Researchers say a new type of spider silk could be used to create nets capable of catching falling aircraft. Orb-weaver spider silk, which is one of the toughest materials found in nature, could be made up to 3.5 times stronger using a new technique.
A research team from the University of Trento in Italy sprayed 15 of the spiders with carbon nanotube and graphene solutions. It caused some of the spiders to spin silk up to 3.5 times stronger than the web typically spun by the species. The team of researchers hope the discovery could be used to create a large-scale hybrid silk production process. The resulting material could be used to create a giant stretchable net to catch falling aircraft, the team says.