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In Iron Man (the 2008 film), right after Tony has his first test run in the Iron Man Mark-2 suit, he comes back to his Malibu beach house, says "kill power" and as a result he breaks through 2-3 layers of concrete and crushes the car he falls on.

Is the Mark-2 suit really heavy enough to do that? My doubt here is whether it was just a scene written in a bit of an exaggerated manner, or if the suit is really heavy enough to do that?

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If it were then the roof of that Arc reactor/factory building must have been built to withstand nuclear bombs. – Xantec Mar 23 '14 at 15:46
It's quite a funny scene. Not one to overthink... – Richard Mar 23 '14 at 18:09
@Richard - the scene is funny alright... just got me curious... coz later he lands on a non-metal panel in Iron man2 opening (Stark Expo scene) and the surface doesn't even scratch... – Stark07 Mar 23 '14 at 19:45
I've completely deleted my old (wrong) answer and added a new (right) one. – Richard Mar 23 '14 at 20:22
Doesn't necessarily need to be heavy. Velocity can do some amazing things - As evidence, a paper check embedded in a telephone pole by a tornado: Combination of weight, velocity and small impact point (See such things as windshield/car window breakers as another example). – JohnP Mar 24 '14 at 4:41

2 Answers 2

up vote 15 down vote accepted

After some consideration I've come to the conclusion that it's very possible that the Mk2 suit could have sufficient weight to drop through a concrete floor and flatten a fibre-glass sport car body.

The original Iron Man Mk1 suit is described as being approximately 1500 pounds (over half a metric ton). The Mk2 isn't canonically weighed but there's a production quote from Shane Mahan (Head of Studio on Iron Man) stating that they were advised that the later suits would probably weigh something like 600-800 pounds or nearly a third of a metric ton.

600 to 800 pounds has always been the number that we kicked around

Assuming Tony's house conforms to Malibu Building codes then his floors are rated to a weight of 40 pounds per square foot. A suit that weighs something between 600-800 pounds would certainly fall outside the scope of this design standard and could very easily cause a structural failure including a "pancake effect" style floor collapse.

Similarly, a dead weight of half a ton hitting a sports car from a height of 10 feet would be more than enough to completely crush the bodywork.

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I'm just wondering if falling from that little a height would give him momentum enough to break through 2 floors and a car. – Stark07 Mar 24 '14 at 3:43
@Ashishkulkarni -Ignore the momentum. Just the weight alone is enough to break the floors If they aren't reinforced – Richard Mar 24 '14 at 5:38
@AshishKulkarni in the movie clip, he does fry the floor first with his thrusters, which could have made it very brittle! – Mr Lister Mar 24 '14 at 17:07
He didn't fry it for very long actually. He was floating there for barely a few seconds. Second, his thrusters are not that hot when he is in flight mode. His thrusters exude heat only when used as a weapon. – Stark07 Mar 24 '14 at 17:09
@MrLister - I agree with Ashish. The thrusters only seem to be pointed at the floor for a second or two, certainly not long enough to make any real difference. – Richard Mar 24 '14 at 22:48

No it wouldn't... That was just 'eye candy' written by and for people with limited or no knowledge of metallurgy or mass/density - specific gravity (sg). Humans are somewhere around 2.4 to 2.5 cubic feet in volume. For a human form and shape to weigh 900 pounds, it would be the same weight as a human statue made from a solid piece of cast iron. Considering that his armor is only a 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick shell/skin with some weaponry added, the overall weight (including normal body weight inside the shell) should not exceed 300 pounds. That would be a very liberal maximum weight.

If one of your 300 pound friends started jumping up and down on the floor in your upstairs bedroom, would he crash through the floor?

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Except that we know that the studio were advised that the suit weighs over 600 pounds. Ultimately that depends on the density of the metal used in the making of the suit. Tungsten, for example is nearly twice as dense as lead and over 3 times denser than iron – Richard Mar 23 '14 at 22:03
@Morgan: (1/2): You don't work with the magical metals Iron man uses, nor do you have a good measurement of how thick the suit is. Considering that it has been shown to include multiple weapons, along with their launch systems, AND a full-bore propulsion system along with artificail articulation, "600 pounds" is a fair measurement. – DougM Mar 23 '14 at 22:18
@Morgan - what's your source for the statement "his armor is only a 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick shell"? I would have assumed it was a lot thicker just from the look of it, especially in the upper torso. – Hypnosifl Mar 23 '14 at 22:24
@DougM, 20 feet? When he cut power he was no more than 2 foot from the floor. I understand the desire to defend a dearly held mythos but the facts don't support it. (Pun intended) – Morgan Mar 23 '14 at 22:48
@Morgan, but why assume it's constructed like regular armor? For example the chest obviously sticks out a lot more than 1/8 inch beyond the chest of the person inside, since it's power armor it could be basically all metal between the person's chest and the outer chest area of the suit, whereas that would probably make it far too heavy with regular armor. Also note that someone at constructed their own replica suit out of 10mm thick foam, which would be about 0.4 inches, a lot thicker than 1/8 = 0.125. – Hypnosifl Mar 24 '14 at 2:35

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