Advanced Materials

Spider Silk: Super Material or Thin Fibre?

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Abstract

This work challenges the popular view that silk has exceptional intrinsic mechanical properties of strength and toughness. All polymer fibres are shown to follow one fracture mechanics relationship between failure strength and the ratio of elastic modulus to fibre diameter. Predictive structure–property relations are derived for strength and fracture toughness, and small diameter plays a large part in silk properties.

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