. 24/7 Space News .
Spider silk, wood combination replicates material advantages of plastic
by Brooks Hays
Washington (UPI) Sep 16, 2019

By combining the silk protein from spider web threads with wood cellulose fibers, scientists have created a material featuring strength and extensibility comparable to plastic.

Extensibility is the extent to which a material can be stretched without causing it to tear or break, and until now, scientists have struggled to pair the material property with strength.

To overcome the challenge, scientists turned to two biological ingredients with the target qualities. Cellulose is know for its strength, while the silk threads produced by spiders offer impressive extensibility.

"We used birch tree pulp, broke it down to cellulose nanofibrils and aligned them into a stiff scaffold," Pezhman Mohammadi, researcher at the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, said in a news release. "At the same time, we infiltrated the cellulosic network with a soft and energy dissipating spider silk adhesive matrix."

Mohammadi worked with scientists at Aalto University to produce the bio-based composite material.

Though silk is produced by silk worms and spiders, scientists at Aalto sourced the silk from bacteria augmented with synthetic DNA.

"Because we know the structure of the DNA, we can copy it and use this to manufacture silk protein molecules which are chemically similar to those found in spider web threads," said Markus Linder, a professor at Aalto. "The DNA has all this information contained in it."

The production process yielded a material with high strength and stiffness, as well as increased toughness. Most importantly, this strength is not compromised when the material is stretched.

Researchers described their new material in the journal Science Advances. The material's qualities are similar to those of plastic, but because it is biodegradable, the new material is more eco-friendly.

"Our work illustrates the new and versatile possibilities of protein engineering. In future, we could manufacture similar composites with slightly different building blocks and achieve a different set of characteristics for other applications," Pezhman said. "Currently we are working on making new composite materials as implants, impact resistance objects and other products."

Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

Bolivia, with huge untapped reserves, gears up for soaring lithium demand
Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia (AFP) Sept 15, 2019
Over 3,600 meters above sea level on the blinding white plain of the world's largest salt flat, landlocked Bolivia is dramatically ramping up production of lithium to cope with soaring global demand for the prized electric-battery metal. Bolivia, among the poorest countries in South America, sits on one of the world's largest lithium reserves, at the Salar de Uyuni - or Uyuni Salt Flats - ready to take full advantage in the coming age of the electric car. But while it sits at the apex of South ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Malaysia Interested in Having Access to Russian Space Tech, Prime Minister Says

JAXA spacecraft carries science, technology to the Space Station

Voice-command ovens, robots for pets on show at Berlin's IFA tech fair

Israeli high-tech looks to future -- whoever wins vote

Engine Section for NASA's SLS Rocket Moved for Final Integration

New salt-based propellant proven compatible in dual-mode rocket engines

NASA prepares for green run testing, practices lifting SLS Core Stage

Putin reveals he offered to sell Trump Russia's hypersonic missiles

NASA Research Gives New Insight into How Much Atmosphere Mars Lost

'Martian CSI' Sheds Light on How Asteroid Impacts Generated Running Water Under Red Planet

NASA engineers attach Mars Helicopter to Mars 2020 rover

ESA Chief says discussed ExoMars 2020 launch with Roscosmos

China's KZ-1A rocket launches two satellites

China's newly launched communication satellite suffers abnormality

China launches first private rocket capable of carrying satellites

Chinese scientists say goodbye to Tiangong-2

Private Chinese firms tapping international space market

Iridium and Thales Expand Partnership to Deliver Aircraft Connectivity Services

ESA re-routes satellite to avoid SpaceX collision risk

Cutting-edge Chinese satellite malfunctions after launch

Bolivia, with huge untapped reserves, gears up for soaring lithium demand

Shaken but not stirred: Konnect satellite completes vibration tests

China data centres set to consume more power than Australia: report

China's Tianhe-2 Supercomputer to Crunch Space Data From New Radio Telescope

Potassium Detected in an Exoplanet Atmosphere

Planetary collisions can drop the internal pressures in planets

Deep-sea sediments reveal solar system chaos: An advance in dating geologic archives

Exoplanets Can't Hide Their Secrets from Innovative New Instrument

Storms on Jupiter are disturbing the planet's colorful belts

ALMA shows what's inside Jupiter's storms

Young Jupiter was smacked head-on by massive newborn planet

Mission to Jupiter's icy moon confirmed

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.