Is Spider Silk tough enough and strong enough to stop a metro train?

I’m sure you remember this scene in Spiderman 2:

How realistic is this scenario — is it actually possible for a web of spider silk to halt a speeding metro train? Apparently, the paperit is.

Assuming that the ‘web’ has eight strands of silk, each with a diameter of about 5mm, the stress it has to withstand is about 1.3 GPa. Apparently, some spider silks do have such high strengths.

Hat tip: Discovery News.

Now, I guess someone will step forward to ‘prove’ that it is actually possible for Spiderman’s arms to hold things up right until the end!

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About Abi

My name is T. A. Abinandanan, and I am a professor of Materials Engineering at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
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