Strange silk: Why rappelling spiders don't spin out of control

Friday, July 7, 2017 - 21:02 in Physics & Chemistry

Researchers show that unlike human hair, metal wires or synthetic fibers, spider silk partially yields when twisted. This property quickly dissipates the energy that would otherwise send an excited spider spinning on the end of its silk. A greater understanding of how spider silk resists spinning could lead to biomimetic fibers that mimic these properties for potential uses in violin strings, helicopter rescue ladders and parachute cords.

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