Mechanical properties of silk

A crystalline unit of spider silk made from a stack of beta-sheets is subjected to an external force which induces its rupture. In the most simple scenario which we mimicked in the simulation visualized here, one of the strands, here the central beta-strand, is pulled away from the others along the fiber running direction. Remarkably,…

Mechanical properties of silk

Silk is one of the many biomaterials with mechanical properties not yet reached by synthetic counterparts. Silk fibers have an outstanding toughness, that is, are very extensible while also sustaining large forces. They are exclusively made from protein in a way similar to a block-copolymer: blocks of polyalanine, assembled into stacks of beta-sheets representing nano-sized…

HITSter scores best

HITSter Philipp Gerstner was now honored by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) for the best diploma of his class. Philipp studied Techno-Mathematics at KIT from 2008 till 2014 and achieved the best overall grade among all 15 graduates in his year. He wrote his thesis about modeling and numerical simulation of the spreading of…