Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Applied Physics





DOI of Original Publication



Originally published at

Date of Submission

November 2015


Many fibrous materials such as nonwovens are consolidated via compaction rolls in a so-called calendering process. Hot rolls compress the fiber assembly and cause fiber-to-fiber bonding resulting in a strong yet porous structure. In this paper, we describe an algorithm for generating three dimensional virtual fiberwebs and simulating the geometrical changes that happen to the structure during the calendering process. Fibers are assumed to be continuous filaments with square cross sections lying randomly in the x or y direction. The fibers are assumed to be flexible to allow bending over one another during the compression process. Lateral displacement is not allowed during the compaction process. The algorithm also does not allow the fibers to interpenetrate or elongate and so the mass of the fibers is conserved. Bending of the fibers is modeled either by considering a constant “slope of bending” or constant “span of bending.” The influence of the bending parameters on the propagation of compression through the material’s thickness is discussed. In agreement with our experimental observations, it was found that the average solid volume fraction profile across the thickness becomes U shaped after the calendering. The application of these virtual structures in studying transport phenomena in fibrous materials is also demonstrated.


Maze, B., Tafreshi, H. V., & Pourdeyhimi, B. Geometrical modeling of fibrous materials under compression. Journal of Applied Physics, 102, 073533 (2007). Copyright © 2007 American Institute of Physics.

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VCU Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering Publications