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!


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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