CHAPTER 8: The Science of Super Suits
Published:01 Aug 2017
Let’s face facts here. The majority of superheroes gained their superpowers through either chance encounters, or the kinds of lab accidents that would result in hours of health and safety paperwork. For me, as a materials scientist and engineer, the real superheroes that I aspire to become one day are those who are most like me – regular people with a lab to hand, and a bunch of money. In my case, that would be hard-earned grant funding. For them, it is usually an inheritance pay-out or the acquirement of a large family company. Either way, superheroes like Batman and Iron Man are hugely inspirational in terms of science and engineering potential. However, the powers that their suits hold are confined to the realms of science fiction and comic book pages … or are they? Time to get my science on and delve into the real-life materials of super suits, whether we can really recreate them to become superheroes ourselves, and settle the Marvel/DC score of who would win in a battle between Batman and Iron Man. They have already battled Superman and the delightful Captain America, of course.