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1 December 2003 CREEP AND LOW STRENGTH OF SPIDER DRAGLINE SUBJECTED TO CONSTANT LOADS
Christopher Smith, Joanne Ritchie, Fraser I. Bell, Iain J. McEwen, Christopher Viney
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Abstract

Major ampullate (dragline) silk is attracting significant attention as a potentially useful engineering fiber. This interest is motivated by reports that the silk exhibits high mean strength, stiffness and toughness as measured in tensile tests. However, the typical testing conditions (constant strain rate; experiment completed within less than an hour) imposed during such assessments do not reflect typical demands (e.g. ability to support constant load for long times) made on real high-tensile materials. We demonstrate here that Nephila clavipes major ampullate silk subjected to constant loads performs poorly: its breaking strength is significantly lower than that measured in conventional constant strain rate tests, and even very small constant loads can cause elongation to increase appreciably over long timescales.

Christopher Smith, Joanne Ritchie, Fraser I. Bell, Iain J. McEwen, and Christopher Viney "CREEP AND LOW STRENGTH OF SPIDER DRAGLINE SUBJECTED TO CONSTANT LOADS," The Journal of Arachnology 31(3), 421-424, (1 December 2003). https://doi.org/10.1636/H02-46
Received: 4 September 2002; Published: 1 December 2003
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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KEYWORDS
Creep
dragline
Nephila clavipes
silk
strength
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