What Makes Spider Silk Tougher Than Steel?

Some people say that spider silk is stronger than steel, but is that true? What makes spider webs so tough?

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Snuggle Up In This Synthetic Spider Silk Coat
“Spider silk is so lightweight and strong that it’s been used to make bulletproof vests and artificial muscles. Now a Japanese company has successfully created artificial spider silk from proteins.”

Stronger than steel: Scientists begin to unlock the secrets of spider silk
“Scientists at MIT have got one step closer to harnessing the power of spider silk by using 3D printing to analyse its structure.By combining both virtual and physical techniques, the researchers were able to model webs of differing designs and thread thickness, based on the orb-web spider, to uncover the effects on strength and stability.”

Spider silk’s flexibility makes webs super-strong
“A computer model demonstrates how a single thread in the web takes the strain of an impact. A spider web’s ability to adapt to different levels of stress is the key to its remarkable stability, say scientists.”

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