensional body to form a representation of a complete assembled garment using a commercial FEA package is reported for the first time. The analysis accounts for the interaction of garment patterns of defined geometry with specified material properties for any number of constitutive materials with a representative body of arbitrary geometry typically captured using a body scanner. An explicit FEA solver is used to perform the garment assembly from which strain and stress in the garment and contact pressure between the garment and the body is predicted. The validity of the FEA predictions are evaluated through comparison with experimental results obtained using a non-contact optical strain measurement system and a pressure measurement device and agreement is shown to be within 3.3% strain and 7.3% for contact pressure.
Techniques to further evaluate the assembled garment in the FE environment using deformable body geometry are reported. Simple planar movements allow for the evaluation of garment features such as placement of bonded stiffening bands designed to create resistance to movement. A motion capture system is used to capture full body kinematics during complex sporting movements and drive scanned body geometry in FEA simulations for the first time. This enables technical apparel to be evaluated during the intended end use for a specific athlete and their kinematics. Experimental testing evaluates the validity of garment deformation during simple and complex movements finding an average difference in strain due to movement of 1.9% and 5.3% respectively. Shape optimisation techniques are applied to apparel for the first time, automating the process of tuning the design. Stiffening section placement during simple and complex movements and contact pressure in various locations are optimised using this technique.
This thesis is Confidential until 1st November 2016. A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.