Kraig Biocraft Laboratories Inc. is a biotechnology company using state-of-the-art genetic techniques to develop transgenic silkworms capable of producing spider silk. The company believes that because of spider silk’s characteristics, it has the potential to become a ’super-fiber’ with many commercial applications.
Spider silk is among the strongest fibers produced in nature. The silk has several properties that are unmatched by man-made fibers. One property is spider silk’s capacity to absorb energy and to dissipate this energy in a controlled manner. This property makes spider silk especially attractive for applications where energy absorption is a key design factor such as bulletproof vests, suspension cables, parachute cords, artificial ligaments, etc.
Another significant property of spider silk is its extreme resistance to breaking under strain. In this respect, spider silk significantly outperforms virtually all known natural and man-made fibers. It is this property that makes spider silk appealing for use as a ’super fiber’.
With spider silk products, Kraig Biocraft will be attempting to break into the market for high performance technical fibers. This market generates $90 billion per year, with the United States accounting for more than half of the market. The industry has experienced significant growth over the past 10 years and growth in the sector is expected to continue.
There are well-established products in the marketplace â€“ Kevlar, Spectra, Dyneema â€“ which will provide competition for the company’s products. However, there are certain properties that are inherent to spider silk, such as the ability to absorb energy, making it superior to these synthetic products.
Spider silk, being all natural, should also give Kraig Biocraft an advantage over competitors’ products which are made in a manufacturing process using toxic chemicals and are highly pollutive to the environment. Based on these factors, the company should be able to find a profitable niche for their products in the marketplace.
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