Student Seminar

Spider Web Secrets: How a spider's thread remains taut under compression

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 1:30 PM
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Student Seminar
Spider Web Secrets: How a spider's thread remains taut under compression

Christopher Coutts
Dept of Physics, SFU

Jan 19, 2018 at 1:30pm in P8445.2

Synopsis

Orb-weaver spiders produce webbing coated in a liquid glue for the purpose of capturing prey. However, this liquid coating provides an additional structural benefit. Under compression the webbing buckles inside of liquid droplets and prevents the web from sagging. In this regime, web tension is independent of displacement. By coating synthetic threads with Newtonian liquids, researchers have been able to replicate the in-drop spooling observed and test experimentally the threshold conditions necessary for buckling to occur.