Graphene: The Magical Bulletproof Material That Made Iron Man Give Up Iron

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Did you guys know that Marvel’s favorite metal man just changed up his metal? It’s true, Iron Man is no longer wearing iron, which makes his name a bit off-putting. Recently the “billionaire philanthropist playboy” shifted from his normal suit to a suit made out of graphene. So what is graphene, you ask?

WIRED has done a pretty awesome job of explaining the fascinating material in a piece covering why Iron Man changed the suit, Iron Man being shot in the face at point blank range in the suit (and being fine), and how science has some different ideas right now about what graphene can do.

So graphene, owing to its atomic thinness, is indeed invisible—but could it protect Tony Stark’s mug from a bullet? Sure enough, as if the writer of this comic book had seen an advance copy of that same week’s issue of Science, Jae-Hwang Lee, Phillip E. Loya, Jun Lou and Edwin L. Thomas of Rice and U. Mass., in “Dynamic Mechanical Behavior of Multilayer Graphene via Supersonic Projectile Penetration,” report that thin multi-layers of graphene, no more than a hundred atoms thick, are indeed ten times more “bullet-proof” than steel.

Oh yes, did I fail to mention, graphene is not like adamantium (which was made up by Marvel). Graphene is real, and has us wondering if Tony Stark will be wearing it by the third Avengers movie.

[Image/Story via Wired]




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