Estimation of mechanical properties of Spiderman’s webs

Last week, I had a lecture for the Rouse model and I derived the G(t) for the continuum limit. In the talk, I used eigenfunction expansion, and mentioned the relation between the technique and JPEG format, the latter is widely used image format in which the image quality is controlled via the truncation of the expansion. See this page for the very nice example.

By the way, This article is fun for reading. Actually, the Young’s modulus for the material used as Spiderman’s webs is discussed. It would be a nice practice for students as a topic for basic mechanics.

For silks of spiders and worms, people sometimes misunderstand their production process. For instance, the Spiderman spews out the fiber from his wrist. The famous Japanese monster, Mosra, also spews his fiber out. But the insects do not spew it out, but the fibers are pulled out from the spinneret, by the motion of insects. Watch this movie. The silkworm attaches the end of the fiber and pulls the fiber out from his body.

One of my students in my Tokyo period, Mr Moriya, published three papers on the spinning of silkworms. Amazingly, he made these works during his Master course, even though he had the great help from Prof. Asakura and his colleagues.

  1. M. Moriya, F. Roschzttardtz, Y. Nakahara, H. Saito, Y. Masubuchi, T. Asakura, “Rheological Properties of Native Silk Fibroins from Domestic and Wild Silkworms, and Flow Analysis in Each Spinneret by a Finite Element Method”, Biomacromolecules, 10, 929–935, (2009).
  2. M. Moriya, K. Ohgo, Y. Masubuchi, D. P. Knight and T. Asakura, “Micro-computerized tomographic observation of the spinning apparatus in Bombyx mori silkworms”, Polymer 49(26), 5665-5669 (2008).
  3. M. Moriya, K. Ohgo, Y. Masubuchi, T. Asakura, “Flow analysis of aqueous solution of silk fibroin in the spinneret of Bombyx mori silkworm by combination of viscosity measurement and finite element method calculation”, POLYMER 49(4), 952-956 (2008).


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