Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / Utah Univ to make synthetic spider silk for US army
Utah Univ to make synthetic spider silk for US army
06
Jan '16
The US Army has recently contracted with Utah State University to begin creating synthetic spider silk.

The University has announced that it has been awarded a $1 million Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research contract to team with a Salt Lake City company - Technology Holdings LLC to provide spider silk for the U.S. Army.

The contract, which is managed by the Army Research Office, will call for Utah State and Technology Holding LLC to provide the Army with multiple lengths of fiber made from synthetic spider silk while testing and analyzing the manufacturing process.

Dr. Randy Lewis, Utah Science Technology and Research professor of biology at Utah State University is in charge of the programme.

Lewis said spider silk is one of the strongest, yet most elastic materials known to man and has “almost infinite applications ... in the defense industry.”

“(But) the challenge has always been developing ways in which to produce synthetic spider silk in quantities sufficient enough for mass manufacturing,” Lewis said in a press release.

Lewis uses transgenic goats, E.coli bacteria, transgenic alfalfa and silk worms to produce the spider silk proteins that are used to create spider silk. In February, USU opened a facility geared toward producing the material in commercial quantities.

Lewis said momentum at the facility, which is called the USU Synthetic Bioproducts Center, precipitated the Army contract.

“(The center) has been making great strides in developing processes and technologies to more efficiently produce and process synthetic spider silk,” he said.

Lewis has researched the potential use of spider silk in several areas, including ligament and tendon repair, advanced coating, high-tech clothing, parachutes, bioadhesives, time release coatings and airbags.

“The silk that most people are interested in is called dragline. It makes the framework of the web and the radii. It has the tensile strength about the same as Kevlar, one of the strongest man-made materials,” Lewis said. “But … Kevlar doesn't stretch at all. The dragline itself will stretch 20-30 per cent. As a result, it absorbs much more energy than Kevlar.”

“In particular, the funding we have gotten from the army for the next two years is to try to develop, in essence, a material that will replace nylon,” Lewis said. “The major reason for that is they're looking for something that won't melt when it gets hot.”

Nylon melts when it reaches high temperatures, often causing burn injuries on soldiers, even when an explosion does not directly impact the soldier, Lewis said. Spider silk, however, breaks down and becomes charred when it gets hot. Uniforms made of silk would not melt onto the skin of soldiers in those circumstances. (SH)

 

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India


Must ReadView All

Apparel/Garments | On 22nd Sep 2017

Govt announces new duty drawback rates for garments

The Government of India has today announced the new duty drawback...

Courtesy: ITMA

Textiles | On 22nd Sep 2017

ITMA 2019 to focus on smart garment technologies

ITMA 2019, the world's largest textile and garment technology...

Apparel/Garments | On 22nd Sep 2017

New US FTC rule for RN used on textile product labels

The US Federal Trade Commission recently streamlined requirements...

Interviews View All

Divyesh Mashruwala
Akshar Industries

Surat dominates foiling, embossing and pleating

Mohammad Mamun Ar Rashid
UL VS Bangladesh Ltd

Productivity, creativity and innovation play a vital role in the growth of ...

Amardeep Singh
Orient Craft

'In export markets, the trend in terms of embroidery, is towards matte...

Mohammad Hassan
Biax Fiberfilm

About one in every 20 patients picks up an infection while hospitalised....

Eric Scholler
Groz-Beckert

The Indian market has huge potential in technical textiles, and by far,...

Silke Brand-Kirsch
Schlegel und Partner

Silke Brand-Kirsch, executive partner of Schlegel und Partner, a leading...

Mike Hoffman
Gildan Activewear SRL

Gildan Activewear, a manufacturer and marketer of branded clothing and...

Sidharth Sinha
Sidharth Sinha

<b>Sidharth Sinha</b> has contributed to the successful rebirth and...

Jay Ramrakhiani
Occasions Elegance Wear

It is believed that by early 19th century, Varanasi weavers had moved away ...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

September 2017

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

news category


Related Categories:

Planning to Take the Leap towards
Sustainability?

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes No

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes
74.5%
No
12.8%
Skip
12.8%

Total Votes: 47

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes
61.7%
No
25.5%
Skip
12.8%

Total Votes: 47

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes
87.2%
No
6.4%
Skip
6.4%

Total Votes: 47

Thanks for your valuable feedback. Claim your free latest sustainability e-book.

Active Poll

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes
70.2%
No
10.6%
Skip
19.1%

Total Votes: 47


E-News Insight
Subscribe Today and Get the
Latest News Update in Your Mail Box.
Advanced Search