In Germany, AMSilk, the world’s first industrial supplier of synthetic silk biopolymers, entered into a joint cooperation agreement to develop new bionic high performance composites for use in the aerospace industry, specifically AMSilk’s Biosteel fiber. Biosteel fiber is made from a biopolymer based on natural spider silk, a material known for its strength, flexibility and toughness. Airbus intends to explore how AMSilk’s Biosteel fiber can allow them to approach the design and construction of their planes in an entirely new way.
Biosteel fiber is identical in molecular composition to spider silk, a material known for its strength, flexibility and lightweight structure. AMSilk produces Biosteel fiber through a closed-loop biotechnological process that renders the product highly sustainable, with no petroleum inputs. AMSilk and Airbus are aiming to launch a prototype composite material in 2019.
In recent years, the aerospace industry has shifted from metal and steel fuselage and wings to carbon fiber composite materials, primarily in an effort to decrease the plane’s weight and save fuel over time.