Multiaxial anisotropy of spider (Araneus diadematus) cocoon silk fibres

J. Y J Barghout, J. T. Czernuszka, C. Viney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


We report a remarkable feature of the cocoon silk spun by Araneus diadematus spiders, as revealed by electron diffraction: transverse sections of the fibres exhibit significant microstructural anisotropy. Although the mechanical processes of fibre spinning and drawing are uniaxial, the spider is able to achieve multiaxial control of molecular order. In contrast, complex flow patterns are used to obtain multiaxial control of molecular order in synthetic polymer extrudates or fibres. Possible origins and consequences of the transverse anisotropy in A. diadematus cocoon silk are considered briefly. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5797-5800
Number of pages4
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2001


  • Araneus diadematus
  • Multiaxial anisotropy
  • Spider silk


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