Virtual Production of Nonwovens using SURRO

In the production of nonwovens a nonwoven web is created by spinning and entangling a large number of filaments or fibers. For several years our department has been cooperating with a broad range of industry partners to advance the virtualization of these production processes.

Due to the complexity and different physical scales involved, a multitude of mathematical challenges arise which cannot be solved with off-the-shelf simulation software. We have specifically created tools and methods for several key aspects to support the design and control of nonwovens production processes with efficient simulations.

SURRO 1
© Photo ITWM

2D view of virtual nonwoven in SURRO

SURRO generates virtual nonwoven structures

In the last years we have developed sophisticated methods to generate large-scale virtual nonwoven structures. The resulting software SURRO (Surrogate Model) is based on a stochastical surrogate model which is mathematically defined by a stochastical differential equation (SDE).

The input parameters of this process are obtained by first using FIDYST (Fiber Dynamics Simulation Tool) to simulate a few individual filaments including all relevant physical details. The filaments' complex behavior is then reduced to a few stochastic parameters characterizing the resulting nonwoven structure.

SURRO 2
© Photo ITWM

Weight distribution of a sample at 0.1mm resolution

Using SURRO and FIDYST to analyze nonwovens production processes

Compared to a full physical simulation, the surrogate model of SURRO provides a very efficient computation of fibers. This allows us to generate detailed microstructures of large nonwoven samples with a side length of multiple centimeters. The generated nonwoven structure can then be analyzed with regard to weight distribution and homogeneity on different scales. The homogeneity is important for the quality of the resulting nonwoven and one of the criteria used to optimize the production process.

SURRO also contains interfaces to standard industry tools like Abaqus which can be used for additional analysis of, e.g., tensile strength. Paired with the simulation software FIDYST, we successfully use the microstructure generator SURRO to analyze and optimize nonwovens production processes.

Further Information:

  • A.Klar, N.Marheineke, R.Wegener. Hierarchy of Mathematical Models for Production Processes of Technical Textiles. ZAMM, 89(12): 941-961, 2009.