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    1. Soundproof Materials Have Had Design Advice from Spiders

      There is no doubt that there is an increased interest in choosing tensile architecture as a credible alternative to traditional methods. Now there is an exciting new development in the exploration of sound-proof materials that will have a positive bearing on the evolution of tensile architecture.

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      Inspiration from the Web

      A combined team of researchers from Italy, France and the UK has been inspired by the intriguing web of the golden silk orb-weaver, or Nephila, spider. As a result, they have designed an acoustic meta-material – a material of repeating structures – that will have a positive impact on the design of tensile and other structures.

      The researchers concluded that the natural architecture of the spider’s web had acoustic properties that allow low-frequency sound to be absorbed. In addition to the circumferential nature of the web and its low weight, the natural flexibility of spider’s silk can reduce and absorb the more destructive features of sound.

      Who knows maybe this will be used in the structure of windows in the future all though if you get a Double Glazing Evesham company in to install your double thickness windows from a company like firmfix then we won’t need spiders webs.

      esearchers then designed a repeating pattern of squares containing an imitation of the spider’s web design. Unlike conventional acoustic materials, the new meta-material is determined by five parameters. This ensures a higher individual response to sound and therefore makes it more effective. These parameters can be independently tweaked to create a great number of designs, each with its different response to sound.

      The band gap describes the frequency at which sound can be absorbed. Scientists confirmed that as with the concentric structure of a web, the meta-material could have wider band gaps, allowing for a more effective absorption of sound.

      Architectural Implications

      The repeated-pattern design of this material and unique qualities of the silk offer versatile potential to architects.

      The meta-material can be applied to the construction of suspension bridges or tensile structures to minimise earthquake damage. The ability to reduce the effect of vibrations should not be underestimated. The acoustic impact of being next to roads and railways can also be mitigated.

      Researchers are committed to moving forward, however, in their studies. There may be anomalies within each spider’s web based upon acoustic impact alone.

      The spider’s web is beautiful, designed to house and entrap, but it potentially offers an exciting future for architectural design.