Material Spider silk
Spider silk is a biopolymer fibre. Its composition is a mix of an amorphous polymer (which makes the fibre elastic), and the two simplest proteins (which give it toughness). The result is a good combination of strength and thoughness.

It is five times as strong as steel, twice as elastic as polyamide fibres (it can be stretched by 31% without breaking), more elastic than aramid fibre, finer than a human hair, and lighter than cotton.

Spider silk has been used ever since. Promises are: bulletproof vests, parachute cords, bridge suspension cables, wear-resistant shoes and clothing, seat belts, rustfree bumpers for automobiles, artificial tendons and ligaments, etc..
Danish Name Edderkoppesilke
Category Fibres, Biopolymers
Products Targeting sight
Processes Spider spinning
Cloned bacteria spinning
Similar materials Polyamide fibres (nylon)
Aramid fibres (kevlar)
References University of Aarhus
Cornell Biotechnology Center
Artificial spider silk
Environmen- tal notes Creation: Spider silk is produced either by spider or (in the future) by bacteria or plants, therefore in an environment-friendly way.

Use: It is an environment-friendly biopolymer.

Disposal: Easy to recycle.

Additional Info The thread of the garden spider (Araneus) would have to be 80 km long before it would snap under its own weight.
When synthesis of spider silk in bacteria or plants becomes efficent, spider silk will have a commercial relevance.
Photo Thomas Nissen (Computer graphics)
Copyright © 1996-2019 Torben Lenau
This page is part of Design inSite