Questions tagged [metals]

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

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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
430 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
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2answers
295 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
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2answers
227 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
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3answers
313 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
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2answers
234 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
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4answers
600 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
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2answers
116 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
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3answers
207 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 ...
26
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3answers
5k views

Can you forge a sword using just one piece of metal?

I thought it might be visually and thematically interesting for a character to have a sword made from just one piece of steel, like those knife sets you can buy. Something like this, but obviously ...
4
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6answers
2k views

Can Gold Be Used for Other Purposes?

One of the rarest but still most famous mineral on Earth's surface is gold. It has been used for luxury--Tut's funeral mask and the crown of Montezuma come into mind--and currency for thousands of ...
3
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3answers
893 views

Could a medieval / early modern blast furnace produce steel alloys

Blast furnaces have been in China since the 1st century, and arrived in the west during the late 1400's. Imagine now a society "stuck" in the early modern / late medieval period, could they produce ...
6
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2answers
765 views

Can arsenic make deadly weapons?

Is arsenic, or arsenic alloy (arsenic + lead), deadly and can it be used for weapons in medieval / classical era? If a leader of assassins' guild wants a special (reusable) toxic weapon (from dagger ...
12
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2answers
2k views

Aluminium as body armor?

So, this question has been asked before, but I would like to make a few stipulations regarding the specifics of my question. Firstly, the aluminium in question is fabricated in modern times, and ...
6
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4answers
1k views

What Limitations or Modifications Would Medieval Armor or Weapons Have if Modern Quality Steel Were Used?

SETTING The setting is a fantasy world with magic, mystical creatures, knights and heroes, kingdoms, etc; a rather typical fantasy world (ie. Middle Earth, or Shannara Chronicles). In it, swords, ...
4
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4answers
675 views

Could a society attain 1800s technology if limited to using copper and bronze?

Background: In an alternate history of the island that became modern Britain, prehistoric humans entered the Bronze Age but then (for various religious reasons - the full details of which are ...
-3
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3answers
737 views

Is metal grafted straight under skin possible?

/Edit : so, I would like to create character which is supposed to have some metal grafted under his skin, but by under his skin I mean straight under, like a second layer. This is supposed to be like ...
5
votes
2answers
165 views

How to increase the availability and quantity of Mercury on an Earth-like planet?

According to this list mercury only makes up 6.7×10-6 % of the Earth's crust (by mass, I believe; though even if it's by number of atoms it's still tiny). I'd like to make mercury sufficiently ...
7
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2answers
2k views

What level of tech if there was no copper?

I imagine a world like Earth, only without easy mineable copper (say, where copper was as rare as gold). That means no brass nor bronze too (they are copper alloys). I presume prehistoric humans ...
1
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3answers
230 views

Realistic size for an atomic pure space body

Space bodies like planets, asteroids and comets are formed by the remaining materials of stars explosions. Therefore they are usually made up of several elements. There is the possibility that a ...
74
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27answers
12k views

Sword in the rock - make it last the ages

Merlin the wizard has a problem. Sure, it was a piece of cake to move forward in time to the 21st century, procure a sword that was made with the highest 21st century standards, go back in time, and ...
12
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8answers
2k views

How would metal cloth affect armor design?

Within my setting, there will be a race of spider people, and they will have the ability to create "metal silk", which is basically taking any type of metal, realistic and fantastic, and dissolving it ...
9
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3answers
1k views

A society without metal

What would a medieval society without access to metal look like? How would things like wagons, weapons, coinage, and tools be different? "Medieval" in this sense would mean something like feudal ...
6
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5answers
304 views

Possible explanations for a world with hard to access metal deposites?

The concept of a metal poor world is one that I find deeply fascinating. In part because I fell in love with the setting that first exposed me to the concept, Dark Sun. So I want incorporate a very ...
6
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7answers
758 views

How concentrated would a metal ore need to be to be extractable by a suitable plant?

So there is a Minecraft mod that includes various oreberry bushes. One for gold, one for silver, etc. Now I know that various plants can extract specific minerals in higher quantities that what ...
6
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4answers
327 views

Why might metals become unavailable on earth?

Is there a plausible reason that the world might not be able to get any sort of metal from Earth, short of what we already have? I was thinking it could begin in our sort of "modern" day and age, but ...
-1
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1answer
152 views

How to make shape-shifting robotic creatures? [closed]

BORN4 / Con-Science Saga Is this story scientifically possible and/or plausible by our real-world standards? What should I change about it, if the science behind it is not really understandable? ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Any Better Alternatives to Steel?

The skeleton of the average skyscraper is steel. While it does have its advantages, they tend to get outweighed by two specific faults. One is a resistance to corrosion so poor that in a Life After ...
6
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3answers
333 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 ...
23
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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, ...
-1
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2answers
322 views

Are bones generally harder to corrode than human skin? [closed]

I am curious to know if bones generally are harder to corrode than human skin in our world and at what rate? I was thinking to compare how a skeleton would react to corrosion compared to a regular ...
3
votes
1answer
241 views

What If We Had More Iron?

Back home, 84% of Earth's core is iron, one of the most abundant elements in the cosmos. We have used it for many purposes in the 6,000 years of human history, from the heads of arrows and spears to ...
2
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3answers
2k views

Is there a metal, that is not sticky during freezing weather [closed]

Is there any metal, that your tongue will not stick during winter? If there are several, please list all metals with such property, that you can remember.
2
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2answers
127 views

Using liquid/malleable metal as a shield/weapon?

Maybe this question doesn't go too far, but when reading about liquid metal type materials like those that can harden with electricity or magnetism, I was kind of thinking of something there. For ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

What alloy could replace brass in most applications?

In my world, zinc is useful as an anti-magic material. This ability manifested shortly after the discovery of magic, and now zinc will erode and decay when exposed to magic, dissipating into ...
-4
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3answers
170 views

Panning for Gold [closed]

Could there ever be a river or stream in which gold can be gathered if a net is placed propensity to the flow? I mean in the long term, getting substantial amounts of gold every day.
-2
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4answers
498 views

What's the heaviest and most resistant metal for an armor? [closed]

In a world where humans are physically stronger (say, they lift about 40-45k lbs), and probably gravity is 0.6 from Earth's, what is the best metal to make an armor from?
0
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1answer
101 views

Could Carbon Nanotubes Even Be Used for Metalwork?

Last time, I had asked if the science of carbon nanotubes would be realized at an earlier date than in our timeline. It seems that there were plans to insert carbon nanotubes into concrete, enhancing ...
10
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4answers
1k views

Recyling Metals in a Post Apocalyptic World

Hundreds of years ago, the world as we know it came to an end for various reasons. Mass death, mass agricultural failure, a complete breakdown of all economies and transportation networks along with ...
0
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3answers
208 views

Iron practically everywhere

My Kepler Bb people live in a part of their planet saturated with iron. But not in the metal form. Rather in an oxidized form called an ore. Every time they dig a chamber, each person finds at least 1 ...
6
votes
2answers
802 views

Could “living” metal be plausible in a sci-fi setting?

In the space opera concept story I'm working on, the underdog faction develops/discovers several technologies and resources that help them turn the tide against the enemy. One of these discoveries is ...
8
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4answers
1k views

Potential of Potassium/Caesium Bullets?

In my story I'm trying to get a more Quentin Tarantino-esque feeling, and what goes best with his films? BIGGER BOOMS. So. Let me start by saying, I understand international treaties like the Hague ...
4
votes
6answers
2k views

metal clothes: can we make them with modern tech?

In a world deprived of organics but rich in metals, can we use them to make clothes? I am not interested in the weight since this world is low g anyway, so heavy clothes are still ok; thermal ...
26
votes
12answers
8k views

Is there a way to make a metal sword resistant to lava?

My story involves sword of very high quality; they use lasers to cut, but have a metal reinforcement. The monsters the characters encounter and fight have lava as their 'life liquid'. If someone were ...
1
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2answers
3k views

Gold as a conductor for spiritual energy

Trying to develop a consistent system for my world based on the idea of the substance, Gold, being a special material that can conduct spiritual energy in a way similar to how metal already conducts ...
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4answers
6k views

What metals have similar properties to iron and iron alloys? [closed]

I'm writing a book set in a zombie apocalypse. It has been under this apocalypse so 50 years. Iron is one of the zombies' only weaknesses. Iron mining techniques at the time of the start of the ...
5
votes
2answers
363 views

Heavy metal planets in a globular cluster

Globular clusters are old, dense groups of stars that tend to have relatively few metals (in this case meaning any elements heavier than helium). Clusters near the galactic core tend to have more ...
2
votes
2answers
446 views

What are the limitations of silver?

In this world, a bunch of wizards colonized a new planet and are in the process of terraforming it (more details here). This newly-created civilization has access to a reduced variety of materials. ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

What would the economic impact of the ability to transmute lead into gold?

Okay, my first trial run, How would humans and society react to a superhero existing and saving the earth?, of social sciences with hard-science is looking some what sickly at the moment (maybe ...
3
votes
2answers
423 views

How could ancient metalworkers use modern metals? [closed]

These days, we use many different metals and alloys that weren't available in the ancient world (stainless steel, titanium, nickel, etc.). If a vast collection of modern metal objects were somehow ...