Silk, that luxurious material spun by insects and arachnids, is one of the most important natural fibers on Earth due to its high tensile strength, smooth texture, and insulating properties.
Now, scientists have discovered another silk superpower—the ability to withstand the cold temperatures of outer space.
This property, called cryogenic toughness, is rare in complex polymer materials like silk. When these materials are exposed to frigid temperatures approaching -200°C (-328°F), they typically become cracked and brittle. But some silks actually became stronger and more stretchable in the cold, according to a study published on Thursday in the journal Materials Chemistry Frontiers.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.