An innovative process for spiders to spin unparalleled mega-strong silk up to 3.5 times tougher than ordinary silk is produced by the giant riverine orb spider and has been discovered by Scientists. It’s silk is so resilient it is able to “catch a falling plane,” Wired says.
And the secret is, spraying the spiders with atom-thick graphene and carbon nanotubes.
University of Trento at Italy researchers, combined one of the strongest artificial materials, graphene with one of the strongest natural materials, spider silk. They found out by spraying spiders with a solution containing 300-nanometer-wide graphene particles, the solution absorbed the graphene into the silk.
But this entire process on how it tool is really still a mystery. But some have hypothesized that the graphene and nanotubes coated the outer strands of the silk, while others construe that the particles were absorbed by the spider and was then fused into the silk they created.
But the graphene infusion theory, for instance, was not successful in every spider. Some spiders were able to accomplish and spun a lower-grade silk, while four spiders died before any silk production. Researchers are planning to investigate further in the future experiments to come.
For the time being, the experiment has indeed woven a larger web. The approach could be experimented to extend to other animals and plants alike, which may eventually lead to a new type of bionic materials with the intention of creating the ultimate applications.