Important factors of braid formation are yarn motion, yarn tension and intra-yarn frictional forces. In order to improve quality of braided structures the effects of yarn tension and resulting braid formation position must be understood and controlled. This paper reports the effect of yarn tension on braid formation (braid point) motion along with the radial and longitudinal motion of the braid point in the initial, transient, and final positions. Visual observations utilizing low cost webcams are also presented as well as a diagnostic tool which can recognize the onset of defects and provide some insight into what might be causing the fault. Optimal braid performance is observed which serves as the baseline for comparing the behavior of faults. Radial fluctuation of braid point position is a good indicator of mechanical faults of the tensioning mechanisms. The experiments performed will provide the foundation for further work with applications for improving braiding quality in ropes, tethers, and structural composites. Finally, this experimental study and dynamic characterization will be useful for assessing future passive and active control methods, along with sensing.

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