The next Airbus may be made of woven spider silk

The next Airbus may be made of woven spider silk

A company claiming to be the world’s first industrial supplier of synthetic silk biopolymers, AMSilk, has formed a partnership with Airbus. The two companies have entered into a joint cooperation agreement “to develop the new era of composites for use in the aerospace industry”.

In recent years, the aerospace industry has shifted from metal and steel fuselage and wings to carbon fibre composite materials, primarily in an effort to decrease the plane’s weight and save fuel over time. Airbus claims it is the first in the industry to experiment with this new material. It intends to explore how AMSilk’s Biosteel fibre can allow them to approach the design and construction of its planes in an entirely new way.

The new composite material will be built using AMSilk’s Biosteel fibre technology, which enables lightweight construction with multiple shock resistance and flexibility. As demand for air travel continues to increase, the need for larger, more flexible planes that spend less time in the workshop and more time in the sky will continue to grow.

Biosteel fibre is made from a biopolymer based on natural spider silk, a material known for its strength, flexibility and toughness. AMSilk produces Biosteel fibre through a closed-loop biotechnological process that renders the product highly sustainable, with no petroleum inputs.

AMSilk and Airbus are aiming to launch a prototype composite material in 2019.

 

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