Directional moisture transfer through a wild silkworm cocoon wall

Jin, Xing, Zhang, Jin, Gao, Weimin, Du, Shan, Li, Jingliang and Wang, Xungai 2016, Directional moisture transfer through a wild silkworm cocoon wall, Biointerphases: an open access journal for the biomaterials interface community, vol. 11, no. 2, Article Number : 021008, pp. 1-13, doi: 10.1116/1.4952451.

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Title Directional moisture transfer through a wild silkworm cocoon wall
Author(s) Jin, Xing
Zhang, JinORCID iD for Zhang, Jin
Gao, WeiminORCID iD for Gao, Weimin
Du, Shan
Li, JingliangORCID iD for Li, Jingliang
Wang, XungaiORCID iD for Wang, Xungai
Journal name Biointerphases: an open access journal for the biomaterials interface community
Volume number 11
Issue number 2
Season Article Number : 021008
Start page 1
End page 13
Total pages 13
Publisher American Institute of Physics
Place of publication New York, N.Y.
Publication date 2016
ISSN 1934-8630
Summary A silkworm cocoon is a porous biological structure with multiple protective functions. In the current work, the authors have used both experimental and numerical methods to reveal the unique moisture transfer characteristics through a wild Antheraea pernyi silkworm cocoon wall, in comparison with the long-domesticated Bombyx mori silkworm cocoon walls. The water vapor transmission and water vapor permeability (WVP) properties show that the A. pernyi cocoons exhibit directional moisture transfer behavior, with easier moisture transfer from inside out than outside in [e.g., the average WVP is 0.057 g/(h m bar) from inside out and is 0.034 g/(h m bar) from outside in]. Numerical analysis shows that the cubic mineral crystals in the outer section of the A. pernyi cocoon wall create a rough surface that facilitates air turbulence and promotes disturbance amplitude of the flow field, leading to lengthened water vapor transfer path and increased tortuosity of the moist air. It also indicates the vortex of water vapor can be generated in the outer section of cocoon wall, which increases the diffusion distance of water vapor and enhances the turbulence kinetic energy and turbulence eddy dissipation, signifying higher moisture resistance in the outer section. The difference in moisture resistance of the multiple A. pernyi cocoon layers is largely responsible for the unique directional moisture transfer behavior of this wild silkworm cocoon. These findings may inspire a biomimicry approach to develop novel lightweight moisture management materials and structures.
Language eng
DOI 10.1116/1.4952451
Field of Research 091205 Functional Materials
091202 Composite and Hybrid Materials
Socio Economic Objective 860403 Natural Fibres, Yarns and Fabrics
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, American Institute of Physics
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