What gives the tunica strength is its fibers. The tunica has an inner layer composed of circumferential fibers and an outer layer composed of longitudinal fibers. The circumferential layer resists girthwise stretching whereas the longitudinal layer resists lengthwise stretching. Without the fibers reinforcing the material, the tunica would be quite weak (I think).
Collagen fibers have a greater tensile strength than steel. I don’t know, however, whether that means that the tunica, as a whole, is stronger than steel. In other words, the overall assembly of fibers in the tunica may be weaker than the individual fibers from which it is formed. Cross-linkages hold the fibers together. The strength of the cross-linkages thus determines the strength of the overall structure.
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