Monday, May 27, 2013

No. 720: Mass production of fibers made of artificial gossamer starts within the year (May 27, 2013)

Spiber, a venture company originating from Keio University, established a technology to synthesize gossamer artificially to produce fibers, and it will start mass production in alliance with Kojima Industries that is a Toyota’s associated company. The two companies plan to establish a system to produce 100 kg artificial gossamer per month within 2013. Gossamer is regarded as the next-generation material because it is rather strong and excellent in expansion and contraction. It has rather bright future as a material for auto parts and medical parts. The annual production capacity is scheduled to expand from 1.2 tons to 10 tons toward 2015.

Spiber’s artificial gossamer is made of special protein that comes from microorganism. It has the same substances and characteristics as gossamer. However, the researchers reviewed the molecular arrangement to facilitate the combination with other materials. In addition, they increased the cultural efficiency of the microorganism by gene manipulation. Based on these innovations, they established a mass production technology of this gossamer. Spiber’s product is stronger than steel and has higher degree of expansion and contraction than nylon. Reducing the production cost by the mass production technology will open up the road to a wide range of applications including auto parts and artificial vessels.   

 Artificial gossamer developed by a venture
company originating from Keio University

A dress made of the artificial gossamer

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