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Materials: Spider Silk

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Summary

An exploration into the properties of silk, a super material found in nature which has presented scientists with a real challenge to synthesize.

For decades, chemists, geneticists, and bio-engineers have been trying to produce synthetic spider silk. If and when they do, the plastics industry will be radically transformed.

Spider silk is environmentally friendly, it's produced at room temperatures and is biodegradable.

It's up to five times stronger than steel, as strong as kevlar used for bullet proof vests, and is very flexible.

Scientists in the UK, Germany, and the USA all claim to be close to a breakthrough in creating Spider look.

In the past, spider silk has been used for the cross hairs of weapon sights. In the future, artificial spider silk may even be used for the building of a suspension bridge.

Published : Jul 2010

15 mins

Series

Inside Science

Roles

Secondary Pupil

Subjects

Secondary Science

Chemistry

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