Circular braiding is a manufacturing process for making circular braided fabrics. Relative sliding of yarns during their interlacing motion introduces friction which limits the density of the braided fabric. A kinematic analysis is presented in this paper. Yarns’ absolute motion, relative sliding motion and twist motion in the convergent zone are found to be important quantities in braid kinematics that impact the final braid structure. The straight yarn assumption, which ignores the effect of interyarn forces, is analyzed in detail for its validity in calculating the braid angle. In Part 2 of this paper series a mechanics model is proposed to determine the braid angle by considering interlacing forces and their effects on the braided structure.

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