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In the comics, Spider-Man shoots synthetic 'webbing' that he created from wrist devices called web-shooters. Is this the same (but scaled up) as spider silk, or is it stronger/different in anyway?

  • I read this as: "Does Spider-Man Shoot Spider-Hulk?". What did Spider-Hulk ever do to you? – Gorchestopher H Jun 29 '15 at 11:32
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Spidey's webbing is discussed to death on the Marvel wiki, with FAR more detail than most people care to know.

Relevant:

Spider-Man's web-shooters are twin devices worn on his wrists which can shoot thin strands of special "web fluid" at high pressure. The web fluid is a shear-thinning liquid (virtually solid until a shearing force is applied to it, rendering it fluid) whose exact formula is as yet unknown, but is related to nylon. On contact with air, the long-chain polymer knits and forms an extremely tough, flexible fiber with extraordinary adhesive properties. The web fluid's adhesive quality diminishes rapidly with exposure to air. (Where it does not make contact with air, such as the attachment disk of the web-shooter, it remains very adhesive.) After about one to two hours, certain imbibed esters cause the solid form of the web fluid to dissolve into a powder. Because the fluid almost instantly sublimates from solid to liquid when under shear pressure, and is not adhesive in its anaerobic liquid/solid phase transition point, there is no clogging of the web-shooter's parts.

So it's more nylon than spider silk.

That said, Parker has worked with it to change its properties before. He's used special webbing against many villains, notably Hydroman, Electro, and Sandman.

You can find more details on that webbing at Wikipedia.

  • 1
    So much bad physics, so much good comic-book physics. – AncientSwordRage Feb 7 '12 at 16:15
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    @Pureferret: 'Physics'? what is this strange term you use? Ah well, I do not have time to listen to your lunacy, I must journey to Asgard by Hellicarrier - ROCKET BOOTS, AWAY! – Jeff Feb 7 '12 at 16:55
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    Apparently it's that thing you just left crying in the corner.... – AncientSwordRage Feb 7 '12 at 17:22
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    @Pureferret: Oh, that. Just ignore it, it fades into the background soon enough. Have some rocket boots. – Jeff Feb 7 '12 at 19:51
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The Marvel Wiki entry on Spider-Man's Web-Shooters says this about the web fluid:

The web fluid is a shear-thinning liquid (virtually solid until a shearing force is applied to it, rendering it fluid) whose exact formula is as yet unknown, but is related to nylon. On contact with air, the long-chain polymer knits and forms an extremely tough, flexible fiber with extraordinary adhesive properties. The web fluid's adhesive quality diminishes rapidly with exposure to air. (Where it does not make contact with air, such as the attachment disk of the web-shooter, it remains very adhesive.) After about one to two hours, certain imbibed esters cause the solid form of the web fluid to dissolve into a powder. Because the fluid almost instantly sublimates from solid to liquid when under shear pressure, and is not adhesive in its anaerobic liquid/solid phase transition point, there is no clogging of the web-shooter's parts.

The Marvel Directory entry on Spider-Man says that Peter Parker intended to imitate spider's silk.

Parker used equipment borrowed from his high school to fabricate a fluid that imitated a spider's silk web, and spinneret devices to project that fluid from his wrists in the form of a web strand.

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