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Researchers Mimic Properties of Cocoon Fibers from The Madagascar Comet Moth

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Nature made silken fibers from the cocoon of the Madagascar comet moth are superior in quality due to an uncanny cooling ability, light refraction, and unparalleled color transmission. Researchers have found a way to reproduce the nanostructures of these fibers. The amalgamation of those fibers has important industry implications. While to the naked eye, the fibers produced by the silkworm appear as a solid structure. In looking closer under a microscope, they look as though they’re cylindrical with a metallic sheen. This appearance is due to the natural air pockets that exist along the fibers that causes a reflection of light. The guiding of light in fibers is known as transverse Anderson localization. This is the ability to confine light within a strand of material without any sideways light leakage. Conventional textiles become opaque when wet which is a recurring problem with traditional fabric. Material made with these porous fibers aids in cooling he through evaporation, radiation, and convection.

Silkworm Cocoons

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