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Author Topic: Can we create artificial spider silk?  (Read 2333 times)

Andrew Askew

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Can we create artificial spider silk?
« on: 29/09/2009 09:30:03 »
Andrew Askew  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hi Chris & Team,
 
I have been lead to believe that spiders web is far, far stronger than steel.

Can mankind create this synthetically?
 
Regards,
 
Andrew Askew.

What do you think?


 

Offline Tintin_Triton

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Can we create artificial spider silk?
« Reply #1 on: 29/09/2009 09:59:34 »
I guess they can, I mean the research scientists in the Labs.

Here read for yourself!
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/01/0117_020117TVspidermammals.html [nofollow]
 

Offline Tintin_Triton

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Can we create artificial spider silk?
« Reply #2 on: 29/09/2009 10:00:34 »
Oh and it is a post long ago, so probably they might have developed long lasting threads. But mass production is , I believe , still not a reality!
 

Offline graham.d

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Can we create artificial spider silk?
« Reply #3 on: 30/09/2009 09:58:37 »
I may be out of date now, but quartz fibre took over from spider web many years ago in some applications, although it may be that there are some properties that still make the web material better.  When I first started work, I joined Rank Precision Industries (formerly Hilger and Watts) who made (amongst other things) precision optical instruments. I was told about one of the former senior persons at the company developed the use of webs for use as crosshairs in eyepieces. The spider was a specific South American type and these were kept for their web material to be harvested when needed. The technique was to put the spider on a cylindrical frame and then nudge it off. Said spider would then form a web and hang on to the cylinder. The cylinder was then rotated to collect the web and the spider encouraged to spin more by shaking the cylinder, and then collecting more web. They had to import particular materials from S America to support the spider's habitat. In the company they came to be known as Twyman's spiders after the guy who discovered their use and set up the scheme.

The spiders were made redundant sometime in the 1960's and replaced by quartz fibre.
 

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Can we create artificial spider silk?
« Reply #3 on: 30/09/2009 09:58:37 »

 

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