1 If Two Pieces Of Metal Touch In Space They Stick Together
Wow, I love science. It manages to throw amazing little gem up nearly every day. This just happens to be one of them. If two pieces of metal touch in space, that’s two identical pieces, such as two pieces of copper or two pieces of iron, they will stick together as if they were welded. Well, not as if they were welded, exactly the same, if not better than if they were welded. The process that causes this phenomenon is called cold welding.
Cold welding was discovered in the 1940’s. As the name suggests, it’s the process of welding two pieces of metal together without any heat. With normal welding, two pieces of metal are joined by applying heat to a joint. The heat fuses the two pieces together as one. Cold welding on the other hand requires several factors to work. Firstly, the two pieces must have a similar composition, such as copper and copper. Next, they must be in perfect condition. No rust, oil or grease. In other words, no foreign material at all can be present on the two pieces. Thirdly, a vacuum, not the household kind, is needed. The kind of vacuum that is in space. When all these things are present the two will fuse together, forming one solid piece. The reason for this is that the atoms in the metals can’t tell if they are on different pieces of metal, and form just one continuous piece. If there is a foreign object, such as rust, oil or grease, the atoms kind of know that the two pieces are different, and will not stick together.