Regular spider silk (you know, what spider webs are made of) is really amazing stuff. For its size, it’s stronger than anything humans can make. But they can really up their game just by being sprayed with water that has carbon nanotubes and graphene flakes in it. That’s all it took to make the spiders weave super strong silk, stronger than anything else.
These guys have found a way to incorporate carbon nanotubes and graphene into spider silk and increase its strength and toughness beyond anything that has been possible before. The resulting material has properties such as fracture strength, Young’s modulus, and toughness modulus higher than anything ever measured.
The researchers don’t know how the spiders manage to incorporate the nanotubes and graphene into their silk, and there isn’t a good way to harvest the resulting fibers to mass produce materials.