Have Scientists Discovered Our Very Own Adamantium? I Oxford Open Learning


    Have Scientists Discovered Our Very Own Adamantium?

    From Fiction To Fact?

    Marvel fans won’t need to be told about Adamantium, the metal that Wolverine’s retractable knuckle claws are made of. Within that fictional Marvel universe, Adamantium is one of the strongest metals on Earth, alongside Vibranium, the material that Captain America’s impregnable shield is made of. Some argue that Vibranium is stronger than Adamantium but in this would-be world, Adamantium is a man-made alloy, (unlike Vibranium which is mined for), making it more relevant to a new metal that scientists have discovered in the real world…

    The Real Alloy

    This real-world discovery is an alloy, composed of titanium, niobium, tantalum, and hafnium, (the latter three of which do rather sound like fictional Marvel metals but are real but rarely referenced elements from the periodic table).

    Scientists have become extremely excited by this particular alloy due to its near-impossible strength in both hot and cold temperatures, something that had been previously unachievable, and making it a remarkable breakthrough. By strength, the scientists are referring to how much force a material can withstand before it is deformed from its original shape and toughness refers to its resistance to fracture.

    While this new alloy is not yet strong enough to usher in a wave of super-heroes, its resistance to cracking, bending, and kinking across a massive range of conditions represents a breakthrough in materials science. Indeed, it could pave the way for a new class of materials that underpin next-generation engines that can operate at higher efficiencies.

    “Adamantium Class”

    The alloy in this study is from a new class of materials known as refractory high or medium entropy alloys (RHEAS/RMEAS). These differ from the typical alloy used in industry which is composed of one majority metal combined with small quantities of other elements. RHEAS/RMEAS are made of near equal amounts of metallic elements which gifts them with very high melting points and other unique properties that scientists are still in the process of quantifying.

    Electron microscopy has revealed that the alloy’s unusual toughness comes from a rare defect known as a kink band, which serves to better distribute applied force away from weakened areas and across the super alloy’s crystal lattice.

    What stunned scientists about this new Adamantium class of RMEA was that it was 25 times stronger than previous creations. But it also had a massive range of performance, remaining strong at high temperatures and withstanding snapping at temperatures as low as liquid Nitrogen (-196 degrees Celsius) – that could potentially deter Marvel Iceman’s freezing attack!

    If you are interested in reading about the full details of this new discovery, follow this link for an article explaining it all the finer points.


    If you are interested in studying a Science, Oxford Home Schooling offers you the chance to do so at a number of levels, listed below. You can also Contact Us.

    Science Key Stage 3

    Biology IGCSE

    Chemistry IGCSE

    Human Biology IGCSE

    Physics IGCSE

    Science IGCSE

    Biology A level


    See more by

    I am a practising HR consultant working with several start-ups on an ongoing and ad-hoc basis in the London and M4 area, and am a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development or CIPD. I am the Director of thecareercafe.co.uk; thecareercafe.co.uk is a resource for start-ups and small business. It includes a blog containing career advice, small business advice articles, HR software reviews, and contains great resources such as HR Productivity Apps.