Adamantium is a virtually indestructible man-made steel
alloy which does not occur in nature and whose exact chemical
composition is a United States government classified secret.
Adamantium is not an element: its properties do not qualify
it for any know space on the Periodic Table of Elements.
Rather, Adamantium is a series of closely related compounds
of iron created through a secret process discovered by
the American metallurgist Dr. Myron MacLain.
MacLain began experimenting with the process that created
Adamantium as a young scientist in the employ of the United
States government in the early 1940s. Assigned to create
a super-metal with which to build tanks, MacLain labored
for month, experimenting with various iron alloys. One
of his experiments utilized the rare meteoric ore now
known as Wakandan Vibranium.
He tried to fuse the Vibranium to the iron alloy numerous
times without success. Then one night when he dozed off,
some as yet unknown factor entered the process, and permitted
the fusion to occur. Upon discovering his success, MacLain
poured the molten metal into a disc-shaped mold. The disc,
once solidified, has proven to be the most impervious
object ever created on Earth. MacLain turned the discover
to the government and it was given to Captain
America to use as his shield. Neither MacLain nor
anyone else has ever been able to discover what was the
x-factor that entered the process, or has been able to
fuse Vibranium with another metal. (The unknown iron-Vibranium
alloy of which the shield is composed resembles True Adamantium,
although Adamantium itself contains no Vibranium,)
Over the following decades MacLain experimented, attempting
to duplicate the process that create the shield. Finally,
in recent years, he succeeded in developing the process
by which the substance known as True Adamantium is created.
True Adamantium is nearly as strong as Captain America's
shield, and is, for all practical purpose, indestructible.
The degree of impermeability varies directly with the
thickness of the Adamantium. A direct blow from Thor's
hammer, conveyed with the thunder god's full strength,
will slightly dent a solid cylinder of True Adamantium.
A sufficient mass of Adamantium could survive a direct
hit from a nuclear weapon.
Adamantium is created through the mixing of certain chemical
resins whose composition is a United States government
secret. For eight minutes after the resins are mixed,
the Adamantium can be molded into a particular shape as
long as it is kept at a temperature of 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit.
After this brief period the process of creating Adamantium
is completed. The extremely stable molecular structure
of the Adamantium prevents it from being molded further,
even if the temperature remains high enough to keep it
in liquefied form. Only a device celled a Molecular Rearranger
can alter the form of hardened Adamantium.
The United States government has shared the secret of
Adamantium's composition with certain of its allies, and
the secret has also fallen into the hands of various criminals,
such as the Constrictor, who has made special weaponry
from Adamantium. Wolverine
possesses artificial claws made of True Adamantium and
his bones have been fused with Adamantium in an unexplained
manner so as to greatly increase their tensile strength.
The outer portion of the robotic body of Ultron is also
composed entirely of True Adamantium, although Ultron's
inner mechanisms are not.
Adamantium is extraordinarily expensive to produce. Therefore,
certain parties who wish to use Adamantium on a large
scale have resorted to utilizing a similar but somewhat
weaker compound similar to True Adamantium called Secondary
Adamantium. Although Secondary Adamantium is still far
stronger than even titanium steel, it can be destroyed
by sufficiently great amounts of force. Blastaar's energy
discharges and the vibratory force created by the Overkill
Horn have both proved able to destroy Secondary Adamantium.
The sentient computer known as F.A.U.S.T. had a casing
made of Secondary Adamantium which Thor
and Iron Man
managed to destroy. The Red
Skull and the original Hate-Monger had a dome of Secondary
Adamantium constructed to protect their island fortress
but the dome was destroyed by the vibratory force of the
Overkill Horn and by powerful incendiary bombs.
First Appearance: AVENGERS #66.