So in my story I would like to create a human sized blade that can melt through anything using an alloy with a high melting point. So far I have two candidates

hafnium carbide with a melting point of 3900 °C

tantalum carbide with a melting point of 3800 °C.

My real question is are either of these candidates usable, or practical for a weapon like a sword, thanks in advance

(I would like to avoid stealing the idea of Raiden's High frequency blade if at all possible.)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Don't look at the melting point. Look at the softening point, unless you can make single crystals that big. $\endgroup$
    – Mołot
    Apr 29, 2016 at 19:48
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    $\begingroup$ I am also confused as to what melting point has to do with a blade's ability to cut anything and everything. Also keep in mind that although you might posses a sword capable of cutting through steel, you would still need to wield it with the strength for it to actually go through steel. In other words you hit a bottle neck, whether it's the sword itself, or the person wielding it. Magic is the way to go here. $\endgroup$
    – AndreiROM
    Apr 29, 2016 at 19:54
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    $\begingroup$ Imagine trying to fight someone with a soldering iron. You need to keep your weapon in contact or close to their armor to have any reasonable chance of melting it. $\endgroup$
    – Kys
    Apr 29, 2016 at 20:04
  • $\begingroup$ Also, even if you have the chemistry to produce this, you're probably better off making thermate grenades or something $\endgroup$
    – Kys
    Apr 29, 2016 at 20:05
  • $\begingroup$ Related: How close can we get to heated blades? $\endgroup$
    – Linkyu
    Jul 21, 2016 at 14:51

1 Answer 1


If you meant to melt thorough things using only thermal conductivity, nothing will be practical.

Sword touching wall with it's sharp blade will transfer heat only a bit more effectively than not touching it at all, just being close. So if it can transfer enough energy to melt vault doors and such, it'll burn it's wielder at the same time. No matter what's it made of. And if you plan to use other energy transfer method, you must tailor it to your method. Probably it'll need some kind of unobtanium. If there was a method safer than propane or acetylene torches, oil industry would already use it. Or at least try to. They don't, not yet.

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    $\begingroup$ And if the thing you're trying to cut through is much more massive than the sword, it will quickly cool the sword to below the melting point of the thing (assuming the sword doesn't have a power source). At which point it will become welded to the thing, rendering it useless. When learning to arc weld, I stuck quite a few rods to the things I was trying to weld, which I imagine would be a similar experience :-) $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Apr 30, 2016 at 6:07

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