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Questions tagged [metals]

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

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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 ...
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3answers
195 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 ...
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2answers
485 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 ...
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12answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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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
842 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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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2answers
287 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 ...
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6answers
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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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2answers
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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. ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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2answers
392 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 ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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7answers
425 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'...
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5answers
293 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 ...
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2answers
162 views

A Different Alloy--For Better or Worse?

Related to this: Any Better Alternatives to Steel? I have found that any alternatives to steel are not so easy to obtain or practice. Aluminum is lighter than steel, but it's not as strong and more ...
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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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1answer
873 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 ...
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1answer
662 views

How Does Steel React to Ice?

In this alternate scenario, for six to ten years, latitudes as far down south as Chicago experience eight to nine months where the daily high barely reaches zero Fahrenheit (−18 degrees Celsius)....
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1answer
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could different bloods of the same metal type mix?

Other blood colors The link about talks about other color's of blood that could be if made with either different metals or different oxygen carrier's. What I want to know is if you mixed iron blood ...
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1answer
234 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 ...
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4answers
301 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 ...
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4answers
218 views

Could a Skyscraper's Skeleton Be Stainless? [closed]

The official definition of "stainless steel" is a steel alloy where 10.5% consists of chromium, allowing it to withstand corrosion a lot better than carbon steel. With this sort of advantage, you'd ...
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11answers
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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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3answers
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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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3answers
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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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3answers
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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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4answers
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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 ...
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3answers
988 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 ...
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1answer
158 views

Sudden enrichment of heavier elements and its impact to medieval/renaissance society

Disclaimer Building from this question, and both of this answer by John_H, and this by Samuel, I'm going to compose a new question quite related yet not quite similar. Background So we have a world ...
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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 ...
9
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6answers
696 views

How feasible would mass scale metallurgy be for a post-apocalyptic civilization?

Let's assume that civilization is a total loss so after the initial die-off humanity has to rebuild itself from the hunter-gatherer stage. In a particularly harsh environment it may take a few ...
6
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7answers
694 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 ...
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3answers
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How could an artificial limb function “logically” for a fantasy world?

My world is almost like a fantasy steam/solar-punk set up and my main character has a metal left limb. I guess I shouldn't try to worry too much, but it always bothers me that I'm not sure if I have ...
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8answers
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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 ...
6
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1answer
443 views

Removing the metal from a star

What would happen if an extremely advanced race removed the metal (everything beyond H and He) from a star. Would the star still function? Would it change in appearance or properties at all?
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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
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Iron-free metallurgy

Suppose an advanced technological civilization colonizing a planet/planetoid which has very little iron. Suppose the surface is mostly rocky with a lot of $\text{SiO}_2$. There is also some carbon and ...
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3answers
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Could an earthlike planet sustain standing lakes of liquid gallium?

Would it be possible for an earth-like planet to have a lake made of liquid gallium? I assume that the lake would probably have to be near the equator to avoid having it freeze over frequently. ...