Which metal would win a fight: the indestructible adamantium or the vibration absorbing vibranium? Image courtesy of Marvel, INC.

What’s the Difference between Adamantium and Vibranium?

March 30, 2016
Learn about the origins, unique properties and iconic uses of Marvel's strongest (fictional) metals.
Which metal would win a fight: the indestructible adamantium or the vibration absorbing vibranium? Image courtesy of Marvel, INC.

It is a question that has plagued the universe for decades: What is the strongest metal on Earth? The heated debate is between two famous metals: adamantium and vibranium. Both have been pitted against each other on several occasions. We will analyze the origins and strengths of both and see which one comes out on top.


  • Vibranium is a rare earth metal, but is believed to have extraterrestrial origins (this has never been confirmed). The naturally occurring meteoric ore can be found in abundance on the African nation of Wakanda. The metal is most commonly known as the material that compromises Captain America’s shield, which was created by Dr. Myron Maclain.
  • Adamantium is an artificially synthesized metal. After the success of using vibranium, Dr. Maclain tried to recreate the process of bonding steel and vibranium, but was unsuccessful. The result from his failed experiments did lead to adamantium. Used in several experiments, the most famous use comes from the experiments conducted by the Weapon X program, bonding adamantium to a human skeleton structure.

Physical Properties

  • The unique feature of vibranium is that it can absorb all vibrational energies. The metal can absorb different forms of vibration from physical force to sound waves. The energy absorbed is stored in the bonds of molecules and in turn makes the metal more difficult to destroy.
  • Adamantium is virtually indestructible. It is very dense and has survived exposure to multiple nuclear blasts. Adamantium can also cut through any material. To create it, the steel alloy and vibranium alloy are mixed together in a melted state then allowed to set. Once stable, the adamantium cannot be further manipulated.


  • While vibranium can absorb large quantities of vibrational energy, it does have its limit. Once the Roxxon Corporation excessively bombed an island containing vibranium and the metal absorbed all of the explosive force, destroying and breaking in the process while the surrounding environment went unharmed.
  • Adamantium can be destroyed when it is superheated to extremely high temperatures. The material itself can only be broken apart but not reduced to its building-block components.

Examples of Use

  • Vibranium is most commonly known for Captain America’s shield. However, the nation of Wakanda has used the metal extensively in their technology, weapons, and even their clothes.
  • Adamantium is most famous for being used in Weapon X’s military program, bonded to the experiment codename Wolverine. It has also been used by Dr. Otto Octavius for his mechanical arms and by Tony Stark for his “Iron Man” suits.

Which metal comes out on top?

While vibranium is the more durable material, adamantium is the more dense material. This means that given the right circumstances, adamantium can potentially cut through pure vibranium. If we had to pit the shield versus the claws, since the shield is a vibranium alloy, not just pure vibranium, it can withstand the attack of adamantium claws. However, we will just have to wait for the battle between those two to occur.

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