This violin contains three 35cm long spider silk strands produced by the Australian Golder Orb weaver spider.
Its spider silk is 5 time stronger that stell and in them mean extremely elastic.
The result from an acoustic point of view it has been defined a "miracle" by some important luthiers and world famous musicians.
Silk & Carbon Fibre Bass Amp
I replaced the material (chipboard) of this commercial bass amplifier with my silk and carbon fibre based composite material.
I used different woven techniques, different layers, different fibres directions in different position enhancing or dumping the vibrations when was needed.
After some modal test comparative analysis made in the James Dyson School of Egnineering (Imperial college), my prototype was covering an higher range of harmonics than the original one being alo 2.5 lighter.
BIOMATERIALS & ACOUSTICS
This project started in January 2016 as my graduation project and now is becoming my start-up.
More that 50 documented experiments have been conducted.
This is the inner structure of a CARBON FIBRE strand.
We have fibres that are engineered to have the same characteristics.
In this way we can fully control the characteristics of the “inner micro-fibres” having the control of the material acoustic properties.
There are also natural materials with a regular fibrous structure.
These fibres can be mixed together and woven in cloths.
This option gives us the chance to fully control the inner structures
of our material.
In this way we can control the characteristics of the “inner fibres”
controlling the acoustic properties of a material.
These words were pronounced by a well-known luthier from Cremona (IT), where the violin calls home. He was hearing the sound of the first prototype violin made out of silk.
This is the result of an experimental project regarding the applications of Biomaterials in the field of Acoustics. The outcome of this research is a silk based composite material that could potentially disrupt the use of carbon fibre in the field of acoustics, representing a more performing natural replacement and it opens up the incredibly interesting possibility of acoustically customise a material and the object that is made out if it.. As a proof of concept, two prototype violins have been realised using silk and spider silk and a bass amplifier has been created mixing silk and carbon fibre giving interesting acoustic performances.
Spider silk that has been kindly donated to me from Oxford University and Oxford Silk Group that span-out three 35 cm long (as the body of the violin) strands from an Australian spider called Golden Orb Weaver.
Quoting one of the artisans that collaborated on this project:
“Overall I'd never ever thought it would be possible to achieve such a good sounding instrument with only two attempts in such a short period of time. (…) In my opinion this material has a huge potential...”.
In a medium-term perspective, It will be extremely interesting to explore and engineer specific fibres mixes, positions and woven techniques in order to customize the acoustic properties of a product. The application of this material should include speakers, amplifiers, headphones, highly sophisticated sounding ambients or objects, etc.
This is just the beginning of the implementation of this composite material which can potentially revolutionise the acoustics related industry.
The violins have been showcased to Peter Sheppard Skaerved, a Grammy nominated violinist and Viotti Lecturer at the Royal Academy of Music in London, who has endorsed the instrument.
Peter Sheppard Skaerved became an enthusiastic of this project deciding to write a quote for it: “I have been working with great violinists my entire career and I have been in discussions with makers and players about the limited capabilities of other manmade materials such as carbon fibre. These have not seemed to offer the organic subtleties of wood. My encounter with the prototype instrument developed by Luca has filled me with excitement. This approach offers a tremendous opportunity to move forward instrument making, using new materials in a way I have long hoped.”
This project joined/will join the following exhibitions in 2016: