Fabrics coated with rubber have wide applications in fields such as medical substrates, protective clothing, and flexible membranes for civil structures, airbags, geotextiles and industrial fabrics. As the market for coated fabrics expands to applications with more complex geometries and loading conditions, a competitive edge can be gained by optimizing the selection of fabric substrate and coating materials. This work includes a detailed experimental study of the effect of various parameters such as weave pattern, yarn size, and coating thickness on rubber coated fabric mechanical response. Nine types of woven PET fabrics were fabricated, consisting of the same warp yarn size and count, but different fill yarns (220, 500, and 1000 denier) and weave patterns (plain weave, 4-harness satin weave, and 8-harness satin weave). The fabrics were coated with neoprene latex using a dip-coating process. The coating penetration was much greater for the two-ply warp yarns than the fill yarns. Both coated and uncoated fabrics were tested. Shear tests and microscopy were used to understand the interaction between the fabric structure and the rubber coating. Results suggest that the shear behavior of the rubber-coated fabric is dominated by the rubber at low shear angles and by the fabric at higher shear angles. These results improve our ability to predict and prevent undesirable behaviors such as wrinkling, distortion and tear.

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