Having studied the technique of weaving a web, a team of scientists from Oxford University and the University of Pierre and Marie Curie has created a technology for obtaining a self-unwinding liquid-coated fiber.
The web is an amazing creation of nature. It is born from a small sticky watery droplet secreted by the special glands of spiders, which immediately turns into the finest transparent and incredibly strong elastic threads, stretching 40% longer than the original length. The droplets have another amazing property - they can store excess filament inside themselves, winding them up like a winch.
The success of the technology "spied" by scientists depends on the balance between the elasticity of the fiber and the surface tension of the drop from which the thread is drawn. The resulting artificial thread is capable of unwinding as well as winding back inside the droplet. Scientists tested the technology using a drop of oil, which they "smeared" on a plastic thread, which once again confirmed the correctness of their calculations.
New ideas will find application in complex microstructures, in the creation of reversible micromotors or in various self-tensioning flexible systems.