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Questions tagged [metals]

For questions needing solutions regarding metallurgy, properties of real or fantastical metals or metallic substances, or the usage, acquisition, or in-world effects of them.

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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 ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 369
17 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
Ross Taylor-Turner's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
3k 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, ...
Logan Kitchen's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
4k 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 ...
Jonathan's user avatar
  • 1,663
-4 votes
3 answers
189 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.
detrivore's user avatar
  • 368
-2 votes
4 answers
934 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?
Sephiran Leon's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
148 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 ...
JohnWDailey's user avatar
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11 votes
4 answers
883 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 ...
Shalvenay's user avatar
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9 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
OnePie's user avatar
  • 405
0 votes
3 answers
274 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 ...
Caters's user avatar
  • 4,169
6 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
Lu22's user avatar
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26 votes
12 answers
9k 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 ...
Fox-Chan's user avatar
  • 623
2 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
skeletim's user avatar
  • 755
9 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
Anoplexian's user avatar
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-2 votes
4 answers
10k 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 ...
Matthew Cockram's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
692 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 ...
emo bob's user avatar
  • 1,758
7 votes
6 answers
3k 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 ...
roobee's user avatar
  • 205
2 votes
2 answers
736 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. ...
Babika Babaka's user avatar
4 votes
6 answers
5k 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 ...
SilverCookies's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
535 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 ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 1,618
9 votes
5 answers
1k views

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 ...
Trismegistus's user avatar
  • 3,941
8 votes
7 answers
733 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'...
Trismegistus's user avatar
  • 3,941
6 votes
6 answers
431 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 ...
Trismegistus's user avatar
  • 3,941
1 vote
2 answers
265 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 ...
JohnWDailey's user avatar
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5 votes
6 answers
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 ...
JohnWDailey's user avatar
  • 14.5k
8 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
JohnWDailey's user avatar
  • 14.5k
6 votes
1 answer
2k 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)....
JohnWDailey's user avatar
  • 14.5k
2 votes
1 answer
248 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 ...
Rayne Thomas's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
326 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 ...
JohnWDailey's user avatar
  • 14.5k
6 votes
4 answers
359 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 ...
AJL's user avatar
  • 163
1 vote
4 answers
339 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 ...
JohnWDailey's user avatar
  • 14.5k
14 votes
11 answers
6k 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 ...
Miller86's user avatar
  • 1,900
13 votes
5 answers
2k 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 ...
Greenstack's user avatar
29 votes
3 answers
7k 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 ...
Tyler Bok's user avatar
  • 293
7 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
Stefano Cirolini's user avatar
19 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
Christopher King's user avatar
12 votes
6 answers
2k views

A society without metal [closed]

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 ...
Taejang's user avatar
  • 722
2 votes
1 answer
199 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 ...
Hendrik Lie's user avatar
  • 2,000
11 votes
8 answers
35k views

Alternative 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 possible) Assume metallurgical technology up to the medieval age (in ...
Dider's user avatar
  • 983
10 votes
6 answers
2k 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 ...
Travis Christian's user avatar
7 votes
7 answers
863 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 ...
Brad's user avatar
  • 640
7 votes
3 answers
427 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 ...
Stained Forever's user avatar
17 votes
9 answers
4k 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 ...
grimmsdottir's user avatar
  • 6,247
6 votes
1 answer
645 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?
Sam Washburn's user avatar
  • 2,118
13 votes
12 answers
6k 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 ...
Crabgor's user avatar
  • 1,648
7 votes
3 answers
360 views

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 ...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 5,316
15 votes
3 answers
901 views

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. ...
Epiglottal Axolotl's user avatar

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