Bam! Science Inspired by Superheroes

By Eric Roston - 2013-12-17T14:48:54Z

Photograph by Warner Brothers/Everett Collection

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Batman's Armor

In Batman Begins (2005), the caped crusader's armor is built on a foundation of flame-resistant Nomex, with Kevlar-reinforced armor in the chest, back, thighs, calves, arms and mask.

Five-times stronger than steel by weight, DuPont developed Kevlar initially to make car tires stronger. The first antiballistic materials were tested on goats. They survived, making them, by analogy to Batman, the world’s first super-goats. 

New Kevlar products offer resistance to shrapnel from IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and a variety of low-speed threats like stabs and spikes.

Even cooler than Batman is research being conducted by researchers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and the University of Delaware into so-called liquid armor, a fluid that hardens on impact. It could be used eventually in soldier uniforms, space suits and surgical gloves. 

Left, Batman Begins, 2005.