Distinct structural and optical regimes in natural silk spinning.
This study investigates the relationship between birefringence and mechanical properties in the dragline silk of the gold orb weaving spider Nephila edulis. Using a custom birefringence-tensile testing device, we probed the orientation and water-induced swelling of fibers spun at variety of drawing rates ranging from 0.003 to 400 mm s(-1). Our results indicate that based upon drawing rate, silk fibers fall into three distinct regimes each with characteristic orientation and swelling propertie...Expand abstract
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