Silkworm cocoons inspire models for random fiber and particulate composites
Chen F., Porter D., Vollrath F.
The bioengineering design principles evolved in silkworm cocoons make them ideal natural prototypes and models for structural composites. Cocoons depend for their stiffness and strength on the connectivity of bonding between their constituent materials of silk fibers and sericin binder. Strain-activated mechanisms for loss of bonding connectivity in cocoons can be translated directly into a surprisingly simple yet universal set of physically realistic as well as predictive quantitative structure-property relations for a wide range of technologically important fiber and particulate composite materials. © 2010 The American Physical Society.