U. Ezimora, L.P. Davila
University of California Merced,
Keywords: fabrication techniques, modeling, structure-property relationship, yarn
Summary:Knitting and weaving are fabrication techniques in which 3D surfaces can be created with yarn. Specific patterns are typically represented using a set of abstract pictorial symbols. The complexification of parameters makes it difficult for investigators to parse, visualize, and design knitting and weaving patterns and thus control the properties of the desired products. To solve those challenges, we are investigating the effect of knitting and weaving of plarn—yarn made of recycled plastic bags—for engineering applications by modeling loop-pattern properties. Using independent studies, and a mixture of open-source and standard commercial software, we can evaluate how properties of plarn change as a function of knitted and woven patterns. The hypothesis is that by modifying the knitting and woven structure, the impact on the mechanical property could be further enhanced. Understanding this structure-property relation can lead to high-strength and robust yarn products (e.g., ropes) for varied engineering applications. Relevant plarn properties are pivotal in determining its potential in designing improved products. Plastic recycling businesses change as an effect of newly found technologies and information. This research can help create novel plarn products for engineering applications, which will help further decrease plastic pollution in the environment. Further catalyzing the process, existing companies such as TerraCycle and others are collecting materials that can be made into plastic yarn. This research contributes to improving material discovery by the combination of recyclable sustainable materials, design, low-energy processing methods, and innovation, which allows the definition of the technical and commercial feasibility of low-cost and sustainable yarn components.