<  Back to the Polytechnique Montréal portal

Spiderweb-inspired, transparent, impact-absorbing composite

Shibo Zou, Daniel Therriault, Frédérick Gosselin

Article (2020)

Open Acess document in PolyPublie and at official publisher
Open Access to the full text of this document
Published Version
Terms of Use: Creative Commons Attribution
Download (3MB)
Open Access to the full text of this document
Supplemental Material
Terms of Use: Creative Commons Attribution
Download (1MB)
Show abstract
Hide abstract


Transparent materials with high impact absorption are required for many safety-critical engineering systems. Existing transparent tough composites have increased impact resistance but often fail catastrophically because of poor impact absorption. We propose a transparent impact-absorbing composite that reproduces the toughening mechanism involving sacrificial bonds and hidden lengths in spider silk. Our material consists of an elastomer matrix and an instability-assisted, 3D-printed, bidirectional fabric of microstructured fibers with sacrificial bonds and alternating loops. Under impact, the hidden loops unfold after bond breaking and matrix cracking, resisting impactor penetration with graceful failure. The large-scale plastic deformation of the unfolding loops significantly increases energy dissipation and leads to hysteresis of 95.6% (dissipated energy/total absorbed energy × 100%), minimizing the released elastic energy and reducing the rebounding damage. Our approach opens a new avenue for designing and manufacturing transparent high-energy-absorbing composites for impact protection applications.

Uncontrolled Keywords

3D printing, instability, transparent composite, sacrificial bonds, energy dissipation

Subjects: 1700 Design and manufacturing > 1702 Advanced manufacturing
2000 Materials science and technology > 2001 Materials structure, properties and testing
2100 Mechanical engineering > 2100 Mechanical engineering
Department: Department of Mechanical Engineering
Research Center: CREPEC - Center for Applied Research on Polymers and Composites
LM2 - Laboratory for Multi-scale Mechanics
Funders: CRSNG/NSERC, Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT), Canadian Foundation for Innovation
Grant number: 175791953, 63014
PolyPublie URL: https://publications.polymtl.ca/9279/
Journal Title: Cell Reports Physical Science (vol. 1, no. 11)
Publisher: Elsevier
DOI: 10.1016/j.xcrp.2020.100240
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.xcrp.2020.100240
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2022 15:20
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2022 05:00
Cite in APA 7: Zou, S., Therriault, D., & Gosselin, F. (2020). Spiderweb-inspired, transparent, impact-absorbing composite. Cell Reports Physical Science, 1(11), 100240 (17 pages). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.xcrp.2020.100240


Total downloads

Downloads per month in the last year

Origin of downloads


Repository Staff Only

View Item View Item