Questions tagged [metals]

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

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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 ...
6
votes
4answers
323 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 ...
6
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3answers
323 views

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 ...
6
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3answers
308 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
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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, ...
5
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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 ...
5
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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 ...
5
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2answers
162 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 ...
5
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2answers
326 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 ...
5
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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 ...
5
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2answers
684 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 ...
5
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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 ...
5
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1answer
804 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)....
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 ...
4
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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 ...
4
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4answers
648 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 ...
4
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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 ...
3
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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 ...
3
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3answers
802 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 ...
3
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3answers
540 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 ...
3
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2answers
414 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 ...
3
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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 ...
3
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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 ...
3
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1answer
238 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
122 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 ...
2
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2answers
423 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. ...
2
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1answer
159 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
164 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 ...
1
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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 ...
1
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4answers
234 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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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 ...
1
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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 ...
1
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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 ...
1
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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 ...
1
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2answers
172 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 ...
1
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2answers
2k 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 ...
1
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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 ...
0
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3answers
205 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 ...
0
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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 ...
0
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2answers
95 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 ...
0
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1answer
99 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 ...
0
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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 ...
0
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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 ...
-1
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1answer
145 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? ...
-1
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2answers
291 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 ...
-1
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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 ...
-2
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4answers
460 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?
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4answers
5k 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 ...
-3
votes
4answers
169 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 ...