Questions tagged [materials]

Intended to refer to the properties of both hypothetical and real materials and their applications and properties.

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5
votes
1answer
58 views

Buoyant boulders are being buffeted by bellowing breezes. What can be done to stay un-crushed?

In this world, there exists a type of material that has mass, but is incredibly buoyant in atmosphere. 1 kg of this material attached to 1 kg of any other material will be neutrally buoyant at sea ...
32
votes
23answers
5k views

What would be the ideal melee weapon made of “Phase Metal”?

Phase Metal is a material that is functionally similar to steel but can pass through its user (a single person bound to the metal when it is forged into a new form.) as if it didn't exist. Phase metal ...
4
votes
1answer
104 views

How would a civilization that evolved with access to buoyant building materials approach modern architecture? [closed]

In this world, there exists a type of material that has mass, but is incredibly buoyant in atmosphere. 1 kg of this material attached to 1 kg of any other material will be neutrally buoyant at sea ...
2
votes
4answers
274 views

Can pumice stone be used as castle material on water?

For the same scope, another type of floating stone "on water" would be also fine. Can that type of stone be used as castle material to float on water? Will it have a different effect if built on salt ...
39
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the highest level of accuracy in motion control a Victorian society could achieve?

In my late-Victorian world high-precision clockwork is highly available, but I am having trouble finding out exactly how precise their work could be. I have done some research on the subject, but ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

What replaces plastic for microwave ready meals? [closed]

In 2019, a divorced dad consumes cheap ready meals which come in plastic dishes, sealed at the top with transparent plastic film. Cooking instructions: Poke holes in the film with a fork, microwave ...
4
votes
7answers
242 views

How might dragon remains be turned into a jewel?

Background: I have typical dragons: Huge, scaly, winged, and fire-breathing. I also have dragon magic, but I'd prefer answers not to draw on this too much. In my world, a planet similar to earth, ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Dystopia Fantasy Magnetic or electronic field as a fence [closed]

I am writing a dystopia. In this world there is currently an electromagnetic fence that prevents anyone from going in and out unless they are in possession of a certain sword that neutralizes the ...
-4
votes
2answers
147 views

Need help in manufacturing my fictional metal to different shapes [closed]

I'm trying to make a fictional metal, with the following characteristics: It doesn't have a melting point and heat won't affect the hardness or shape. It can absorb extreme heat but bad at cooling ...
2
votes
2answers
158 views

What to do with plastic while living in the wild?

Two people are living in a forest near a recently evacuated city, and they are getting their food and other supplies from there. They turn any natural materials into compost, but what do they do with ...
5
votes
2answers
134 views

Storm-proofing Late-Victorian Aircraft

In my world, both lighter- and heavier-than-air craft exist and are rather useful devices. However, problems tend to occur when confronted with storms. Steering through a storm is not a problem in ...
3
votes
0answers
63 views

Useable life span of different types of plastic and polymer [closed]

OK folks - here's one for you petrochemical types: World is set 200 years post an apocalypse that wipes the global population back to about 280 million (the population of the world circa 1000AD). ...
14
votes
2answers
505 views

Cremated People Pottery

In my world, families posses family plates containing the ashes or their predecessors. Is it feasible to have crockery made of human ashes? If so, what properties can I expect from the pottery? What ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

What are some of the expected properties of metallic glasses and some steps to create them? (Explain Like I'm 10)

I'm currently bouncing around ideas for a sci-fi / cyberpunk world and one of the major technologies in this universe is the manufacture and usage of metallic glass. I don't want to handwave too ...
21
votes
10answers
4k views

Looking for a soft substance that doesn't dissolve underwater

I'm writing a story that takes place entirely underwater, mostly in a deep sea town and shallower city. Both are underwater and populated by beings who can survive underwater. My thinking is that ...
18
votes
14answers
7k views

A steel-cutting sword?

So within my world there exists a faction of monks on a secluded mountain whose scientific and philosophical knowledge outstrips the outside medieval world. And with these monks being famous more for ...
10
votes
7answers
453 views

In an interstellar/interplanetary civilization, which would be most common/cheapest in the market: Plastic or metals?

Considering that oil is only really prevalent on earth (where dead biomatter can be compressed over millions of years into long hydrocarbons) I began to think that plastic might be just as rare as ...
2
votes
4answers
227 views

Crete-sized floating island plausibility

Biggest icebergs have areas roughly similar to Crete and 500 meters thick, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceberg_B-15) I assume most of that thickness is hidden underwater, sadly I could not find ...
9
votes
14answers
3k views

Natural Armour and Weapons

In my fantasy world, the magic system pretty much makes metal armour and weapons obsolete. The magic system's specifics aren't important, just note that the magic system allows the users to 'penetrate'...
1
vote
0answers
123 views

What is the limit of Graphene CPUs? [closed]

In the world I'm building, set roughly 350 years in the future, the humans have colonized the Solar System and other systems beyond using a hyperlane network discovered at the edges of the Solar ...
2
votes
1answer
113 views

Imaginary computer processor, made of flip-flop atoms

It would be cool if scientists can invent an electrical material which is made of an XY square grid of atoms... straight like salt atoms except made of a weird polymer. the stuff functions as XY ...
28
votes
17answers
7k views

Can a generation ship withstand its own oxygen and daily wear for many thousands of years?

Regarding the idea of a generation ship carrying a community of people for thousands of years to another planet: Is there is any material for an engineered structure or set of systems that will ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Is a diamond sword feasible? [duplicate]

I have been browsing the internet, and I have started to wonder whether a diamond sword is feasible or not. I would very much like to know the answer.
2
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3answers
99 views

Is it possible to dissolve copper piping with an acidic or alkaline solution? [closed]

A character of mine needs to cover up a murder inside an apartment without removing the body. The best solution I've come up with for this is faking a broken pipe that appears naturally eroded over ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Pre-plastic human skin alternative

In my pre-plastic world there is a killer who removes unblemished skin from their victims and replaces it with a non-human 'skin', so that one can't tell the replaced skin from the remaining human ...
9
votes
3answers
324 views

Is 'Black' Whitewash Possible?

Question: Is it technically possible to make a 'Black' Whitewash? True Whitewash is a plaster-like substance that has been used to coat stone and wooden walls for cosmetic and waterproofing purposes ...
6
votes
1answer
406 views

Is it possible to dye cloth/leather with blood?

Is it possible to dye leather/cloth with blood without it fading, perhaps by using a sealant of some-kind? Note: This would be in an apocalyptic world where advanced chemical compounds would have ...
13
votes
5answers
319 views

Would it be possible to create a spandex looking suit that at the same time offers physical protection?

I'd like to know if such a material would be, at least, theoretically possible nowadays, if we somehow were to be able to have enough material of whichever one we wished for and the theoretical ...
4
votes
3answers
205 views

How to have a robotic whip move effectively?

I recently read The Prefect (now named Aurora Rising) by Alistair Reynolds. The book is about a police force protecting a belt of space stations. The local democratic regime has mostly disarmed the ...
5
votes
4answers
184 views

What materials would I use to build an underwater city?

I'm currently trying to set up an underwater race in my world—merpeople if you will—and I'm trying to figure out how their city would look. I'm basing their religion and lifestyle on native ...
2
votes
3answers
127 views

Is spaceship made of precast reinforced concrete tougher than those malleable alloy?

Set in the mid 22nd century AD, a major construction work is being carried out in the orbit of Uranus. The military is developing a cheaper fleets using precast reinforced concrete(PRC) hoping to ...
5
votes
1answer
118 views

Deities vs You /Liquid Anon/ What'd be the most optimal carrier fluid comopsition? [closed]

Liquid Anon is my little OC, a total badass, with the ability to assume any form and color at a whim. Donut steel! A magnetorheological fluid (MR fluid, or MRF) a type of smart fluid in a carrier ...
-1
votes
3answers
109 views

Most useful material properties for building tsunami-resistant submersible buildings? (Magical material engineering)

My magic system transfers quantities of certain properties from one object to another. For instance, electrical conductivity from metal to rubber -- the metal becomes less conductive, and the rubber ...
4
votes
6answers
435 views

Causing motorcycle crashes with a sniper rifle, no evidence left

If you wanted to force motorcycles to crash utilizing a sniper rifle from no more than 800 yards, what part of the bikes would you aim for to not only cause the rider to lose control, but not leave ...
6
votes
3answers
543 views

What materials can be used to make a humanoid skin warm?

The humanoids I'm talking about are designed with all the characteristics pertaining to robots developed with the help of soft robotics technologies. Although the skeleton is made of titanium, their "...
2
votes
0answers
55 views

Balancing and predicting magic which changes material properties [closed]

My magic system allows the transfer of quantities of certain properties from one object to another. For instance, electrical conductivity from metal to rubber -- the metal becomes less conductive, and ...
7
votes
2answers
229 views

Unearthing a landfill 50-100 years later [closed]

I am working on a post-apocalyptic world with relatively advanced small-scale militaries. In what ways are landfills useful as sources of rare earth metals, glass, or other materials? Edit: Mostly ...
11
votes
1answer
95 views

Degradable ammunition for electro magnetic guns

Would it be possible to make ammunition for railguns and gauss rifles that would degrade over time either through a natural process or by the means of star radiation, so the missed shots don't ...
9
votes
4answers
218 views

Is it possible to make Asteroid Concrete?

In the far future, man is trying to build a small colony in the asteroid belt - on one of the bigger asteroids. All the materials are to be mined from asteroids, and it is assumed the colony will have ...
2
votes
2answers
262 views

New Age Armor Materials

In my world, high velocity projectile weapons have become obsolete due to a shield/forcefield that can nullify and deflect projectiles traveling at, or above supersonic speed (EDIT: Firearms are ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Determining the Temporal Durability of a robot's body? [closed]

I have a story I'm working on where a robot is in a meditative state for thousands of years. However, I realize that with the current technologies we have today I'm not sure if a robot's physical body ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Ancient Roman Pneumatic tube Postal Service

The Romans had pumps, aqueducts, water wheels (which were used to grind flour, saw wood & stone etc), valves & pipes (they are known to have used stone, clay, lead & copper for pipes). ...
5
votes
3answers
231 views

What kinds of minerals or compounds could radiate heat?

I'm working on an RPG in a world with some magical elements, like a type of energy (so far unnamed) inherent in animals and humans. Those with high amounts of this life energy in them are thought of ...
2
votes
3answers
916 views

Real “Alchemical Transmutation” of Some Other Mineral Into Gold? [closed]

While obviously you can't really transmute something like Lead into Gold (as far as I know), is there any real-life mineral or element that could be used to artificially create Gold from whatever its ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Could we use both speed and heat to penetrate Europa's ice?

Could we fire a heavy, long (e.g., 50 meters), spear-shaped object into Europa's icy-surface from space and then, when momentum stops, gravity gradually moves weights down inside copper tubes the ...
4
votes
2answers
172 views

Medieval Windmills and Milling

The Millers' Guild needs all aspiring Mathemagicians! Medieval Damascus has been expanding its crop-growing land because all these European Crusaders are eating too much bread. Unfortunately the ...
43
votes
18answers
11k views

City made of glass in a desert?

My world has a city of glass found along the outskirts of a desert. I decided on this because sand can become glass and so it was a huge resource that could be used for building. However, the concern ...
-1
votes
4answers
148 views

What advancements in firearms technology to increase overall effectiveness could we see with material science more advanced than what we have today? [closed]

If there was access to more advanced material sciences (such as polymers, metallurgy, plastics, and ceramics), what new developments in weapons technology could we see that can be as paradigm changing ...
24
votes
7answers
6k views

How durable would a person need to be to survive impact at terminal velocity?

For a fantasy race, or for bio-augmented humans, how durable would they have to be to walk away from a 1000ft free fall unscathed? And how would this logically translate to other forms of durability? ...
0
votes
2answers
148 views

Protections when working with a dangerous supermaterial

In my world, there is a material called amaranthine. This material is effectively energy condensed into an unstable crystalline form (via a series of processes that aren't relevant to this question). ...