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

Courtesy: Nine West

Fashion | On 17th Jun 2018

ABG wins bid in Nine West Holdings auction

Authentic Brands Group (ABG), owner of a global portfolio of...

Courtesy: Kreussler

Textiles | On 17th Jun 2018

USDA certifies Kreussler's solvent as biobased

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has certified Kreussler's...

Courtesy: ITUC

Textiles | On 17th Jun 2018

Democratic space shrink & corporate greed are rising: ITUC

Shrinking democratic space for working people and unchecked corporate ...

Interviews View All

Giovanni Pizzamiglio, Paolo Crespi & Riccardo Robustelli
Epson, For.Tex & F.lli Robustelli

‘The percentage share of printing in the global textile market is pretty...

Sachin Sharma
Gem Enviro Management Pvt Ltd

There are no significant differences between virgin yarn and PET recycled...

Smarth Bansal
Colorjet India Limited

We would like to venture more companies into the Indian market

Erik Sy

Manila-based CustomThread is a start-up offering premium custom apparel...

Tejas N Patel, Navin D Patel

Founded in 1999 by Navin Patel in the name of Tejas Fabrics with 100...

C Dhandayuthapani

MAG Solvics Private Limited was established in 1991 to design and develop...

Mark Paterson
Technical Absorbents Ltd

Mark Paterson, R&D manager of Technical Absorbents Ltd talks about Super...

Paolo Ocleppo
Sandvik Hyperion

Paolo Ocleppo, Rotary Cutting Segment manager, Sandvik Hyperion discusses...

Suresh Patel
Sidwin Fabric

Sidwin Fabric is a manufacturer and exporter of polypropylene textiles and ...

Amiben Shroff
Shrujan

From its modest beginning in the late 1960s, Shrujan has grown into a...

Priya Somaiya
Usha Social Services

The Usha Silai label from Usha International is all set for a retail...

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

Leave your Comments


June 2018

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

news category


Related Categories:

Advanced Search