Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Ever J. Barbero.


Several mechanical properties of fabrics for inflatable structures have been characterized. In this work, the characterization was done for fabrics in a tunnel plug. As a plug the structure should seal the tunnel and maintain itself static, for that reason the characterization of the frictional system tunnel wall/structure fabric is done. Also, by the study of the maximum stresses under this configuration, the tensile strength of the structural fabrics is studied. In order to characterize the fabric properties, friction and strength, a test for each of them was done.;The tensile strength test was performed for two fabrics, according to the standards ASTM D5034 and ISO 1421. Also a tensile test for welded specimens was done. The information recovered from these tests where useful to determine, first, the optimum fabric that will be used in the plug structure, and second to characterize the behavior of welded fabrics.;The friction test was done according to the real system involve. The experiment was designed to simulate the real frictional behavior between the concrete wall of the tunnel and the fabric used in the inflatable structure. Once the friction concrete/fabric system was characterized for various sliding surfaces, a study to improve the friction force in this system was performed. Consequently several tests were conducted for different concrete treatments sliding over a fabric sample.