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    Spider silks present extraordinary mechanical properties, which have attracted the attention of material scientists in recent decades. In particular, the strength and the toughness of these protein-based materials outperform the ones of many man-made fibers. Unfortunately, despite the huge interest, there is an absence of statistical investigation on the mechanical properties of spider silks and their related size effects due to the length of the fibers. Moreover, several spider silks have never been mechanically tested. Accordingly, in this work, we measured the mechanical properties and computed the Weibull parameters for different spider silks, some of them unknown in the literature. We also measured the mechanical properties at different strain rates for the dragline of the species Cupiennius salei. For the same species, we measured the strength and Weibull parameters at different fiber lengths. In this way, we obtained the spider silk scaling laws directly and according to Weibull's prediction. Both length and strain rates affect the mechanical properties of spider silk, as rationalized by Weibull's statistics.

    Citation

    Gabriele Greco, Nicola M Pugno. Mechanical Properties and Weibull Scaling Laws of Unknown Spider Silks. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2020 Jun 26;25(12)

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    PMID: 32604727

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