06 Mar '12, 3pm

Iowa State Spiderman Discovers Super Heat Conducting Properties of Spider Silk

Iowa State Spiderman Discovers Super Heat Conducting Properties of Spider Silk

© Golden silk orbweaver photo courtesy of the Xinwei Wang research group/Photo of X. Wang and team in lab by Bob Elbert courtesy of ISU They call him Spiderman since he began coaxing 8 golden silk orbweavers (pictured) to spin webs, and harvesting the different silks within each web for thermal conductivity testing. Xinwei Wang, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Iowa State University, had a hunch about the ability of spider silk to conduct heat . His hunch paid off. Using techniques that require "time and patience," Xinwei Wang and his team have proven that spider silk conducts heat better than even copper, and hundreds of times better than other organic tissues. But that was not the only surprise. Spider Silk Vs. Typical Heat Conductors Two types of materials typically conduct heat well: metals and crystals. Each has its own trick. Metals conduct heat we...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/iowa-state-spi...

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