Natural spider silk is the strongest natural protein fiber known in nature, with strength 5-10 times that of steel of the same mass. However, due to the extreme difficulty of obtaining large quantities of thread from natural spiders, actual products related to spider silk are seldom available on the market today. Lin’s team used sodium dodecyl sulfate and sodium carbonate to dissolve the adhesive layer on the surface of the raw silk. The rubbery removal rate of the raw silk was about 28%, and the resulting regenerated silk protein had a high molecular weight, which guaranteed the mechanical performance of the regenerated silk protein to a certain extent. The researchers extruded the concentrated regenerated silk protein from microtubules like toothpaste during an artificial spinning process. The extruded protein coagulated rapidly in a solution containing zinc and iron ions to form long, thin fibers. Further appropriate treatment resulted in natural fibers that were similar in diameter to spider silk but far superior in strength and hardness. The tensile strength of this artificial raw silk exceeded the average strength of spider silk by more than 70%, far exceeding that of natural silk known to date, making it a highly promising “ultra-high-strength artificial raw silk.
A team at Tianjin University led by Professor Lin Zhi has developed a new method for producing ultra-high-strength artificial raw silk, successfully transforming inexpensive ordinary raw silk into ultra-high-strength artificial raw silk.
Chemically treated silkworm silk exceeds spider’s silk strength 70fold