POWER. At the core of both Tony Stark and his Iron Man suit is the electromagnet embedded in his chest to keep shrapnel from finding its way to his heart and killing him. While in captivity he develops an arc reactor, which is essentially a highly miniaturized fusion reactor. The reactor powers the electromagnet keeping him alive, and has plenty of energy left over to power the first suit his Mark I suit. The original reactor he builds starts to poison him with palladium, so he develops a new element which he calls vibranium. As analyzed by Sidney Perkowitz of Emory University, the reactor should generate anywhere between 1 and 16 million horsepower.
MATERIALS. The Iron Man suit goes through multiple different materials and configurations throughout its evolving iterations. The Mark II armor, the first Stark makes after returning from captivity, was made of stainless steel and presented problems of weight and icing at altitude. From the Mark III onwards, the suits are made of a gold-titanium alloy, which not only solves the freezing issue but also proves to be extremely durable. In one session it withstands small arms fire, an explosion from a nearby tank shell, a fall of several thousand feet, 20mm Vulcan shells, and an airborne collision with an F-22 – all with relatively minor damage. Continue reading