Tensile properties of Argiope trifasciata drag line silk obtained from the spider's web

J. Prez-Rigueiro, M. Elices, C. V. Llorca, Christopher Viney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

78 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The tensile properties of Argiope trifasciata (Argiopidae) drag line silk retrieved from mooring threads in the web were characterized. Scanning electron microscope images were used to determine the cross-sectional area of the samples, allowing force-displacement plots to be rescaled as stress-strain curves and to characterize fracture surfaces. Twenty-eight samples were tested to obtain statistically significant values of the mechanical parameters (elastic modulus, stress and strain at the proportional limit, and tensile strength). The tensile strength of the material was subjected to a Weibull analysis - the first time that this has been attempted with a spider silk. A low value of the Weibull modulus, m = 3.4, was obtained, demonstrating that drag line monofilament does not have a sufficiently reliable tensile strength to function as an engineering material on its own.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2245-2251
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Volume82
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2001

Keywords

  • Fibers
  • Fracture
  • Mechanical properties
  • Spider silk
  • Weibull modulus

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