Batman’s Armor and Cape Featured

A comic-book fan and an adjunct assistant professor of materials science and engineering at North Carolina State University and a program manager at the U.S. Army Research Office in Durham, Suveen Mathaudhu, challenges fellow scientists to think four-color funny pages BIG. He dares others to think and reach for scientific breakthroughs “envisioned only in comic book realms.”
In a recent article on real world science recreating the comic book superhero science, Batman’s suit (body armor) and cape made the list, as well as Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth. It’s pretty incredible to think that the stuff of our imaginations can be real, but then again, Star Trek’s tricoders and Dick Tracy’s wrist watch were once viewed as such (see smart phones and smart watches).

Batman’s Armor
In Batman Begins (2005), the caped crusader’s armor is built on a foundation of flame-resistant Nomex, with Kevlar-reinforced armor in the chest, back, thighs, calves, arms and mask.

Five-times stronger than steel by weight, DuPont developed Kevlar initially to make car tires stronger. The first antiballistic materials were tested on goats. They survived, making them, by analogy to Batman, the world’s first super-goats.

New Kevlar products offer resistance to shrapnel from IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and a variety of low-speed threats like stabs and spikes.

Even cooler than Batman is research being conducted by researchers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and the University of Delaware into so-called liquid armor, a fluid that hardens on impact. It could be used eventually in soldier uniforms, space suits and surgical gloves.

Batman’s Cape
In Batman Begins, industrial designer Lucius Fox gives Batman a cape made out of a material that is flexible under normal conditions, but that can stiffen when exposed to an electric charge. This allows him mobility when on the ground, but the ability to glide when needed.

Dielectric elastomers are a class of polymers under development that revert between shapes by converting electricity into mechanical energy. Researchers are probing their potential uses in artificial muscle for limb prosthetics.

Between scientific research like this and Scott Beaty’s The Batman Handbook, maybe someday I can keep my city safe as a real Batman.

Source: Bloomberg

Carlos Cabaleiro

Carlos Cabaleiro

Carlos Cabaleiro illustrator+designer+storyteller I grew up just outside of New York. The eldest of three talented siblings; fascinated by my imagination and superheroes. Relocated to Florida and attended Miami International School of Art and Design. Worked as a freelance graphic designer to pay the bills. Somewhere along the way, I ended up taking a detour and now I'm back to making a living from my talent. Back and better than ever, I'm making my way in the world armed with my imagination, skill, talent, determination and the love and support of my fiancee, Kristina, and my family and friends. I now reside in Central Florida and share my studio with my sidekick, Grayson the dog wonder (he doesn't draw but he likes to keep me company). I am influenced by Bruce Timm, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Michael Golden, Egon Schiele, Leonardo D'vinci, Alex Ross, Wally Wood, Carl Banks and Don Newton. I focus primarily on illustration dealing with all things fandom, with a strong focus on sequential storytelling (storyboards, comics). I've worked for clients such as Ocean Drive magazine, Bacardi advertising and High Impact Comics. A HUGE Batman fan. I get excited for DC Comics, anything by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, James Robinson, FX's Justified and really cool action figures. I love to read and mostly lean towards fantasy or classics. Some favorites are: Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher, Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, anything by Edgar Allan Poe, Raylan Givens short stories by Elmore Leonard and my all-time favorite, Dracula by Bram Stoker.