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Questions tagged [materials]

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

1
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2answers
274 views

A Cargo Ship Big as a Star Destroyer

In the world of steampunk, regular means of transportation are bigger in size than in real life. This scenario regards cargo transportation. The largest so far is China's CSCL Globe, no longer than ...
70
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14answers
15k views

Is it possible to make an alloy that melts at low temperatures and solidifies at high temperatures?

In my world I've created an alloy that can melt at low temperatures and solidify at high temperatures. This got me wondering, is something like this actually possible/does it exist. With most ...
-4
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5answers
537 views

What would the composition of an “indestructible” material be?

I'm currently working on a Sci-Fi setting for my friends to use in a campaign (my friend is GM but he's too lazy to come up with a setting so I offered to do it), I've already worked out the minor ...
-6
votes
4answers
259 views

The English Longbamboo

Before we move on to this scenario, let us get the composite bow out of the way, as the scenario focuses on infantry, and composite bows, though more powerful than the routine English longbow, are ...
5
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4answers
228 views

Bones for synthetic life

Supposing that we can create an entire synthetic being, what material would be best to make its bones of attending to: Weight Strength Durability Reparability Let's set some scenarios: Case 1: ...
8
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1answer
209 views

What density can I set for Uium, to be reshaped by moon-mass black/white holes

How do you cut through an unbreakable armor? With an all-powerful sword, of course. No really, if we had seemingly unbreakable matter (lets give it the original name of Unobtadamentium, or Uium for ...
3
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4answers
102 views

Travelling through Flexible Material?

If a tube was built between two planets that stretched and moved as they did (don't worry about how it connects to the planets) and if a set of rails was on the inside, could a rail based vehicle move ...
4
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1answer
273 views

The Bamboo Skeleton

In the aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire, the initial problem with building a new cityscape is weight, a problem solved, at first, by a steel skeleton. In subsequent years, other methods would ...
6
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5answers
444 views

How fast can heat be carried away from a small source?

Someone invents a portable, incredibly high-powered laser or similar energy weapon. The mechanism of energy production can be hand-waved away. In other words, it will heat up. Lots. Gigawatts lots, or ...
4
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2answers
174 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
267 views

Ancient Slingshots? Ancient (Vulcanized) Rubber?

This, unsurprisingly, is also related to mermaids. Spearguns using rubber bands and the like are popular underwater weapons, so slingshots would be useful to mermaids. The problem is, these require(?)...
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5answers
436 views

Material for container that survived the Big Bang

I read a novel that mentioned about a past civilization before the Big Bang. They predicted such phenomenon would happen some day, and to preserve their species and recreate their population after the ...
0
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2answers
80 views

How to stop something having a co-efficient of restitution over one [closed]

A team scientists working in a laboratory situated at the now disused ISS (We are talking about 2577) has ultimately discovered exotic matter however it is nothing like we have ever seen before in ...
4
votes
4answers
328 views

What material(s) should I use to protect my androids against ballistic impacts (bullets) and what protection would I get?

In the world of a story I'm writing, the military (of a superpower who shall remain nameless) has poured a lot of money into remotely operated humanoid drones (basically put on a VR suit and off you ...
1
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3answers
233 views

Does vibranium bullet works? [closed]

Composed of 99.98% vibranium and 0.02% adamantium, both materials claims to be nigh indestructible, non-magnetic and are able to absorb kinetic energy within the molecular bond any excess are loss as ...
0
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3answers
136 views

Is there any way to artificially produce a nebula?

There is an intergalactic war going on in the Milky Way, to get more resources. My company have been called upon to mine nebulae. There is no nebulae in the vicinity but I have got a few high mass ...
60
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25answers
24k views

Would a full body diamond armor and sword guarantee survival and victory against a medieval battalion?

As usual I write stuff like any professional fictional writers do, my protagonist worships a deity calling herself "The Expensive One" and she bestowed a flawless full body diamond armor which comes ...
21
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11answers
13k views

How would aluminium work as medieval armor?

I know aluminium was extremely hard to refine until the 20th century, which is one of the reasons why it wasn't used much. But what are the drawbacks to using it as armor or weapons in this type of ...
-3
votes
1answer
450 views

How Long Can Glass Concrete Last? [duplicate]

It turns out that replacing the conventional aggregates of concrete--sand, gravel, crushed stone, even volcanic ash--with glass is not really a stretch of the imagination. The Romans might have no ...
1
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4answers
380 views

Glass in Concrete?

The last time I asked about adding glass in something, the answer I got is that adding glass to steel alloy is, for every intent and purpose, impractical. But what about concrete? Is using glass in ...
-2
votes
1answer
128 views

If Lady Liberty's Skin Were Bronze [closed]

The last time I talked about an alternate Lady Liberty, I asked for the effect of her larger size--raising the height from 150 to 503 feet. What I got was that ships from within 25 miles of New York ...
0
votes
3answers
253 views

Extremely thin material to cut or pierce things

What if a atom-thick stick (made out of howconvenienthium) crosses the earth perfectly "vertically" at sufficient speed? Would it succeed into going through the earth as if (almost) nothing happened? ...
4
votes
1answer
297 views

An Oil Pipeline--A Target for the Livens Flamethrower

Ranking highly on the list of the most devastating weapons in human history is a British invention for World War I--the Livens Large Gallery Flame Projector. It measured 56 feet long and weighed two-...
1
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6answers
4k views

Can You Mix Glass in a Metal Alloy?

Long ago, I asked for a kind of steel alloy under an alternative recipe. Right now, the list is as follows: Carbon (2%) (Reasonable material and amount) Chromium (12%) (Reasonable material and ...
4
votes
1answer
224 views

A Culture Run by Spider Silk

Before I press on the question, there are couple of things that need clearing up. The only reason that the silk that dominated Chinese culture comes from silkworms is that the caterpillars are herd ...
4
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8answers
8k views

Using depleted uranium ammunition in handheld guns?

If I am correct, depleted uranium bullets are used because of their high weight and densitry which allows them to turn armor into Swiss cheese easily. Many modern armor piercing or otherwise heavy ...
3
votes
4answers
826 views

Concrete vs. Tar--Which Would Make Better Mortar?

I have just been told that tar alone makes a good enough mortar because of its adhesive capabilities. This, however, does not change the fact that, since the Roman Empire, concrete has been the ...
1
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1answer
249 views

Put Tar and Ash Together to Put Bricks Together, and What Do We Get?

I have just read that Genesis mentioned the Tower of Babel being described as having "tar for mortar". I've never before heard of something as sticky and viscous as tar being used as mortar, but ...
17
votes
12answers
5k views

What kind of materials can survive for millennia?

Imagine an alien race. They are the creators of Unspecified Advanced Alien Technology™. One day they lose one of their ships. The crew had to evacuate, and the ship kind of crashed on a random planet. ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

No Ash Available--In Need of Aggregates [closed]

Today's concrete, or "Portland cement", has an aggregate (material used to glue everything together) of sand and gravel. Ancestral, or Roman, concrete, by contrast, had an aggregate of volcanic ash. ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Glass Vs. Transparent Aluminum

Glass has been around since 3500 BC, and since then, it has been one of the many everyday materials of choice. We pretty much see them everywhere nowadays--our windows, our windshields, our mirrors, ...
4
votes
1answer
327 views

Suggestion for easily synthesized crystals?

Are there any crystal that is: insoluble in water and other common liquids does not melt or become chemically altered in most scenarios can be synthesized at relatively low temperatures (less than ...
2
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5answers
1k views

Modern/Near Future Melee Armor

Modern Melee Weapons seem to be traditional melee weapons with stronger,lighter materials and improvements like shock circuitry. Are there examples of modern armors/material designed to stop modern ...
34
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8answers
9k 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 ...
0
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2answers
97 views

Heated Brick vs. Solid Stone Brick

The most basic brick-building material in antiquity is sun-baked clay or mud. It is a pretty tough, resistant material of its own right. If this were the brick used to build the Tower of Babel, the ...
2
votes
3answers
207 views

The taxonomy of the alchemical spheres of Air and Water?

Alchemy is the matter manipulating aspect of my magic system. In order to delineate the very broad nature of the Alchemy's control over matter, I divided it into spheres. Initially the spheres were ...
3
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2answers
120 views

mountain fallout glasshouse construction

In the future (based on present/emerging tech) someone builds what is effectively a mountain bunker to survive a nuclear winter. But bunkers don't have natural light. So, the plan is to build a ...
4
votes
5answers
480 views

If I were to write about a superhero, what would be a plausible material for the mask?

Watching movies and superhero cartoons, I'm struck with this question: what material do they use for their masks? A lot of times, for the bigger over-the-head ones, artists seem to favor plastic, ...
7
votes
5answers
423 views

Is it possible to build long-lived macro-scale structures out of non-atomic substances?

A staple of science fiction is substances like 'durasteel' or 'tritanium', which, through generally unexplained means, have vastly superior material qualities when compared to conventional materials. ...
1
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1answer
484 views

What Alloys would be practical for making a sword that melts through things

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 ...
30
votes
4answers
9k views

Is diamond armor better than traditional armor?

A medieval alchemist (from Europe) has figured out how to crystallize any object and turn it into diamond. Would diamond armor (e.g. chain mail and plate armor) and weapons be superior to their ...
8
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5answers
2k views

What substances would be really valuable if transmuting material printers would exist?

Far Future. Almost every household has a 'fabber'. You put raw materials in it (can be almost anything) and it does what you program it to do. It transmutes the raw materials into what is needed. Then ...
7
votes
3answers
309 views

How could iron artifacts last for centuries?

Let's say a 1600s civilization is around, making lots of iron objects: guns, swords, farm implements, etc. One day those people vanish. What conditions would allow their iron implements to be usable,...
1
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2answers
191 views

Building a super-material - melting and boiling points

Certain elements and composites in the real world have significant melting and boiling points. The metal with the highest values is tungsten, with 3,695 K and 6,203 K, respectively. According to our ...
8
votes
5answers
533 views

What minerals and metals in particular were vital to the development of early civilization?

This question springs off this one. I am building a science-fantasy world, because I like the idea of civilizations without metal I decided to incorporate it. However rather than make metal scarce I ...
8
votes
7answers
423 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'...
2
votes
2answers
295 views

What could microscopic people use for fire? ( series )

Since fire is a staple of civilization and intelligent life , I though that my microscopic people ( 200 μm - 220 μm ) ought to have it too , but upon researching , I realized that fire can not exist ...
2
votes
5answers
196 views

How could a race of microscopic humanoid organisms benefit from the domestication of a silk producing organism? (Series)

In my world , there are a race of microscopic people ( 200 μm ) living in the stone age. They discover the spider mite , and promptly domesticate it for its silk . My question is - How mite this race ...
8
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6answers
543 views

Time Resistance

One of my characters has the ability to manipulate time, and thus I've found that if used properly, that ability isn't presented with much in the way of obstacles. Once time has stopped, unless they ...
53
votes
8answers
6k views

Building a bridge to the stars

Could I, purely in quantity of material only, build a solid bridge to a star? Ignore anything like strength, relative motions of systems, that is all taken care of, using lalalaicanthearyouium - this ...