Modeling tensile tests of a braided parachute suspension line using a mesomechanical finite element model

Catherine P. Barry, Francesco Panerai, Keith Bergeron, Christine Charette, Gregory Noetscher, Scott E. Stapleton, David J. Willis, James A. Sherwood

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Parachute suspension lines generate and shed vortices while in flight. The shedding vortices of air create periodic lift and drag forces on the suspension lines causing them to vibrate. The vibrating lines degrade the overall flight performance of the parachute system and create noise that can be heard for several kilometers. Prominent factors of how the suspension line responds to the fluid forces are its surface topology and mechanical behavior. In an effort to expand the understanding of the contributing factors to this problem, a mesomechanical finite element model of a polyethylene braided parachute suspension line is created. The model is pulled in tension and results are validated by experimental tensile tests on the suspension line. Once the model is shown to be an accurate representation of the parachute suspension line, it can be numerically characterized and the properties such as the surface topology, bending stiffness and torsional stiffness can be incorporated into an FSI (fluid structure interaction) model. The FSI model can help to gain a fundamental understanding of the vibration of the current suspension line. The mesomechanical model can then be adjusted (number of tows, braid angle, etc.) to see how such variations in the design change the mechanical behavior of the suspension line. The new model can also be incorporated into the FSI model to see how the changes affect the overall vibration of the line and to guide what changes can mitigate it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA Scitech 2020 Forum
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781624105951
StatePublished - 2020
EventAIAA Scitech Forum, 2020 - Orlando, United States
Duration: Jan 6 2020Jan 10 2020

Publication series

NameAIAA Scitech 2020 Forum
Volume1 PartF


ConferenceAIAA Scitech Forum, 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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