Adamantium is a super-material. It's harder and tougher (not the same property!) than any other known material. It's very difficult to create; a Goodkind Research Labs project had about a 3% success rate, and the typical Whateley lab student has around a 6% success rate; Techwolf, however, had a 60% success rate. Due to the cost, it has never been mass-produced. It was stated that the cost of largely coating one US Air Force combat jet in adamantium was equal to that of four fully-equipped aircraft carriers (according to Wikipedia, the cost of a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier by itself is around $4.5 billion). Once created, it's effectively impossible to work by any ordinary means.
Adamantium is a magic null material - a composite matrix of special metals in a ceramic matrix, with the ceramic and metal elements aligned in such an electromagnetic way as to be almost totally impenetrable to magic. Because of the difficulty of aligning the ceramic matrix and the metal elements and at the same time maintaining even concentrations of the components, it is very difficult to reliably shape curved pieces. Adamantium is mixed from the constituent elements, and then shaped - like sintered powder ceramics - in the electromagnetic field and baked or sintered into the final material.
Adamantium is NOT indestructible; sufficient force can bend or shatter the ceramic matrix; a high-force very-tightly-focused point load can cause it to fail much like tempered glass. It can be deformed with sufficient force but attempts to tool the finished product increase this instability thus requiring the parts to be cast in as nearly a complete form as possible. However the final casting of the resultant material is a metallic like ceramic. To the touch it feels metallic with a silver to silver white sheen of a moderate luster. Adamantium behaves similarly to Titanium in load, stress and strength tests preforming slightly better than twice that of Titanium with a similar density and weight excepting the weakness noted above. Adamantium either 'full' or Denatured does not conduct electricity at all.
Adamantium is particularly valuable in flat-plate or nearly-flat-plate forms, such as the ceramic inserts for personal body armor; it is easily made into these small, flat forms. More complex forms require a means to shape the required EM field and to hold that shape during sintering.
Failed or Denatured Adamantium contains sub-domains of aligned metal-ceramic matrix, and thus, is valuable as a source material to be ground up and embedded in a flexible carrier - thus forming Titan wire; in this form, it retains most of the desired properties of pure Adamantium, such as impact resistance and some magic resistance, but it is flexible and the carrier material (wire) can be shaped and cut. Titan wire, while strong and durable, is vulnerable to sufficiently strong magic because the Adamantium particulates are distributed unevenly in the carrier wire, thus leaving microscopic gaps through which strong magic can penetrate.
The Whateleyverse version of adamantium should not be confused with materials of a similar name in other universes. It is, for example, possible to cut or deform it; it's just incredibly difficult. Lancer used a discarded adamantium vase with a crushed bulb to fake out someone once. Destiny's Wave thinks it could cut Ayla's adamantium-covered baton.
Adamantium is superficially similar to a metal, but not a metal in the technical sense and among other things doesn't conduct electricity.
Note that Adamantium is not the same thing as the magically ultra-hard metal Adamant, which is, if anything, even more resilient, and far, far more difficult to produce for anyone except an Artificer.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Ayla and the Birthday Brawl: Chapter 3 - The Legend of Britomart, or of Chastity
- ↑ Nimitz class aircraft carrier
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 E.E. Nalley speaking for the Canon authors at the Forums
- ↑ The Turks or the Geek
- ↑ Ayla and the Birthday Brawl: Chapter 5 - The Legend of Artegal, or of Justice
- ↑ Ayla and the Birthday Brawl: Chapter 9 - The Legend of Arthur, or of Magnificence