Engineers Should Learn from Spiders

Engineers Should Learn from Spiders

The secret of the strength of the web is not only the stability of filaments to break, but in a special design of the structure.

Cobweb – produce spider glands, does not cease to attract biologists, biotechnologists and engineers for its unusual properties. They have long since discovered that the thread of spider silk Super-and therefore attractive as a material for a variety of structures (Spider squirrels have learned to get biotechnologically). But that’s not all secrets, as found by researchers from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and their Italian colleagues. Alone can not explain the strength of yarn resistance to damage and Web gusts of wind. It turned out no less importance is the special design of the spider design more agile network.

To understand the web of secrets, Markus Buehler (Markus Buehler) and his colleagues used the observations in nature, and computer modeling. Their research they have published in the journal Nature.

In the more agile of the network includes two types of fibers: skeletal, and sticky. Sturdy frame threads are radial – A mechanical basis for the web. The sticky thread, moist and flexible, apart from the center of the network in a spiral, they stick to the victim and dragging her into a trap.

Biologists have studied the structure of networks spiders Cross tee constructed from standard spiral-radial plan. They stretched spiral and radial threads and filmed on video.Scientists have also used computer modeling to understand what is happening in the web under a heavy load.

Here’s what showed “virtual model” of the web. As scientists expected, the load in one place the whole network responds. This sensitivity Web is needed to signal a spider to catch prey.But if the load is excessive, the threads of the web site in one rush to unload the entire structure and to maintain its performance. And explode, depending on the magnitude of the effect may be a spiral, and radial threads. In the second web is deformed, but continues to work. That is, the spider is part of the sacrifice to save the whole.

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