Bam! Science Inspired by Superheroes

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

Photograph by Paramount/Everett Collection

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Iron Man's Mark III Suit

Reading to himself an account of “Iron Man’s” exploits in the morning newspaper, Tony Stark clarifies aloud that the suit is not iron but actually a “titanium-gold alloy.” 

In reality, a titanium-gold alloys are heavy and not that strong, Suveen Mathaudhu says. Unless you’re thinking of using it for dental crowns, for which its hardness could be sufficient and anti-corrosion properties helpful. 

Alloys of strong, lightweight titanium with aluminum, vanadium, iron and oxygen are common in aerospace and defence parts, such as the front edge of jet turbine engines, which must withstand occasional high-speed impacts and high temperatures.

The Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Warrior Web program designing exoskeletons that can help soldiers carry their equipment. 

Left, Iron Man, 2008.