Another fine mesh

Paul Boughton
KnitMesh Technologies, a specialist industrial knitting company, working with the Department of Engineering at the University of Liverpool, has developed modelling software to optimise the design of knitted wire mesh components.

The new software, based on neural network techniques, is the result of two years joint development work between the company and the university.

The software allows knitted mesh components, commonly used as seals, protective cushions, thermal shields and vibration absorbers, to be modelled prior to manufacture.

A further feature of the software allows the design to be optimised, for example to minimise the cost or weight of the component. Typically, an application will require a specific Young’s Modulus at a certain strain value, and the software will design a component with these properties. The software will also predict the position of the elastic limit of the material.

Managing Director Peter Evans commented: "Knitted mesh components are normally designed by trial and error. The new design suite not only allows us to model components without producing samples, but also allows us to optimise the design – something that was previously impossible. This not only cuts development time from weeks to hours, but gives our customers the best possible solution.”

The new software will be particularly useful for the automotive industry, but also for a wide range of customers involved in mechanical engineering.
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