The silk fibres has very good strength due to presence of many hydrogen bonds to be formed in a more regular pattern. When it comes into contact of water( wetting conditions) , it gets weakened due to hydrolization of a large numbers of hydrogen bonds present in it by water molecules. Tenacity of silk fibre ranges between 3 to 6 grams/ denier.
Silk is considered to be more plastic than elastic fibre. If the silk material is stretched excessively, the silk polymers will slide past each other. This happens due to Betaconfiguration present in the silk polymers. A large number of hydrogen bonds get ruptured due to application of stretching force. Thus the silk behaves like a more plastic nature than elastic.
The silk fibres have slightly stiffness in feel due very crystalline polymer. Surface of the silk feels smooth.
The specific gravity of silk is 1.25( degummed silk) It is lighter than cotton.
The chemical properties of silk fibre are given below:
Effect of alkalis:
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