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Questions tagged [metals]

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

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1answer
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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 ...
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16answers
9k views

How to sabotage a blacksmith production? [on hold]

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 ...
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4answers
477 views
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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 ...
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3answers
198 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 ...
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7answers
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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 ...
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11answers
568 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 ...
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10answers
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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 ...
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3answers
438 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 ...
101
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10answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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19answers
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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 ...
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2answers
222 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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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9answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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6answers
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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 (...
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10answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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 ...
13
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3answers
660 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 ...
4
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5answers
319 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 ...
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2answers
75 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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
4
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1answer
536 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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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3answers
382 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 ...
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2answers
241 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 ...
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2answers
143 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
256 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 ...
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2answers
200 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 ...
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4answers
344 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 ...
6
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3answers
727 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 ...
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2answers
93 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 ...
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3answers
200 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 ...
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3answers
4k 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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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3answers
616 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
624 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
90 views

Would it be possible to make an alloy of metal and amorphous solid?

I would like to know if there'd be any way to forge a metal with an amorphous natural glass such as opal or obsidian into an alloy. Could such a thing be crafted into tools? Would it be conchoidal ...
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4answers
992 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, ...
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4answers
518 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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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27answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
987 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 ...