Questions tagged [metals]

For questions needing solutions regarding metallurgy, properties of real or fantastical metals or metallic substances, or the usage, acquisition, or in-world effects of them.

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12 votes
8 answers
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Usability of Silver and its alloys as standard building material

In a world where silver is relatively abundant and not valued as luxury product and is pretty cheap (probably even cheaper than iron or steel) How viable would silver or its alloys be as a replacement ...
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4 votes
2 answers
92 views

Viability of High Specific Strength but Low Density Material

Let's call this fictional metal, "Lightium" or Lg. Properties of its best alloy in comparison to Titanium-G5 alloy include: It has twice the Specific Strength than Ti It has one-tenth ...
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13 votes
10 answers
3k views

What other metals or gem stones could be used to replace gold when making medieval coins?

If a medieval society had no access to gold, what other minerals or gems could take its place in the making of coins? In my research I found gold was used as coin because: It is durable (does not ...
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7 votes
4 answers
4k views

Is speed of a ship limited by its propellers or the engine

For both nuclear and diesel powered ship, an aircraft carrier for example , Is it the engine that can’t produce enough power to drive the propellers to get as much as speed you can get within ...
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1 vote
2 answers
77 views

Would a high iron content world have particular effects on its more common minerals/elements?

I have a world which has a high iron content in its core, like a more extreme version of Mercury, geologically speaking. The system only has this world and a tidally locked hot Jovian (of which the ...
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6 votes
7 answers
1k views

Storing bulk metals for centuries

If you are building a megastructure like a Banks Orbital, it will be necessary/useful to provide it with reserves of various useful metals for the use of the civilization inhabiting the structure. ...
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  • 4,418
8 votes
5 answers
2k views

Protecting rifled barrels from high friction

Let’s say a new high energy propellant is now in use for infantry rifles. With this new propellant, bullet velocities are increasing into the range of 1200m/s with a 110 grain projectile out of a 20’ ...
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  • 1,136
3 votes
4 answers
518 views

Material Plausibility of Optical Smelter

Real smelters typically use fire. Unfortunately, fire doesn't work so well underwater, and so an alternative method of heating must be sought by aquatic animals One potential method would be to use ...
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-1 votes
4 answers
177 views

What metal or alloy can be used to replace steel?

I am working with a story that takes place where humans are fighting against fey. However I realized that the Fey (who are famously weak to iron) would never use iron in any form to equip their (non-...
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  • 109
3 votes
6 answers
192 views

What would the commodity money system of an interstellar civilization be made of?

I'm building an interstellar empire that uses commodity money as its preferred currency. Despite the network of wormholes connecting various star systems, light lag between planets and stations within ...
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  • 1,165
16 votes
9 answers
4k views

How can I justify an Iron monopoly?

In my world, only 2 cultures (who share a common ancestor, but are rivals) regularly use Iron, which they have for hundreds of years now, the rest of the many, many cultures have naught but bronze, ...
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3 votes
2 answers
125 views

Can brittle but harder swords be preferred in period context or against unarmored opponents?

So its already been repeatedly established that any harder material will inevitably be more brittle than steel and more likely to break on impact in comparison to steel. However, what if the primary ...
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2 votes
2 answers
227 views

If these famous fantasy metals are real-life alloys, what would they be made of?

There's a whole list of mythological and fantasy metals, but for the sake of a scenario where iron has never been used to make weapons, armor, prison bars or even construction, let's focus on just ...
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6 votes
2 answers
173 views

Would people still be able to utilize Iron Alloy tools, Structures, Weapons & Armour in a Medieval high-oxygen world?

So me and my buddy are currently working on a story that takes place on a different earth-like planet similar to when carboniferous life like the Meganeura dragonfly inhabit the landscape. A few ...
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  • 1,455
3 votes
3 answers
165 views

Can a new geological material (specifically, a metal) be formed no older than 56 million years ago?

There is an alternate Earth that I've been building and rebuilding for years. The canonized point of departure is 56 million years ago, specifically a Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum that is four to ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
90 views

What would a gaint make it's house out of

For one the giant is much bigger than a normal human, To be precise about 110,000 feet tall and about 500 feet wide. Because of their size what would be some reliable things to make their houses and ...
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3 votes
0 answers
45 views

Properties of Common Metals as Bulk Metallic Glass (Amorphous Metal) [closed]

Per Wikipedia: An amorphous metal (also known as metallic glass or glassy metal) is a solid metallic material, usually an alloy, with disordered atomic-scale structure. Most metals are crystalline in ...
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  • 553
-2 votes
1 answer
102 views

Could Osmiridium alloy be used as armor plating? (Hypothetical, cost does not matter.) [closed]

I would like to know if it is plausible. I would also like a rough estimate of the force that a 1 meter x 1 meter Osmiridium alloy beam could take before breaking.
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  • 7
5 votes
1 answer
234 views

With modern knowledge, what would be the most effective way to smelt iron with bronze age technology?

Basically, assuming you have all of modern human knowledge about smelting iron/steel, and the technology level you have is approximately bronze age, what would be the most effective approach to turn ...
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4 votes
1 answer
234 views

Can my large creatures have metal scales?

In my world metal is difficult for humans to obtain, it cannot be found mining, at least not in any useful form. Instead, to obtain metal, you have to slay large and very dangerous creatures covered ...
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  • 603
2 votes
1 answer
108 views

Silicon carbide composite for bone [closed]

First things first, I came across this interesting article after which I stumbled upon this mysterious composite of an aluminium oxide and silicon carbide. Specifically stating this on wikipedia: &...
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  • 378
5 votes
4 answers
205 views

Which Non-Iron Elvish Steel Would Make A Good Stonecutting Tool?

Long ago, I asked a question regarding the construction of metal weapons without the use of iron at all. In the answers selection, many candidates have been suggested, and they are: Titanium Alumnide ...
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5 votes
1 answer
191 views

How do paved roads affect the wear and tear of iron horseshoed cavalry?

A relatively young and ambitious ruler has decided to build roads across the domain as part of a large public works project. The dirt tracks and existing gravel roads are to be paved with local stone ...
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  • 996
2 votes
1 answer
114 views

How to submerge a 35x45x25 building in water? [closed]

Context: I’m writing a true crime fiction (I think that’s the genre) story about a serial killer known as “The Electric Eel.” Their M.O. is targeting victims while they’re in water and electrocuting ...
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4 votes
2 answers
211 views

What technology/items could wood and other renewables replace metal with [closed]

In my world setting, metals such as iron, steel, copper, etc were as ubiquitous as they are in our world. Over time though, stores of these metals began to run out. It is still very possible to mine ...
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  • 918
4 votes
4 answers
2k views

How much precious metals and rare earth elements would be in a giant robot? [closed]

I was looking up the amount of precious metals like gold and silver and rare earth elements in a cell phone and was surprised to find out that an average iPhone contains 0.034 g of gold and 0.34 g of ...
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  • 13.3k
13 votes
5 answers
717 views

What is a plausible way to maximize the amount of NATIVE silver deposits in a given area?

I have a region on a 'Eurasia' style continent that is surrounded by large mountains. The reason that I came up with was a very dense and volcanically active microplate that was being compressed on ...
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7 votes
6 answers
4k views

An Anvil made of never melting ice

Lets assume that the ice anvil is as resistant to physical blows much like a normal anvil and its never melting(will not explode as well). It will always maintain its negative temperature enough to ...
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  • 2,460
3 votes
2 answers
265 views

Does it ever make sense to create a lunar atmosphere?

Relevant to this question. NASA says the very thin vacuum like Lunar atmosphere has sodium and potassium Does creating a very thin vacuum like lunar atmosphere of the metal atoms leftover after mining ...
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  • 305
8 votes
6 answers
2k views

Reasons for insanely huge precious metal deposits?

In my book series, there is this extremely rich Earthlike planet called Aurea whose claim to fame is supplying the vast majority of the galaxy’s precious metals (gold and silver for the purposes of ...
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4 votes
3 answers
388 views

Can I have an otherwise High Medieval society, if they are in perpetual Bronze Age?

I may have been too ambitious with one property of my advanced Mesoamerican civilisation. The very summarised background (which you can take as given; don't frame challenge this) is that after a wise ...
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  • 13.2k
3 votes
1 answer
751 views

How long does an iron cage remain effective underwater

I'm working on an idea similar to the one presented in the Old Guard; basically an immortal character is trapped in an iron casing from which they cannot escape, that is sent at the bottom of the sea. ...
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-4 votes
1 answer
144 views

What would my alloy (Marbelar) be made from?

Now, I have a fictional alloy called marbelar in my world, having a similar appearance to brass, featuring a reddish-gold appearance. It also has the highest stopping power out of any material in my ...
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15 votes
10 answers
2k views

Metal or alloy for special sword

A unique sword is to be forged for the hero, a human-dragon hybrid. Forged in the dragonfire of his draconic father... I don't actually think it would be much different than a sword from a regular ...
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  • 1,596
10 votes
3 answers
853 views

The limitations of Bronze firearms

I had an idea for a world where tin and copper are both easily accesible and usually found close to each other enough that it is a non-factor. Bronze is pretty much the main alloy for use in anything, ...
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7 votes
4 answers
341 views

What kind of technology is possible in a world with little to no metal?

In this world, a certain kind of hive-minded machine intelligence has spread and become endemic. It consists of a set of microbots capable of decomposing and re-smelting metal. Given raw materials, ...
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6 votes
5 answers
3k views

Is it possible to get molten metal to effectively bond to skin?

Background: In the world I'm building, "magic" is a technology that uses different wiring patterns to manipulate electromagnetic, and a some levels quantum, properties. People have these ...
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-4 votes
1 answer
113 views

How long until my army men can produce metal? [closed]

After a bit of fighting, both green and tan team army men decide that they need more than plastic bullets to defeat each other, they want metal to make super armored metal tanks. Green team sets up ...
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5 votes
2 answers
455 views

In a fantasy setting with 15th century metallurgy, what metals could have been refined that were not discovered in our own medieval period?

For the fantasy setting I'm working on, for a roleplaying game system, civilizations have stagnated into a 15th century technology and metallurgy level with some deviations to make for more ...
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  • 2,866
-3 votes
2 answers
313 views

Could a blade rusted by dried blood become jammed in its sheath?

My character forgot to clean his sword after killing a man. The blade stayed for weeks in her sheath, drying the blood. I wrote a scene where he can't unsheathe his sword because it's "jammed&...
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18 votes
7 answers
4k views

Suitable alloys of platinum or gold for weaponry

In the magic system I'm developing, denser metals (like platinum or gold) can store up energy in order to fuel spells at the user's need. A weapon made of said metals would be very useful, since the ...
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3 votes
2 answers
2k views

Could a metal be indefinitely stained by human blood?

Say there's an in-universe weapon so odd looking that it is rumored to have been stained by the blood of a "holy" mortal, so much so that no amount of water can wash it away. Is there a chance human ...
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7 votes
6 answers
1k views

Asteroid mining: Good for the environment?

What if there was a binding global resolution passed tomorrow mandating that all countries gradually close down their terrestrial resource extraction sites and instead source from asteroid mines? ...
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  • 557
12 votes
10 answers
6k views

Methods of permanently joining a metal mask to a face

There exists an extremist religious order whose tenets espouse the rejection of vanity and self-interest - to achieve nothing less than the complete erasure of the sense of self, instead devoting ...
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  • 1,659
1 vote
2 answers
196 views

Can magnetic fauna and flora on magnetic world knows gravity?

Imagine an Earth sized planet consisting of only ferrous metals. The creatures living on the planet move around like a maglev trains, interacting with the world and each other electromagnetically. The ...
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  • 46k
10 votes
4 answers
818 views

Unworkable metal

In my world there is a metal commonly associated with enhanced magical properties. However as a balancing system I don't want this metal to be combined or forged in any way. The technology level is ...
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  • 5,953
3 votes
3 answers
320 views

What would be the best metal deposit a colony of dwarves to sit upon? (except iron)

The setting for this question is a classic one, a large group of dwarves go out to settle a far away land, but this land almost completely lacks usable iron resources. Yet our brave dwarves have setup ...
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  • 1,576
0 votes
1 answer
110 views

Why would spell circles written in blood which contain iron be more powerful than using gold or silver ink? [closed]

Set in the 13th century A. D. the search for Philosopher's stone which is said to allow user to transmute base metal into gold or perhaps even diamonds as some have claimed. Since then people starts ...
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  • 46k
38 votes
4 answers
8k views

Is it possible to maintain a gun functioning after thousands of years?

The gun in question is a normal, reliable and non-specialized .45 revolver. The idealized character is the last descendant of a lineage of carriers of this gun, considered by them legendary. Is it ...
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2 votes
2 answers
308 views

Turning iron that is unusable by magic civilizations into an alloy usable by them

While my setting has magic, the material world acts the same way as ours. Only reason why I am mentioning magic in my question is because I'm explaining why I need to satisfy such an odd set of ...
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