Fibers from Nature -2 (Spider silk)

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In the corner of my house, I spotted a web. Fixed it on a slide using a cellotape and viewed it through the Foldscope. I was astonished as it revealed the facts about it as a fiber material.

The spotted spider web 

A spiderweb commonly found in all house hold as a dreaded thing can be more than that. Spiders are able to rig a web just about anywhere.

Sparkling in the sunlight, this material has a remarkable strength-to-weight ratio.

  • It is a silky high strength fiber
  • Its tensile strength is comparable to that of steel
  • It is lighter
  • It is highly elastic and can stretch as a rubber band

These traits in combination make it a tough fiber

Fibers of different color and thickness could be seen in the captured images. Also it was noted that some sticky thing is present around the fibers, around which probably the dust is glued. 

A spider generates silk in specialized glands in its abdomen, and creates the silk strands using a spinning organ called a spinneret. Some spiders produce up to seven types of silk, each with its own purpose and attributes.

However, spider silk cannot be farmed in large quantities because spiders are cannibals, and will eat one another in close proximity. So scientists are producing Synthetic spider silk. It could be the biggest technological advancement in clothing. Synthetic spider silk could be used for everything from automobile parts to medical devices to performance outdoor gear, which is the area that’s attracting attention these days.

Aman Arjil

B.Sc 2nd year

GGDSDCollege, Chandigarh

 

 

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