Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs) are often used for robotic, biomedical, and aerospace applications because of their unique ability to undergo large amounts of stress and strain during thermomechanical loading compared to traditional metals. While SMAs such as NiTi have been used in wire, plate, and tubular forms, NiTi as a woven dry fabric has yet to be analyzed for use as protective materials and actuators. Applications of SMA fabric as a “passive” material include shields, seatbelts, watchbands and window screens. Applications as an “active” material include robotic actuators, wearable medical and therapy devices, and self-healing shields and screens. This paper applies a macro-mechanical model from composites analysis to NiTi plain woven fabric to determine the effective elastic constants. The fabric model is based on actual weave geometry, including the presence of open gaps and wire cross-sectional area, and with the same diameter and alloy in the warp and weft. A woven NiTi ribbon has been manufactured (Figure 1) using a narrow weaving machine and has been tested in uniaxial tension. Planar fabric constants were measured at a range of temperatures. The analytically and experimentally derived constants for various weave patterns and cover factor combinations are presented and compared. It was determined that in uniaxial tension the fabric behaves like a collection of unidirectional wires, but has 78% of the rigidity, on average, across all test temperatures. This result is predicted by the fabric model with a 16% error, demonstrating that the proposed analytical model offers a useful tool for design and simulation of SMA fabrics.

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