The Elusive Potential of Spider Silk.docx

The Elusive Potential of Spider Silk.docx - Del Rio 1 Tess...

This preview shows 1 out of 2 pages.

Del Rio 1     Tess Del Rio Sue Murphy Applied Textiles and Design 12 December 2016 The Elusive Potential of Spider Silk Stronger than kevlar, yet at the same time lighter and more elastic than cotton- spider silk has been discovered for human application due to its incredibly impressive natural properties. It can be used in everything from stitches to rocket ships. This filament’s power is derived from a special strength protein inside its long, smooth, lean, fibers - so strong that a rope the thickness of a finger should be able to stop a Boeing 747. It’s anti-microbial and not rejected by the human body, so the material can be also used for products such as artificial tendons and safety coatings on implants. Aerospace, military, and automobile industries have taken a strong interest in the fil- ament as well, aspiring to make stronger bulletproof vests and cables. The discovery of this fiber and its applications for the modern world have started one of the biggest textile revolutions of this century, and will have an unmistakeable influence on future generations of engineers, de- signers, doctors, and manufacturers. This innovation may sound too good to be true, and to a certain extent it is. Due to the time it takes spiders to produce the filament and the almost microscopic yield that the time allots, real spider silk is an enormous task to farm. As stated in the article The Silky, Milky Spider Goat, “To produce a rare, 11×4 piece of textile from golden orb silk, it required one million spiders, 70 workers, and four consecutive years of silk collection” (Hirsch). To add fuel to the fire, these spi- ders are unfortunately cannibals, so they cannot be farmed in housed quarters or within close proximity; And with that, the race to harness a working synthetic alternate begins.
Image of page 1

Subscribe to view the full document.

Image of page 2
You've reached the end of this preview.
  • Spring '14
  • CheriL.Lawell
  • spider silk, Bolt Threads

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern