Large amplitude free vibrations of spider web structures

Sakdirat Kaewunruen, Tianyu Yang, Simiao Xu

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Most research into natural spider web structures have considered only the small deformation theory based on small amplitude analysis. In reality, spider web structures, which are slender by nature, are more prone to large-amplitude load effects. This paper firstly presents a numerical study into large amplitude free vibrations of spider web structures. Highly coupled geometry and material nonlinearities have been formulated to establish the finite element models of spider web structures. Validation of the model has been carried out using previous research studies into spider web vibrations. Excellent agreement has been obtained for linear and nonlinear perturbation results. The validated FEM has been further extended to investigate the large amplitude effect on natural frequencies and corresponding mode shapes of highly-slender spider webs. Interestingly, this is the world first to report the dynamic softening and hardening phenomenon in the slender spider web structures. The insight into nonlinear dynamics of slender thin membrane skeleton structures can be used not only for better understanding the nature, but also for improving functionalities of defence technology using ultra-thin plates and shells.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 29th Nordic Seminar on Computational Mechanics – NSCM29
EditorsRagnar Larsson
Place of PublicationGothenburg
PublisherNordic Association for Computational Mechanics
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2016
EventThe 29th Nordic Seminar on Computational Mechanics - Chalmers, Gothenburg, Sweden , Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 26 Oct 201628 Oct 2016

Publication series

NameForskningsrapporter (Tillämpad mekanik)


ConferenceThe 29th Nordic Seminar on Computational Mechanics
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Kaewunruen, S., Yang, T. and Xu, S., (2016), Large amplitude free vibrations of spider web structures, Proceedings of The 29th Nordic Seminar on Computational Mechanics, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden, 28-30 October 2016.

[Research Award 2016 by Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) Midlands].


  • Large amplitude
  • free vibrations
  • nonlinear dynamics
  • spider web
  • membrane structures
  • biomechanics


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