Questions tagged [metals]

For questions about the abundance, usage, etc. of metals.

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32
votes
30answers
9k views

What would be the most expensive material to an intergalactic society?

Imagine an intergalactic society that has the following abilities\tech: Warp drive allows trips between stars in days and galaxies in weeks. Able to live in spaceships for long time without health ...
-4
votes
2answers
153 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
605 views

How durable are silver inlays on a blade?

Motivation (fictional of course) Fantasy is full of references to silver swords and other weapons thought to make a poor lycanthrope‘s life miserable. Since silver appears to be too soft for blades, ...
5
votes
7answers
400 views

Feasibility of extraterrestrial metals?

In a sci-fi universe where man has the capability to leave our solar system would metals or alloys above and beyond our own be possible? Or at least within the bounds of reasonable possibility? As the ...
6
votes
1answer
305 views

Could lakes of mercury exist on an Earth-like planet?

I am working on a planet that has insignificant (almost 0 degrees) tilt, no moon, rotates twice as fast as Earth. I intend to create quite an exotic "biome", so to speak, in a subtropical desert zone ...
22
votes
7answers
3k views

How would ant-sized humans be able to Blacksmith Metals Safely?

In this world I'm creating, humans are shrunk down to 2 centimeters tall, and have been teleported down to an earthlike dimension consisting only of insects, plants, fungi and other invertebrates. The ...
3
votes
5answers
445 views

Forging metal under water, using thermite

I have a world setting that contains a variety of underwater species, some crustacean, some cephalopodic, and other varieties. Different species are adapted to different depths, and a few are ...
29
votes
21answers
12k views

How to make a metal with extraordinary property worthless?

In a RPG scenario, players will look for a MacGuffin Metal (aka MGM.), experiencing the farwest gold fever. Short Story: Context : Farwest(~1880), steam punk. First encounter : In a 3-5 minutes ...
3
votes
3answers
339 views

Could a person replace half of their body with gold and still live? What technology would be needed in order to be successful?

My character is male and eighteen years of age. He has no health issues. 'Gold' can be replaced with any type of metal - silver, bronze, steel, iron, it doesn't really matter to me. The ideal type ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

A planet made of iron

Our planet has a surface full of silicates and a core made of iron. It's due to this that Earth is the way it mostly is - most rocks and many minerals contain some form of silica. But what about a ...
9
votes
4answers
884 views

What are the potential pitfalls when using metals as a currency?

Somewhat related question, but not the same goal In my current concept metals (from nickel to iridium, based on density) are used in the magic system. So in a way they are directly tied to power. I ...
19
votes
6answers
3k views

Is there any reason to use tungsten crucibles?

So, in my setting, there are dwarves that make good steel. Shocker, I know. To refine the ore, they rely on the bloomery process like everyone else, using anthracite (when they can get it), charcoal (...
3
votes
2answers
201 views

Making iron tools from blood [closed]

So, I read a while ago several threads about making iron objects/blades from blood. In my conworld there are giant predators that would, according to my calculations, have enough blood so that 12 of ...
11
votes
9answers
5k views

Can you compress metal and what would be the consequences?

Following my mutant thread, I'd like some insight on one of them. I wrote this first generation highly powerful mutant whose ability revolves around metal. (Context, skippable if you're only here ...
5
votes
1answer
183 views

Could genetic engineering enable humans to make use of titanium or some similar material instead of calcium for bone formation?

I'm planing to create "super powers" born out of genetic engineering, but I don't want magic miracle stuff like an x-man, I'm looking for a realistic approach, so overall can you modify the materials ...
103
votes
11answers
21k views

This sword is forged from meteorite iron - but how is that any good?

You know the common trope in fantasy. Meteorite iron is amazing. My armor is made of sky iron, made for me. A bear's armor is his soul, just as your daemon is your soul. You might as well take him ...
-1
votes
1answer
132 views

What would the implications be if all terrestrial lead was gold? [closed]

At some point before life crawled out of the ocean, some alien alchemist managed to turn all of the lead on the earth into gold. Galena becomes some sort of Electrum, and any existing Anglesite and ...
0
votes
3answers
122 views

Modelling platinum supply

Given an asteroid mining company manages to deliver platinum (ore) to Earth, how would they need to set their selling price to account for delivery, given that today on Earth 1g platinum costs $30 to ...
8
votes
7answers
474 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'...
1
vote
3answers
213 views

Must Make a Major Modification of Medieval Metallurgy

The scene: Earth, but with a single major modification, the addition of a HUGE quantity of a single element to the Earth's crust (bringing it up to the same abundance as Iron in the crust). The ...
41
votes
3answers
6k views

Is it possible for a mine to contain both gemstones and precious metals?

I have been trying to find an answer to my question for a couple hours now but I haven't had any luck on Google though I might be searching using the wrong terms I'm not sure as I know next to nothing ...
5
votes
1answer
364 views

Iron based life

Lately I have been thinking about possible forms of life on planets that would have radically different experiences than here on Earth. I was wondering if life based on transition metals was possible ...
36
votes
16answers
9k views

How to sabotage a blacksmith production? [closed]

The city's main weapon and armor supplier has lost his contract arming the city's guard because the quality of the last batch of its products is awful. The swords break at the first clash, the armor ...
11
votes
4answers
541 views

What benefits and drawbacks would forging a blade with a single mighty blow yield over traditional manual hammer-forging?

Assume you have two blades (of whatever design you wish) made from identical starting steel (in fact, we can assume that the two starting ingots are sisters from the same mill run). One is shaped by ...
6
votes
3answers
307 views

How strong would a person need to be to cut cleanly through steel plate?

The problem is that I would like to know how strong the creature I have in mind will end up being and if that would be too strong. I know that 15th century plate armor was very good against slashing ...
6
votes
7answers
22k views

Alternate alloys for weapons and armor?

What other hypothetical alloys could be used for ancient/medieval era weapons/armor? Don't use made up elements (or alloys, if you can help it). Assume metallurgical technology up to the medieval ...
1
vote
11answers
681 views

Biological processes to convert metal into not-metal?

In my story, I'm trying to create a natural disaster of sorts that severely limits the amount of metal used in society. Are there any processes that would be biologically compatible that irreversibly ...
11
votes
10answers
4k views

How can enchanted items be explained?

Let us define enchanting as binding a magical effect to or channeling it through a physical form. Background: Magic is an "energy," or exotic matter/energy perhaps, that exists essentially as an ...
3
votes
3answers
538 views

What alloys and metals can fantasy dwarves refine/create? [closed]

What metals are dwarves capable of refining and producing? I'm working on a setting where the players have a lot of meta knowledge (Computers and nukes in a pre-industrial world anyone?¹) and need to ...
19
votes
9answers
5k views

Can an earth-like world lack mineable iron?

This question is pretty straightforward. I would like to build an earth-like world in which humans don't have access to iron, or at least can't mine any prior to full scale industrialization. They can ...
15
votes
11answers
5k views

How would weapons and armour be affected if metal weight was negligible?

Related to How would a weapon act if it negates the effects of gravity for itself? I'm in the middle of building a fantasy world with one core component – a reasonably rare magical metal that gets ...
39
votes
19answers
13k views

What can be used as a money in a high-fantasy magic world where noble metals are in practical use?

Imagine a high-fantasy magic world where magic has the place of a science. Noble/rare metals – such as silver, gold, platinum – have the ability to conduct magic energy, which is commonly used in all ...
8
votes
2answers
250 views

What would be an ideal alloying metal for gold coinage?

This is something of a practical question more than anything else. Consider a setting in the modern world, where a large country e.g. the U.S. has collapsed and been replaced by a sort of modernized ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

If Earth's Core had ALL Of the Heavy Metals

Back home, Earth had gone through an impact-coalesce cycle only once. Since then, its core has been 84% iron, 6% nickel and the rest being labeled by The Encyclopedia of Earth: A Complete Visual ...
24
votes
9answers
7k views

Aftermath of a Midas-weapon war - what to do with all that gold?

After reading the question Are “Midas” swords useless for warfare? it really tricked my mind of finding ways on what to do will all that gold. So I was wondering: assume a war broke out and you used ...
-3
votes
4answers
168 views

Could the Romans have Invented Graphene? [closed]

This scenario is inspired by this article. Long ago, it was thought that this super-cool, extra strong material called carbon nanotubes is a recent invention. After all, what ancient culture could ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Can you harness electricity without metal?

Can you make devices that produce and use electricity like power supplies, motors, light bulbs, etc. in a society without metal? Not just metal isn't in the device, you can't even use metal in the ...
60
votes
10answers
12k views

Is it possible to create a practical sword that's naturally toxic?

While doing research, I stumbled across the alloy "arsenical bronze", in which copper is smelted with arsenic instead of (or in addition to) tin. This apparently gives you "a stronger final product ...
13
votes
3answers
894 views

How would fantasy dwarves produce steel?

I'm designing a computer game in a fantasy setting with dwarves who need to produce steel. This is a very traditional Tolkein-esque fantasy world at a relatively "middle ages" level of technology (no ...
0
votes
2answers
79 views

Which properties would alloys that becomes increasingly reflective as they heat up have? [closed]

One of the things I'm working on for my science fiction setting are reasons for laser weapons to not be very prominent. One of the ideas I came up with was for the primary hull plating of most ships ...
4
votes
1answer
561 views

How much metal could a humanoid safely have in its skin and bones and be functional?

Question definitions: "safely" - the metal would be strictly beneficial; there would be no health problems caused by it (perhaps at least for most, there may be "birth defects" which cause some of ...
25
votes
6answers
6k views

Physics of a metal-poor world

I've read the other answers relating to this area (and discovered to my disappointment that my great ideas have been done before... hey ho). But I'd like to get the science right. I have a nation of ...
7
votes
3answers
422 views

Is it possible for a planet to have few metal ores but an overabundance of gemstones?

Background: The planet is very volcanic, having at least a dozen volcanoes on any landmass and even more in the oceans. I want the planet to have very few metal ores but a complete overabundance of ...
7
votes
2answers
273 views

If resistance were also a measure of a metal's resistance to magic, which metals would make the best armor and weapons?

In a fantasy setting I'm working on for an RPG, I was trying to determine what properties I could use to determine how well metals resist magic and how readily they absorb enchantments based on ...
1
vote
2answers
204 views

Is it possible to make alloys/composite materials with Gold and glasses such as Obsidian [duplicate]

I'm limited to having either iron, tungsten, titanium, and gold be alloyed and/or made into a composite material with obsidian to make an obsidian-like material with a gold sheen that can be shaped ...
6
votes
3answers
291 views

Non-Iron Skyscraper Framing

I'll confess that I have a real issue with iron--it rusts quickly. In fact, the History Channel program Life After People constantly states that, left to its own devices, the iron that makes up a ...
1
vote
2answers
224 views

Can a new volcano have metals inside?

If I were to use handwavium to raise a volcano in the middle of the sea, would it contain metals or ores large enough to be extracted by normal means, like mining with a pickaxe? Everything apart ...
5
votes
4answers
568 views

What is the highest quality method to produce steel with late medieval technology?

Assuming we have the tools and materials of the late medieval period in Europe (~ 15th century) but are allowed to use modern knowledge of metallurgy, what method/process of steel production would ...
0
votes
2answers
110 views

Would the early invention of the microscope naturally lead to better metallurgy or steel?

QUESTION It's been established that one could invent microscopes early with a magnification of up to 1500x. It occurred to me, though I really know nothing about this, that putting metals under a ...
1
vote
3answers
206 views

Is it possible to braid a hat with pure gold and it still be usable? [closed]

So here's the background: there's an adventurer who is looking for a golden hat made by an extraterrestrial civilization as a gift for one of his ancestor in the 18th century. Is it technically ...