Surface energy of silk fibroin and mechanical properties of silk cocoon composites

Zhang, J, Du, S, Kafi,A, Fox, B, Li, J.L., Liu, X.Y., Rajkhowa, R. and Wang, X.G. 2015, Surface energy of silk fibroin and mechanical properties of silk cocoon composites, RSC Advances, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 1640-1647, doi: 10.1039/c4ra09482d.

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Title Surface energy of silk fibroin and mechanical properties of silk cocoon composites
Author(s) Zhang, JORCID iD for Zhang, J
Du, S
Fox, B
Li, J.L.ORCID iD for Li, J.L.
Liu, X.Y.
Rajkhowa, R.ORCID iD for Rajkhowa, R.
Wang, X.G.ORCID iD for Wang, X.G.
Journal name RSC Advances
Volume number 5
Issue number 2
Start page 1640
End page 1647
Total pages 8
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Place of publication Cambridge, Eng.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 2046-2069
Summary Silkworm cocoons are biological composite structures protecting the silkworms against environmental damage and physical attack by natural predators. In particular, some outdoor reared silk cocoons exhibit outstanding mechanical properties that are relevant to the higher level protection required to enhance the survival chance of silkworms while supporting their metabolic activity. The performance of composite materials strongly depends on the adhesion between the fiber reinforcement and matrix, with the surface properties of the fibers playing a key role in determining the level of adhesion achieved. For this reason it is important to study the surface properties of silk fibroin to further understand the composite properties of the cocoons. In this work, both the mechanical properties of the silk cocoons and silk fibroin were studied. The surface topography was examined using scanning probe microscopy (SPM), which revealed distinct longitudinal ridges and striations along the fiber axis of the four silk fiber types. The fibers were found to exhibit heterogeneity in surface energy as evidenced from inverse gas chromatography (IGC) measurements. The combination of excellent mechanical properties and the more energetically heterogeneous surface nature of the wild A. pernyi silk fibroin fibers correlates well with the excellent mechanical properties of the A. pernyi cocoons. This journal is
Language eng
DOI 10.1039/c4ra09482d
Field of Research 091202 Composite and Hybrid Materials
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Grant ID DP120100139
Copyright notice ©2015, Royal Society of Chemistry
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