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...In a surprising new application, a Japanese researcher uses thousands of strands of spider silk to weave strings for a violin.
Shigeyoshi Osaki of Nara Medical University in Japan obtained “dragline” silk, the silk from which spiders hang, from 300 female Nephila maculata spiders. He then bundled together 3,000 to 5,000 individual strands of the silk, and twisted three of the bundles together, to create strings.
...The strings make “a soft and profound timbre,” ...
A frequent mistake made in the mainstream media is to confuse strength and toughness when comparing silk to other materials. As shown below in detail, weight for weight, silk is stronger than steel, but not as strong as Kevlar. Silk is, however, tougher than both.
Most silks, in particular dragline silk, have exceptional mechanical properties. They exhibit a unique combination of high tensile strength and extensibility (ductility). This enables a silk fiber to absorb a lot of energy before breaking (toughness, the area under a stress-strain curve).