Khon Kaen – Khon Kaen University has unveiled the world’s first silk bicycle to underline that silk’s uses can extend beyond textiles.
The bike, built with a 15,000-20,000 baht budget, is a demonstration that silk can be formed into a strong structure with the integrity of metal and used to replace other materials. This particular application saw silk replacing the carbon fiber used in bicycles, which typically costs up to four times more than silk and would have added 40,000-100,000 baht to the creation costs.
Silk can withstand five times more pressure than aluminum and has eight times the tensile strength while also being 30 times more shock absorbent. The silk bicycle is lighter than an aluminum unit with the same weight rating and its absorptive properties allows for longer distance riding.
The bike’s creators have registered a patent for their silk and resin based structure for Khon Kaen University, laying groundwork for silk to be developed from a culturally applied material to more modern applications and increasing its economic value.