All about 3D Weaving | Structures | Fibers uses | 3D Fabrics | Applications

3D weaving


The 2D weaving woven fabrics are made by interlacing the two components of yarn called warp and weft. The conventional weaving process used to form a 2D woven fabrics consisting of interlacing two orthogonal sets of yarns, warp 0 degree and weft 90 degrees, although it is not possible to have yarns in other in-plane orientation on the conventional 2D weaving loom.


A 3D weaving is the process which allows the production of fabrics up to 10 cm in thickness. In 3D fabric fibres placed in the thickness direction are called z-yarn, warp weaver, or binder yarn for 3D woven fabrics.

In this process more than one layer of fabric is woven at the same time, and z-yarn interlaces warp and weft yarns of different layers during the process.

The 3D weave fabrics have substantial thicknesses, many times greater than the diameters of the yarns.

In case of 3D weaving the constituent yarns cross at various angles between different layers to form a 3D mesh or a network like structure.


In standard regular 2-dimensional weaving weft threads are woven through warp threads.

In the simplest possible pattern, the weft alternates between passing above and below the warp creating a single layer of fabric.

In 3-dimensional weaving, the main aim is to create thickness via stacking multiple layers.

In conventional weaving machines, the layering is achieved by dividing the warp into multiple, separate sets.


The 3D solid woven fabrics are manufactured by incorporating and manipulating yarns in the length, width and the through-the-thickness directions.


WARP yarns are called X yarns, WEFT yarns are called Y yarns and through the thickness yarns are called Z yarns which is also known as Binder Yarns.

The weaving is also called as a single fabric system or 3 Phases.


Many of the structures can be made on the conventional weaving machines with little modification but there have been successful attempts in developing new weaving devices, particularly for making 3D woven fabrics.

Conventional Weaving Machines

There are mainly 3 methods:

1.  By effective utilization of warp and weft in single layer.

2.  By use of multi-layer warp and weft or multi-layer ground warp, binder.

3. Conventional 2D process can also produce pile fabrics by utilizing three sets of yarn, single-layer ground warp, pile yarns.

New Weaving Devices

The new technology arranges warp yarns in a 3D form and allow weft yarns to be inserted at different levels in one or two directions.

Example : Non-Interlacing Weaving Device


3D Structure:

In particular 3D weaving structure, there will be no interlacing or crimp between the yarns, they are arranged perpendicular to each other in X, Y and Z directions and also thickness can be increased as well as high fibre volume fraction.

Based on type of 3D structure:

3D Hallow:

The architectures refer to tunnels running in warp and weft or any diagonal directions with the thickness of the 3D architecture.

Flat surfaces and other with uneven surfaces are the two different types of 3D hollow architectures.

3D Shell Structure:

It is a structure comprising integrated single wall sections in the directions of fabric width and without any tunnel like opening in fabric length thickness defining a cross sectional shape direction.

3D Nodal Structure:

Refer to woven tubes, which are joined together comprising either integrated, single walled or multi walled sections in the directions of fabric width an thickness defining a cross sectional shape with either one or more tunnel like opening in fabric length direction.

Based on type of mechanism

1. 3D woven

2. 3D knitted

3. 3D non-woven

4. 3D Jacquard Design

5. Braided Structure

Based on type of weaving process:

1. 2D weaving 2D fabrics

2. 3D weaving 3D fabrics

3. Noobing

Orthogonal Woven Architecture

Angle-Interlock Woven Architecture

A structure with a set of straight weft yarns and warp yarns that weave with the weft in a diagonal direction in the thickness.

Multilayer Woven Architecture

The layers are connected together through weaving by either the existing yarns (self-stitching) or external sets of yarns (central stitching)

Three-Dimensional Hollow Woven Preforms:

Mainly rigid yarns are used to form the structure and the structure consists of three or more layers of fabrics.


The most common fibres are:

Glass Fibres

Aramid Fibres

Carbon Fibres

Steel Fibres


The fibre is available at low cost and the production rate of fibre is high.

The major properties of glass fibres are: High Stiffness, Non-Flammable, Good Chemical Resistance, Good Electrical Insulation


Aramid fibre is an aromatic polyamide, better known by trade names such as Kevlar (DuPont) and Twaron (Teijin Twaron)

The major properties of aramid fibres are: Low Density, High Strength, Good Abrasion Resistance, Good Chemical Resistance, Low Thermal Degradation, Insensitive To Moisture


Carbon fibre is composed of carbon atoms bonded and together to form a long chain.

The fibres are extremely stiff, strong, and light, and are used in many processes to create excellent building materials.

The major properties of carbon fibres are: Self Lubricity, Heat Resistant, Specific Tensile Strength, High Elastic Modulus


Steel fibre is a metal reinforcement, for reinforcing concrete is defined as short, discrete lengths of steel fibres with an aspect ratio (ratio of length to diameter) from about 20 to 100, with different cross-sections, and that are sufficiently small to be randomly dispersed in an unhardened concrete mixture using the usual mixing procedures.

The major properties of steel fibre:

 It has high tensile strength

 It has good heat resistant

 Fibre has high compressibility factor

Fibre has high thermal stability


Recently 3D woven fabrics have been finding increased usage in textile composite for commercial structural application.

3D woven fabrics are being used in a number of applications such as composite reinforcement for construction automotive ballistic and various industrial uses: for Marine application like carbon fibre preforms for high performance powerboats.

In medical technology like artificial veins, arteries orthopaedic tubes, scaffolds, artificial joints and organs etc.

Lightweight constructions like rainforest section in automotive engineering and aeronautics.

Woven composite are idle for security applications where a high level of protection is expected from the lightest possible components.

In transport application and vehicle construction composite have major advantages because lower weight of composite result in higher payload and lower fuel consumption where it is used as drive shafts, oil pans, suspension arms, and wheels.

It is also ideal material for aircraft and aerospace applications where high strength to weight ratio is required.

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