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Questions tagged [materials]

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

2
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0answers
49 views

What are the traits of and how could a compound(mosquito) eye be used for bug-sized equipment [closed]

How could a medieval nomadic explorer air-ship (bug-sized people) use the African mosquito's eyes for equipment building? there is no magic in their world apart from the fact that such a tiny species ...
0
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2answers
82 views

Effectiveness of a sound manipulator in different environments?

So I’m a super villain, I’ve captured a hero with the ability to manipulate sound and I’m having a hard time keeping him from escaping. This super human can create and manipulate sounds at just ...
-3
votes
2answers
159 views

The ultimate material? [closed]

Remember the metallic substance that the T-1000 was made out of in the movie T2: Judgment Day? I want to create a substance like that in a story with some modifications... So, the substance can move ...
9
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6answers
1k views

Harpoons… in space! [duplicate]

So I have a bunch of space pirates who make a living out of stealing spaceships while they are in transit and repurposing then for their own use later. As such, they can’t destroy the ship because, ...
13
votes
2answers
501 views

A ribcage capable of surviving the bite of a Tyrannosaurus Rex

What existing material (e.g. 410 steel, no unobtanium) and what thickness should the ribcage of a creature (of humanoid size and shape, let's say it's a genetically-engineered human) have, to survive ...
3
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3answers
245 views

Can a weapon that uses plastic materials be mass-produced with WW2-ish technology?

So, there's a WW2-1950's-ish era in my world, and currently I'm designing a couple of firearms. As far as I've read most weapons at that time mostly uses stamped metal and wood, and only a very ...
2
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6answers
476 views

Creating a steampunk-esque/cybernetic “Big Iron” revolver

I've gone through most of the--quite few surprisingly--steampunk questions and although one answered my question for how a steam powered arm may function, this arm has a lot of exceptions. I'm ...
4
votes
1answer
150 views

With modern or near future technological capabilities, hypothetical ways to produce negative mass assuming it exists [closed]

Assuming money and resources are unlimited, what could be some hypothetically feasible ways to produce negative matter with the current or near future technological capabilities of humans.
0
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2answers
114 views

Indestructible armor vs indestructible projectiles [closed]

So in my story I have a super material that is lightweight, nearly indestructible, and conducts vibration, heat, electricity and any other energy across its surface but not through its center. My ...
-1
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1answer
96 views

Negative energy beam / Negative matter projectiles [closed]

Could you create a negative energy beam? If so what would be the effect directed at positive matter? If it helps frame the question set the positive energy value to 1 -joule and the positive matter ...
7
votes
5answers
300 views

What are some existing or theoretically possible strong but lightweight armors?

So recently I'm working a speculative science fiction universe where I'm trying to adhere as close as possible to the laws of physics and the possibilities of technology. I want to have mecha (because ...
6
votes
3answers
434 views

How long would a body be preserved in a sealed coffin in space?

A spacefaring people buries their fallen heroes in space. The bodies are adorned in uniforms (fabric), equipped with the weapons they carried in life (mostly aluminium, steel or polymer, but ...
3
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4answers
199 views

Reasons for every floor of an office building needing a unique code to access that floor via the lift [closed]

In my story the protagonist has found them self on the bottom floor of a New York Office sky scraper and has to escape. For whatever reason they cannot exit via any means other than through the roof ...
0
votes
1answer
135 views

How to use chalk to drill harder material [closed]

How can we use chalk to make a hole (small hole, less than 10 cm in diameter) in harder material, in a reasonable timeframe (hours or days, not years). The lower the technical level, the better. The ...
27
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3answers
2k views

How high can Ludicrous Leg man jump?

Ludicrous Leg Man has never skipped a leg day, as a result of which he has infinitely strong and fast legs and all attendant secondary superpowers. Don't ask why, just roll with it. While performing ...
5
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3answers
143 views

Alternative materials for records [closed]

This question is inspired by large discussions about pros and cons of electronic sales records from real world. It is sure that electronic sales records are not fitting to classical fantasy (that is ...
7
votes
8answers
1k views

How to conceptually explain use of a single substance to augment and dissipate magic? [closed]

I am writing a contemporary fairy tale. Based on various bits of lore, I have used woods such as ash and rowan as substances which can affect fairy magic. In the first instance, I have a fairy lord ...
23
votes
14answers
7k views

What wearable material do I need to survive a pyroclastic flow?

This question is inspired by Green's Volcanoes in Orbit! The premise is that there is a 50-mile-high shield volcano (again, let's ignore the height implausibility) with a slope of about 2-3 degrees, ...
2
votes
2answers
486 views

Would there be any advantage to using depleted uranium bullets? [duplicate]

Would there be any advantage in using a depleted uranium, tungsten core bullets in a sniper rifle? I'm specifically thinking in the .416 calibre size, for use with the Barrett M95 Rifle. By ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Possibilites with very lightweight material for Weaponry [closed]

How do the properties of density, sharpness, brittleness of a material impact on the usability and the design of weapons. Would it cause weapons to be designed vastly different or would it make ...
4
votes
5answers
180 views

What would be the possible source of a drug that creates a shared mass hallucination ending up in creating a new god?

I've been thinking about structuring a cult that brews or harvest a liquid drug. That drug is then sealed in jugs and shipped to cities. The drug gives a sense of complete relaxation but also leads ...
0
votes
1answer
119 views

Designing a toxic ore? [closed]

I would like to design a natural ore that is very toxic to humans. This ore needs to be natural. And weapons made from this material cause necrosis.
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vote
8answers
205 views

Sea/Air fighters using current/near future tech?

The Setting I'm doing background work on a story involving a civilization about as advanced as ours materiologically. A significant part of their military operates along the continental shelf zone ...
11
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6answers
2k views

What is the largest / longest practical bronze age sword possible?

Assuming bronze age technology and the use of bronze for the blade, what is the longest blade / total length of sword that is possible and practical to use? Bronze age Naue II swords were typically ...
4
votes
2answers
734 views

Diamond as a building material

So lots of Sci-fi works use mono-crystalline diamond as a wonder material used to build all sorts of impressive and in some cases seemingly impossible structures, I'd like to ask about the science of ...
13
votes
5answers
651 views

Can porcelain be “reforged”?

With metals you can take something you don't like, melt it down and use the metal for something else. My question is, can the same be done with porcelain? In my fantasy world, metals like gold, ...
9
votes
3answers
422 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
126 views

Is there any real possibilities for build unbreakable aquarium?

Imagine technology, possible achievable in short time (maximum half of the century), that we can use to build aquarium that won't break because of internal damage (water pressure, badly distributed ...
24
votes
13answers
4k views

What kinds of remnants might be evidence of a previous civilisation?

The trope of an ancient advanced civilisation that disappeared is as old as the hills, but it does raise an interesting question: what kinds of evidence would suggest that somebody else was here first?...
3
votes
8answers
2k views

Is it possible to obtain a cold radiating material?

Global warming is awful, we all agree. The problem is that there exists materials that warm up easily naturally or artificially. But, why isn't there cold materials? Cooling something requires energy ...
6
votes
2answers
169 views

Does a compound exist that can phase shift between gas and solid/liquid when electricity is applied?

This is for a story line that I would prefer to be based on known science as much as possible. Is there a known compound that can phase shift from gas to solid or liquid, or the other way around, in ...
17
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8answers
3k views

A Non-Iron Elvish Steel

One of the most overlooked elements of modern fantasy is that cold iron serves as either an effective shield or an effective weapon against supernatural creatures, like fairies or spirits. With that ...
3
votes
1answer
414 views

Plausibility of Larry Niven's “variable sword” [duplicate]

Larry Niven invented a fancy weapon: the Variable Sword which, in essence is a cheese cutting wire on steroids, able to cut through almost anything. In theory this thing is possible, given it's thin ...
4
votes
3answers
304 views

The Palladium Skyscraper Skeleton

There is talk of a better alternative to steel, and one among the subject is "palladium glass". Manhattan Gold & Silver sums up the backstory of p-glass's construction, written in October 2014: ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Silica Aerogel maze

In my story to protect his treasure room, the king of a 12th century kingdom has heavily invested in his alchemists, who managed to create silica aerogel in blocks and made them insoluble in water (...
3
votes
2answers
626 views

What material for a super-speed suit?

I've got in my universe some super-humans that are able to run/fly on super speed. They actually have virtually no strict speed limit. I put the reflex/maneuverability related questions aside for now. ...
0
votes
1answer
169 views

If the Egyptians Used Mushrooms to Invent Leather

According to Moore & Giles, the Egyptians invented the first leather as early as 5000 BCE. And now word on the street is that a new kind of leather is being developed, made not from the hides of ...
7
votes
3answers
301 views

Super metal and the construction of knight weapons

Working off of a previous question about armor, imagine yet again a world where there exists a metal comparable to high grade steel, however instead of steel's density of ~8 g/cm³, this material ...
0
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4answers
265 views

Plastic in Roman Concrete?

Word on the street is that using recycled plastic to make roads can help reduce carbon emissions, improve road quality by making it longer-lasting and less susceptible to potholing. This ...
23
votes
6answers
4k views

Super metal and the construction of knight armor

Assume that roughly at 1200 AD, Europe discovers a new metal (or alloy). By terms of various strengths and hardness it's comparable to high grade steel, however instead of steel's density of ~8 g/cm³, ...
9
votes
3answers
522 views

How would plants develop and grow in a world where almost the entirety of the surface is stone?

My world is covered in a black stonelike material which is similar in structure to coral, being that it's highly-porous but not formed in the same way. The (non)water on my world, which is (currently)...
-2
votes
2answers
401 views

Full Recipe For an Alternate Composite Bow

Previously, I had asked if rhino horn could replace antelope horn in an ancient culture's composite bow (since antelopes--true or pronghorn--don't exist on my alternate Earth.) The answers are still ...
5
votes
10answers
2k views

What material to use for a near-future armoured spaceship?

In a setting with (mostly) near future technology what material would a top end naval spaceships hull be made out of? The hull must follow the following requirements: Able to withstand the strains ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

What metals will a culture most likely use if use of iron is prohibited?

What metals will a culture most likely use if use of iron is prohibited but it has advanced technology?
6
votes
2answers
337 views

Rhino Horn in a Composite Bow?

In constructing a composite or laminated bow, horn has a practical purpose. A thin layer of horn is glued onto what will be the belly of the bow, the side facing the archer. Water buffalo horn is ...
24
votes
8answers
5k views

Fabric in a waterless world

Water does not exist. The two main liquids are lava, and some kind of "life essence" (let's call it mana). One random day, a rock solidified with the ability to produce mana through photosynthesis, ...
124
votes
10answers
14k 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 ...
29
votes
12answers
13k views

What is the hardest wood possible, and where would this be a practical material?

With a Janka Hardness of 5,060 lbf, the Australian Buloke is considered to be the hardest wood on Earth. Compared to other materials however, it still yields a weaker Compressive Strength and Modulus ...
7
votes
4answers
300 views

What hull materials are suitable for a helium-sea jet-ski?

Inspired by this question. Imagine a sea of liquid helium. Some people like to use submarines, but we've got a better plan. Jet-Skis. Impeller pumps are used in jet-skis and can also be used to ...
4
votes
1answer
466 views

If natural diamond was large and abundant how would it change the world?

Watching my kids play Minecraft, I was reminded of a children's novel I enjoyed many years ago called Twenty-One Balloons about a clan that discovered a vast deposit of diamond on a small volcanic ...