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Questions tagged [metals]

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

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6
votes
3answers
198 views

How Likely is a Planet Made Almost Entirely of Metals?

For this question, the word 'metals' does not refer to elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. It instead refers to metals as defined by the periodic table of elements. After researching the ...
6
votes
1answer
505 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?
6
votes
3answers
314 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
305 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
votes
1answer
318 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
2answers
808 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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
325 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
votes
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, ...
6
votes
3answers
434 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 ...
5
votes
7answers
424 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
votes
4answers
606 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
votes
2answers
266 views

Using Molten Metal as Mortar--Would it Work Today?

So I just got back from watching an episode of the Science Channel program Unearthed, a show focusing on archaeological discoveries. In the episode in question, the subject was on the Lighthouse of ...
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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
200 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
votes
1answer
519 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
votes
1answer
870 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
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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
583 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
votes
5answers
480 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
votes
3answers
897 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
votes
3answers
617 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
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
224 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
votes
3answers
351 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
votes
2answers
137 views

Is it be possible for creatures to make use of other metals, besides or in conjunction with calcium or chitin, as part their endo or exo-skeleton?

Hypothetically there is a large-ish planet, which is extremely dense due to its high metal content. This planet has relatively high gravity as a result. The fauna and flora have adapted to the high ...
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
votes
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
votes
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
450 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
votes
1answer
163 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
votes
1answer
170 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
vote
11answers
719 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
vote
4answers
241 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 ...
1
vote
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
vote
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 ...
1
vote
3answers
221 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
vote
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
180 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
vote
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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
0
votes
2answers
126 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
votes
2answers
137 views

Magical Heat Sink - Mobile

In this world there is magic but it works on the basis on moving either a property or energy from/between objects. Hopefully I can have this make sense! Using Matweb.com to get my numbers. Working ...
0
votes
1answer
103 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
votes
3answers
126 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 ...