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Silkworms Inspire Smart Materials

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the who-made-your-helmet? dept.

Biotech 10

nachiketas writes "Oxford University researchers David Porter and Fujia Chen examine the structure of silkworm cocoons, which are extremely light and tough, with properties that could inspire advanced materials for use in protective helmets and light-weight armour. 'Silkworm cocoons have evolved a remarkable range of optimal structures and properties to protect moth pupae from many different natural threats,' Porter and Chen said in their paper. These structures are lightweight, strong and porous and therefore 'ideal for the development of bio-inspired composite materials.' Their research could lead to lightweight armour that dissipates rather than deflects the particular components of a blast that do the most damage to the human body — much like crumple zones in modern cars or sound-absorbing sonar tiles that make submarines harder to detect."

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10 comments

Nature Could Be Useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39874437)

Very cool.

Jane Russell inspires structural engineering. (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39874603)

Inspiration is where you look for it.

whew! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39874761)

First they inspire a Chinese missile, now this?!? Is there NOTHING silkworms cannot do?

I hope this means: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39874971)

I hope this means that it's made of two parts, HELI and TANK, and they have to work together.

Re:I hope this means: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39875087)

JEEP.

Yeah, I meant jeep. It was a trick question. Statement.

Silk uniforms? (3, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39875361)

With blast absorbing crumple zones. Can't wait to see those on the battlefield/runway.

Re:Silk uniforms? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39905929)

Silk was replaced by nylon nearly a century ago.

They're also good stir fried (1)

shugah (881805) | more than 2 years ago | (#39875665)

n/t

Graphene? (1)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39876213)

Something tells me graphene is substantially closer to primetime for the suggested use cases (10-20 years off I suppose). Outside that I could maybe see the patterns being used by an exotic loom for existing kevlar or similar.

oh, it's this thread again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39878385)

...Yet somehow I'm used to it.

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