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Electronics of the future could utilize spider silk in their construction

A team at Iowa State University in the US have discovered that spider silk possesses properties that could see use within the future of electronics. The team have established that spider silk makes for an excellent heat conductor, which could lead to advances in manufacturing down the line.

golden orbweaver

The perplexing substance that is spider silk was shown to conduct heat up to 800 times more effectively than any other organic material. Professor Xinwei Wang, who is heading up the university’s research, used eight golden silk orbweaver spiders to test the notion of heat conductivity through spider silk.

Other organic materials such as woven silkworm silk are 1000 times less heat conducive, whilst purpose manufactured materials such as aluminum, silicone and even pure iron, don’t offer the same level of resistance.

golden orbweaver

The draglines, which would usually anchor the spider’s web in place are particularly efficient and when stretched the conductivity increases by 20%, a nice surprise for scientists, who had expected the inverse to occur over what is technically a smaller cross section.

Keep your eyes peeled for spider-based tech as time goes on.

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