Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Ali Sadegh

Second Advisor

Feridum Delale


Drop stitch, Shear test, Inflatable


The mechanical properties of drop stitch fabric materials in tension and shear has been investigated for use in designing structural applications such as ship construction, modular buildings, inflatable structures, aquatic vehicles, sporting goods and temporary field equipment installations. The goal of testing is to improve the understanding of the mechanical properties, which can aid in application development for structural deployments using these unique materials. The benefits of using rigid drop stitch fabric panels in ship and building construction are their light weight and rigidity. The epoxy resin infused fabric is corrosion and degradation resistant while providing a more robust resistance to loads and damage in hazardous environments. Inflatable drop stitch fabric materials can form rigid shapes that resist bending and bowing better than those utilizing standard fabric materials. The inflated drop stitch panels can be highly pressurized to allow for greater load capacities and higher resistance to flexing. The greatest benefit of using inflatable structures over rigid ones is their inherent portability which can greatly reduce setup times and transportation needs in rugged environments and over difficult terrain. These materials can be used to replace rigid structural elements in applications that were previously thought impossible for an inflatable design. The many benefits of using drop stitch fabric materials has spurred a great interest in better understanding how to best utilize their unique properties.



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