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2010 News in Brief



Spider silk’s properties rely on hierarchical arrangements at different scales

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Spider silk, an amazingly strong and resilient natural material built out of weak components, has many properties that cannot yet be duplicated in man-made materials. Professor Markus Buehler and his research team have found that this strength develops from the arrangement of small pieces in the essential structure into larger patterns in different ways at different scales. By using cleverly designed structures, Buehler suggests that engineers could produce materials with almost any kind of desired properties, even using a very limited set of inferior components. Read a news story.