Tuesday, April 27, 2010

«Hardest Metal»

Ok, read this. It's one of those things that will make you say "wat?"[sic]:

Due to extensive research done by the University of Pittsburgh, diamond has been confirmed as the hardest metal known to man. The research is as follows:

Pocket-protected scientists built a wall of iron and crashed a diamond car into it at 400 miles per hour, and the car was unharmed.

They then built a wall out of diamond and crashed a car made of iron moving at 400 miles an hour into the wall, and the wall came out fine.

They then crashed a diamond car made of 400 miles per hour into a wall, and there were no survivors.

They crashed 400 miles per hour into a diamond traveling at iron car. Western New York was powerless for hours.

They rammed a wall of metal into a 400 mile per hour made of diamond, and the resulting explosion shifted the earth's orbit 400 million miles away from the sun, saving the earth from a meteor the size of a small Washington suburb that was hurtling towards mid-western Prussia at 400 billion miles per hour.

They shot a diamond made of iron at a car moving at 400 walls per hour, and as a result caused two wayward airplanes to lose track of their bearings, and make a fatal crash with two buildings in downtown New York.

They spun 400 miles at diamond into iron per wall. The results were inconclusive.

Finally, they placed 400 diamonds per hour in front of a car made of wall traveling at miles per iron, and the result proved without a doubt that diamonds were the hardest metal of all time, if not just the hardest metal known to man.

Damn... You've got to love the incoherency of the internet. Especially since diamond is carbon, and carbon is a non-metal. One of the prerequisites of something being a metal is a "high electrical conductivity." Seeing as diamond is an insulator, it is not a metal.

I've gotten conflicting results when trying to find what the actual hardest metal is. The search results are polluted with diamonds (figures) and DragonForce1. There is an alloy of carbon steel called alloy 1090 that's said to be the hardest metal at a Mohs hardness of 8. However, I also read tungsten carbide has a Mohs hardness of 8.5-9. That's clearly harder than alloy 1090.

1: DragonForce is a band that plays "hard" metal (music).


  1. Um, is it Osmium?

  2. But diamonds should be because they are so sparkly......

    ....before you get all Marf'ish about it, yes I understand that only when they are CUT to be are they sparkly.

  3. @ Vid: Nope, osmium has a Mohs hardness of 7.

    @ Monique: Well, that just goes to show that not all that glitters is gold.

  4. I was thinking that tungsten carbide is technically a ceramic ...

  5. The conclusions would be different if they used metric time ;)

  6. Livingsword, I thought I was the only one bugged by the fact that English time units and Metric time units are identical. The Metric system really needs a time unit based on some standard like the length of an Obama speech. We could then talk about time in scientific terms like GigaObamas or MicroObamas.

  7. @ Looney: A ceramic is an inorganic, non-metallic solid. They are characterized as hard, brittle, heat- and corrosion-resistant materials. Most ceramics are crystalline and are poor conductors of electricity, however some recently discovered copper-oxide ceramics are superconductors at cryogenic temperatures.

    Tungsten carbide does share a lot of properties and even working (shaping) techniques as ceramics. However, I see 2 things that set it apart. It's not brittle; for such a hard material with very high rigidity, the impact resistance is high. And it is metallic, having a high electrical conductivity.

    But there a lot of carbides that are ceramic.

  8. Looney,

    Are those metric bugs, imperial bugs or US bugs?

    The problem with using Obama speeches delineated as GigaObamas or MicroObamas is that both are still longer than a standard epoch…I suppose a substitute for shorter time references would be a DriveByMediaMoment or HollywoodMarriageMinute…

    My wife measures Obama speeches in number of sleeps like counting down to Christmas…

    Canada changed to metric when I was still in school but I had already learned Imperial so I still subconsciously convert to Imperial…however I like metric…bring on the metric time…

  9. @Marf, years ago I had a book called Strong Solids that went over a lot of this. Can't remember too much now, but it seems that they had defined ceramics based on the chemical bonding technique.

    They also had another category of high strength materials called metallic glass, which was formed by cooling molten metals faster than a crystal lattice can precipitate out. The strength of a metal is strongly dependent on the nature of the crystal lattice (plus defects), so the metallic glass can potentially be much stronger. Anyway, it is all fuzzy in my brain now.

  10. @ Livingsword, I'm glad the US hasn't converted to metric, it has saved pop culture.

  11. @Anonymous

    Metric time could provide an entire new pantheon of country music…

    Unfortunately even metric could not make baseball interesting…

    Do you really think US pop culture is worth saving?

    Keep in mind that we know that when the US joins the one world government after the next world war they will convert to metric…don’t you ever watch Future News also known as Star Trek?


  12. @Livingsword, now you have me pondering the difference between English time units and Southern Redneck time units.

  13. @Looney, as per this article the differences in English time units vs that of Southern Redneck units is in hardness…English time is free weight while Southern Redneck is doing hard time…


Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

»» «« »Home«