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Spiders produce Kevlar-tough webs after being fed carbon nanotubes

May 7th, 2015 at 10:15 PM
Spider Webs Carbon Nanotubes Experiment

This is something that’s either incredibly cool or incredibly scary depending on how you feel about spiders. Technology Review brings us word that materials scientist Emiliano Lepore at the University of Trento in Italy has discovered a way to spray spiders with water that contains carbon nanotubes and graphene flakes that will give them the power to spin silk that matches “the toughness of state-of-the-art carbon fibers such as Kevlar.” Apparently, the spiders actually swallow and ingest the nanotubes before being able to create this super silk.

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What applications could this sort of experiment possibly have besides giving spiders the ability to trap us inside Kevlar-tough webs and feast on our innards?

Well this sort of material could be an incredibly valuable manufacturing component since its fibers are both incredibly thin and durable. On the other hand, Technology Review also points out that spider silk is difficult to harvest and we imagine this is particularly true of graphene-infused spider silk.

Read more about the details of this wild experiment by clicking here.

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