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Is the Iron Man suit realistic in present times?

  1. Apr 23, 2013 #1
    Is it possible to create the iron man suit in present times with all the technology involved in it?
    I was doing some research about the mini. arc reactor, Jet boots, and helmet and what I found was with the helmet we would need to program something like Watson to guide anyone inside of the suit, but still spectacle about the mini arc reactor and jet boots.

    Anyone has any thoughts to this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2013 #2


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    For the jet boots there would need to be a fuel pack somewhere (think of the Bell Rocketpack in the 70's)


    The arc reactor (nuclear?) would probably require too much protective shielding with it being so close to the body of the wearer.

    The fule pack and arc reactor shielding would add weight to the suit that would probably mean you couldn't lift off or if you could it would be too bulky and not look like the suit.

    And you're right about the helmet although with a satellite link it might be possible to off-load computing from the suit (cloud computing) alothough this would make it vulnerable to jamming.

    But don't stop thinking about it. Inventions come from ideas we thought were previously impossible. You just have to figure out what can you compromise to get it to work like in this case find another energy source that doesn't require shielding or components that don't need much power or reduce your computing to what an ipod can deliver...
  4. Apr 23, 2013 #3
    The short answer is no.

    Many of the auxilliary components, as jedishrfu noted, are possible, but basically everything is run off of that little reactor device which is capable of producing enough power to create the thrust in the rockets, power the suit, etc. And that technology doesn't exist.
  5. May 5, 2015 #4
    hi every one , im new to this site but i can say that the iron man's armour can be made because mostly his suits technical parts involve hydraulics to give him super strength .
  6. May 5, 2015 #5
    in other argument on arc reactor someone said that palladium is a code word , but that is wrong "Palladium" is actually has the lowest melting point .(Palladium, platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium andosmium form a group of elements referred to as the platinum group metals (PGMs). These have similar chemical properties). if you have a doubt you can refer wikipedia.
  7. May 5, 2015 #6


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    You think the power plant and the thrust mechanisms are hydraulic?
  8. May 6, 2015 #7


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    I would be most interested in his inertial dampener systems...he takes some huge falls and smashes into some really crazy situations without being hurt. In real life, I think Tony Stark would be a puddle of blood inside a metal can after all he's gone through...XD
  9. May 9, 2015 #8
    I agree. The power source is the barrier with current technology.

    Assuming Iron Man power source is 1.5 Kg
    "The energy liberated by the fusion of 1 Kg of Deuterium with 1.5 Kg of Tritium is ... 230 GWHours."
    It translates to 828 TJ.
    Assuming if its power source is 1.5 Kg, and 1.4 Kg is its reactor with only 0.1 Kg is D+T, then the energy output is (calculator here...) 55.2 TJ
    Suppose the Iron Man power output is twice the jet engine power output

    Which is 1100,00 HP x 2 = 220,000 HP = 220,000 x 746 watts = 164,120,000 Watts
    So with 55.2 TJ energy potential, Iron man can operate for 336,339 seconds or about 93 hours. 4 Days without refueling.
    Not bad. The major challenge is to make 1.4 Kg fusion power reactor.
  10. May 19, 2015 #9
    no im not talking about power plant and the thrust mechanisms im talking about hydraulics and motors and mechanical parts of hi suit
  11. May 19, 2015 #10
    As Travis_king and I said before, the main barrier is the power plant.
    But about hydrolic and mechanical parts, if somehow you could build a power plant that small, than you must have knowledge to build that other parts.
    In our current technology, I think, perhaps 10 to 20 years from now, human can build that suit, see Honda Asimo for example. But not the power plant!. Hell, compared to Iron Man power plant, with all due respect to ITER, their progress still walks like snail.
  12. Jun 10, 2015 #11
    Inertial dampening isn't necessary because of basic comicbook physics. Completely unpowered humans in comic-book situations routinely survive accelerations that should reduce them to paste. Look at any time Superman, Spiderman, or Thor catches someone, or any time Flash or Quicksilver carries someone at hyper-speed.

    Therefore, Tony Stark's ability to survive unrealistic acceleration forces is not a superpower and is not a feature of his suit, it is one of the basic laws of physics in the universe that he lives in. The suit only needs to provide flight, oxygen, weapons, armor, and artificial intelligence avionics. Only the powerplant and the AI are non-realistic.
  13. Jun 10, 2015 #12
    Ghosh, you're right!. Never think of inertial dampening. After all I think it's the most challenging technology. More than the power source problem.
  14. Jun 10, 2015 #13


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    The way I see it, the most obvious issues are fuel for the jet engines and that nothing seems to be lifting him when he's flying horizontally. Of course, in Iron Man 3, he had made it so that every little piece of the suit could fly in very complicated ways on its own without jets. If the new suit can do that, then we can probably assume that the old one could hover at a fixed altitude without the jets.
  15. Mar 12, 2016 #14
    Which iron man suit?
  16. Mar 16, 2016 #15
    The iron man from the comics is unrealistic. The A.I., avionics and power plant to make such things possible don't exist yet. However we do already posses exoskeleton platforms that would allow a human to lift car size objects. Its not a stretch to think that at some point these would have military applications and possible be armored. But I highly doubt they will be used in an offensive roll, probably more for search and recue in a war zone.
  17. Mar 17, 2016 #16


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    Well the things that always bugged me about the suit in the movies is that is just so damn compact, Sure we might be able to build systems that do the things he can do but all of this fits into a layer of flexible armor that is only a few centimeters thick. considering how compact is is, I often wonder the following things after watching the first movie:

    1)where are the radiators? If that really is a fusion reactor in his chest that is giving off several gigajoules of energy a second, even if he has some super effective shielding the shielding will still become enormously hot....so where is all the heat going?
    2)Where are the propellant tanks? Even if the suit is powered by fusion, the jets in his feet and hands need a propellant, it cant be the air around him because we see no intakes or impellers. The movie gets around this by saying they are repulser technology, a tech that isn't explained how or why it works. Because, movies.
    3)He never needs to refuel, according to a line in the movie, his second generation reactor will power him for the rest of his conceivable life time. What kind of fusion is this thing using? Even if you used proton to proton fusion (ie. the sun) you wouldn't last very long on what must amount to a few kilograms of fuel in his chest.
    4) most importantly, where does he go to the bathroom?
  18. Mar 17, 2016 #17
    not in the earlier suits
  19. Mar 17, 2016 #18


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    not in the earlier suits what?
  20. Mar 17, 2016 #19
    i his first handful of suits they were very big and bulky
  21. Mar 17, 2016 #20


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    Well I was concentrating on the Movie specifically. If you take the comics into account then there are far too many variables, including almost 50 years of change and revisions as well as the introduction of multiple universes within the marvel universe.
  22. Mar 17, 2016 #21
    some such are featured briefly in the films
  23. Mar 17, 2016 #22


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    True but it really doesn't change the point that the suits are ridiculously unrealistic.In fact each successive suite gets more ridiculous then the last. Now the reason I was concentrating on the first movie is because the comics and the later movies get pretty fantastical and real delve into fantasy. Now that is all well and good and I enjoyed them quite a bit. However the first movie took efforts to appear as realistic as possible. Back when the first Iron man film came out, there was no mention of Aliens or Gods. It tried to portray a story as set in the real world as they could, with tony going through a meticulous effort to design and build the suits.

    This isn't a criticism of the movie itself, Iron man is actually a favorite of mine, I quite enjoyed watching him going through the creation process, my only criticism is that the suit presented in that movie lacks several key features that despite the film trying to give it a scientific feel, the only way the suit works is with magic.
  24. Mar 17, 2016 #23
    personally im not much of a fan but i didnt mean to imply that you were criticising it was just me being curious about the the suits and which would be most realistic.
  25. Mar 17, 2016 #24
    in addition i would suggest being cautious when implying gods were/are fantasy. and their is a very high chance of alien existence but that is for another thread.
  26. Mar 17, 2016 #25


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    Honestly the only suit that I feel had any shred of realism to it would be the first suit he built in the cave, it was the least fanatical of them and was designed knowing that he wouldn't be able to power it for more then 15 minutes. Of course the elephant in the room is still the hockey puck sized reactor that spontaneously generates energy with no radiation or waste heat.

    As to Gods and Aliens, I was speaking merely from a cinematic point. If a movie is about Gods its considered Fantasy. As to Aliens in real life. I am willing to believe that they are out there, the universe is to big for us to be the only life. the math just doesn't add up. As to them ever having visited Earth. I personally dont think so but who knows. As to Gods, my beliefs are irrelevant as that is for each person to decide on their own.
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