Long before Spider-Man arrived, spidersspiders and their complex webs already fascinated men. The result of 400 million years of evolution, spider silk is considered the Holy Grail in mattermatter of fiber performance.
Five times stronger thansteelsteel and three times more than the KevlarKevlar – and materialmaterial made of oiloil used to make bulletproof vests – spider silk is one of the strongest materials on terreterre, which can be made into fiber. Researchers estimate that this fiber can support a weight of more than 45 tons per cm²! All while maintaining breathtaking flexibility and lightness.
A spider’s web consists of threads of silk that the arachnid generates from special glands. This silk has both strength and exceptional elasticity. Unisciel and the University of Lille 1 explain to us, with the Kézako series, the secrets of cobwebs. © Unisciel
Unfortunately, over the course of history, and despite ceaseless efforts, various unsuccessful attempts have led to a clear conclusion: the breeding of spiders turns out to be a business that is far too delicate and too unprofitable. While these predators have the annoying tendency to devour each other to protect their territory, how to produce spider silk in industrial quantities?
The solution may well come from the production of synthetic silk and advances in transgenesistransgenesis. Thanks to goats, silkwormssilkworms or even to bacteriabacteria in which the embarrassedembarrassed coding for the production of spider silk, we can now hope to finally obtain the coveted thread.
The US military has already announced that it has launched a life-size test on a bulletproof vest. The Dragon Silk – understand Soie de Dragon – is made of threads of spider silk. Threads produced by genetically modified silkworms.