In addition to spider silk’s potential anti-ballistic qualities, spider silk’s amazing properties could make it the basis of many market disrupting technologies in industrial, military and consumer applications, requiring superior strength, toughness and flexibility.
The Advantages of Spider Silk
• Unequaled combination of elasticity and tensile strength represents technological paradigm shift.
• Genetically engineered spider silk fibers have uses in various applications and markets
• Biodegradable and biocompatible.
• Spider silk production could greatly reduce many of the conventional petroleum based fiber and polymer production process.
High performance technical fibers are currently used in a wide variety of military, industrial, and consumer applications requiring superior strength, toughness and flexibility.
Spider Silk Strength: Stronger Than Steel
Kraig envisions that genetically engineered spider silk, with its superior mechanical characteristics, will surpass the current generation of high-performance fiber. We believe that spider silk is in, some ways, so superior to the materials currently available in the marketplace, that an expansion of demand and market opportunities will follow spider silk’s commercial introduction. For example, the ability of natural spider silk to absorb in excess of 100,000 joules of kinetic energy makes it a potentially ideal material for structural blast protection. The table below illustrates spider silk’s incredible toughness and strength to weight ratios.
Comparison of the Properties of Natural Spider Silk, Kevlar® and Steel
|Material Toughness¹||Tensile Strength²||Weight³|
|Dragline spider silk||120,000-160,000||1,100-2,900||1.18-1.36|
The Market for Spider Silk
Spider silk has the potential to revolutionize the multi-billion dollar silk industry. The market for raw silk alone is in excess of $5 billion per year. Traditional silk is primarily used to create high quality clothing, however, it does not have many industrial uses. In contrast, the strength and performance that spider silk possesses allows it to be used in multiple industries for various uses other than just clothing. In the medical industry, spider silk could be used as extremely thin sutures for eye or nerve surgery. Spider silk also has the potential to replace Kevlar in body armor. Just one of these markets, technical textiles, which prioritize material performance, generates in excess of $120 billion in annual sales. With Kraig Labs recombinant spider silk technology we have the ability to access this wide range of potential markets.
SPIDER SILK, and RELATED TOPICS, NEWS and VIDEO LINKS
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TOXINS INFO LINKS
BIODEGRADABLE and BIOCOMPATIBLE INFO LINKS
¹Measured by the energy required to break a continuous filament, expressed in joules per kilogram (J/kg). A .357 caliber bullet has approximately 925 joules of kinetic energy at impact.
²Tensile strength refers to the greatest longitudinal stress the spider silk can bear, measured by force over area in units of newtons per square meter. The measurement here is in millions of pascals.
³In grams per cubic centimeter of material.