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Questions tagged [materials]

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

13
votes
2answers
475 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 ...
20
votes
10answers
6k views

Other, non-synthetic materials for drum heads besides animal skins

I am writing about a race that uses almost no animal products (nothing that kills the animal; dairy products, eggs, cast-off deer antlers, wool, and honey are fine, and the verdict is still out on ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

What are some of the expected properties of metallic glasses and some steps to create them? (semi-ELI5)

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 much ...
-7
votes
1answer
96 views

Can we move markets away from single use plastic containers? [closed]

My thoughts are glass containers are best for the environment, however too heavy and fragile to be economically accepted. Therefore if plastic bottles are globally known to harm the environment, what ...
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 ...
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 ...
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'...
10
votes
7answers
437 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
671 views

What material should be used for a spaceship that doesn't need to re-enter?

What is the best material to use for a near future spaceship. Assume that most materials in the solar system can be mined and used. The spaceship is 700m long, 500m wide and 500m high. It travels at ...
2
votes
4answers
223 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
105 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
111 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.
4
votes
5answers
680 views

How can a substance that doesn't follow the laws of physics look and feel like ordinary matter?

Imagine a world that works mostly like our own: it's built of atoms and quantum particles, there's gravity and conservation of energy, etc. Perhaps the physical laws aren't exactly the same as our ...
45
votes
8answers
9k views

Can coins be made out of concrete or cement?

Would it be possible to make coins from concrete with designs like the metal ones?
2
votes
3answers
95 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
321 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
398 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 ...
41
votes
21answers
10k views

What would be best way to re-melt Mars' mantle and core to revive its magnetosphere

Missing magnetosphere on Mars keeps popping up. Most likely caused by Mars core being cold, mantle not bubbly enough. Mars mantle is dormant, core does not move. What would be good way to get it ...
52
votes
22answers
17k views

The 10,000 year skyscraper

If someone wanted to construct a skyscraper (bigger being better) that would survive thousands of years without maintenance, what would they make it out of? It can be built from any plausible current/...
13
votes
5answers
311 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
202 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
168 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
124 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
117 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
107 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 ...
28
votes
24answers
15k views

How to make female breast armor viable?

It is known that armor with accentuated design for breast is a bad choice in an actual confrontation. What can be changed to make "breast armor" more effective? Like materials(fictional or not), ...
4
votes
6answers
433 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
228 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
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
540 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 "...
7
votes
2answers
220 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 ...
40
votes
8answers
10k views

Would armour made of spider silk work?

Would it be possible to use spider silk for armour, instead of metal? I am not worried about how to obtain the silk. I know that spiders are not domesticable and that they are too aggressive to each ...
9
votes
4answers
212 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 ...
127
votes
10answers
15k views

How do Glass Ants create their tunnels?

***** Xenobiology expedition 'Profundity': Log entry 504 ***** Glass Ants are a fascinating species. We discovered them on an arid desert world last visited by humanity aeons ago. They seem to have ...
2
votes
2answers
254 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 ...
8
votes
7answers
466 views

How to render much of a world's metal unusable?

The idea of a metal-poor science-fiction/fantasy setting has fascinated me since I first encountered it in Dark Sun, and learning about Tekumel just deepened it. When it came to my own setting, I didn'...
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). ...
43
votes
18answers
10k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
912 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 ...
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? ...
4
votes
2answers
170 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 ...
-1
votes
4answers
142 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
229 views

Ancient Greece have access to cheap, durable and easy to process material, how far can they advance?

Let us consider a human civilization on the level of Plato's Ancient Greece or quite close. They have metal tools and weapons, horse and bull powered chariots, ships with sails and paddles, democratic ...
0
votes
2answers
147 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). ...