A finite-volume method for contact drape simulation of woven fabrics and garments

S. F. Chen, Jinlian Hu, Jinguang Teng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Draping of woven fabrics and garments interacting with rigid objects or human bodies is a large displacement/rotation contact problem of anisotropic materials. The objective of this paper is to extend a geometrically nonlinear finite-volume method recently developed by the authors to predict contact drape deformations of woven fabrics. In this finite volume method, an initially flat woven fabric sheet is first divided into a number of structured finite volumes (or control volumes) using mesh lines along the warp and weft directions. The out-of-plane bending and in-plane membrane strain energies of the fabric sheet are then found by summing up the contributions from all control volumes. The equilibrium equations of the fabric sheet are derived employing the principle of stationary total potential energy and solved using the full Newton-Raphson method with line searches. In this paper, a simple and easily achievable algorithm for detecting and treating fabric contact with a rigid object is proposed and shown to be effective and efficient. Numerical simulation of two square fabric sheets draped over a round rod is first considered. The coordinates of a characteristic point of the first fabric sheet after drape deformation predicted using the present method are compared with available experimental results, showing a close match between the two approaches. Numerical results of square fabric sheets draped over a sphere and skirts attached to and draped over a synthetic body form are next presented. The predicted drape shapes are realistic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-531
Number of pages19
JournalFinite Elements in Analysis and Design
Issue number6-7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2001


  • Contact problem
  • Fabric deformation
  • Fabric drape
  • Finite-volume method
  • Newton-Raphson method
  • Nonlinear analysis
  • Numerical simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analysis
  • Engineering(all)
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Applied Mathematics

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