Thanks to the latest technological developments, silkworms are now able to produce a strong silk much better than what we have seen until recently.
A team of Chinese researchers has come up with a revolutionary strategy to enhance the silk properties. Therefore, by feeding silkworms with graphene and carbon nanotubes, they obtained fantastic results as the tiny creatures produced a different type of silk thread which proved to be more resistant, conductive, and long-lasting.
After such a breakthrough, we can safely assume that silk will be used not just in clothing, but also in the medical and technological field.
The team of scientists from Tsinghua University underlined this diet change has stimulated silkworms to strengthen their threads. Based on the statistics, this new type of silk is able to endure 50 percent additional stress until it breaks compared to normal threads.
Also, by exposing these threads to higher temperatures, researchers discovered that they are capable of conducting electric currents.
Surprisingly, although the team pulled off such an extraordinary experiment, they are still puzzled by how the nanomaterials enhance the silk during digestion, so they still have a mystery to decipher.
According to team leader Yingying Zhang, these threads can be used to develop implants in the medical field and they also serve as sensors.
Better still, he added that ‘The successful generation of these [silks] by…feeding is expected to open up possibilities for the large-scale production of high-strength silk fibers.’
As previously mentioned, the primary ingredient of silkworms’ super-diet is graphene, which consists of a carbon atom layer blended in a hexagonal web which is expected to change the face of quantum physics while also leading to a staggering technological improvement in the display, sensor, and semiconductor technology.
These threads have another purpose as well because engineers are already planning to use them in aircraft manufacturing. It means the future airplanes will not just be safer but also better than anything that has been built until now.
After several tests, the team has come to the conclusion that this super-silk is 200 times more potent than structural steel.
Researchers will double their efforts to enhance the silkworms thread even further and discover other ways to make it useful in the technological field.
Image Source: Angro Inform