What is the strongest fiber

The strongest fiber in the world

October 2018

For a long time the silk of the spider was considered to be the strongest material on earth. Then the limpet came and showed it its teeth. As a result, the spider had to step back from its first place: The limpets tooth turned out to be the most solid biomaterial known to date. The researchers compared the strength of the teeth with fibers stuck in bulletproof vests. Scientists have now produced a superlative yarn from cellulose nanofibers. Will the flora trump the wildlife?

The research team led by the Swedish scientist Daniel Söderberg from the Royal Technical University (KTH) Stockholm, together with the research institute RISE Bioeconomy, Stanford University and the University of Michigan, developed a super fiber that is eight times stiffer and 20 percent stronger than spider silk. This basically consists of fibrils, the basis of plants and wood, which are joined together with the help of a particle accelerator. Hyperdynamic focusing is the name of the special technology with which the masterpiece of producing what is probably the strongest fiber in the world to date was achieved.

When comparing fibers, tensile strength and flexural rigidity are decisive values. The new yarn in it surpasses steel, metals and fiberglass, as well as most other synthetic materials. Söderberg sees the strong biomaterial as an environmentally friendly alternative to plastics in cars, furniture and airplanes. An application in the biomedical field is also conceivable, since cellulose is not rejected by the body and thus opens up new application possibilities in prosthetics. Another plus point: The production costs of fabrics made from cellulose nanofibers are competitive with the production costs of synthetic fabrics. A new world record - and exciting prospects for the future.

#Innovation #Yarns #Sustainability #Spider Silk #Stockholm #Sweden

Illustration: DESY / Eberhard Reimann

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