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Old 31 January 2014, 03:15 AM
E. Q. Taft's Avatar
E. Q. Taft E. Q. Taft is offline
Join Date: 30 July 2003
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 14,384

The only reference to "hullmetal" I personally remember is in Ringworld, when the explorers are on the Puppeteer homeworld being briefed about the subject. When told its mass, they think it sounds far too light, but the puppeteer briefing them says their intuition is wrong - "If it were made of hullmetal, it would be fifty feet thick," or something close to that. Since the only usage I recall was by a puppeteer and they're famous for the GP hull, I don't think it's an unreasonable assumption that the hull material is what he's talking about. That still doesn't mean it's necessarily "metal" in any technical sense, of course. It could just be a word they coined for want of a better term for the material. (In fact, I suspect Niven probably came up with the word for that same reason when he was writing the scene....)
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