Metal stick together in space

Fun fact: metals stick together in space

Cold welding is a fascinating phenomenon that allows metals to bond in space

Cold Welding: In the vacuum of space, two metal pieces can fuse without heat or flame when they come into contact. This occurs because:

Metallic Bonds: Metals consist of positively charged ions immersed in a sea of free-moving electrons, which are essential for bonding atoms within the metal.

Oxide Layer: On Earth, metals typically develop an oxide layer on their surfaces due to exposure to air, preventing them from bonding directly.

In Space: Without oxygen in space to create an oxide layer, touching metal pieces can merge through their metallic bonds, forming one solid piece.

Practical Implications

In practice, such occurrences are rare on Earth due to irregularities and the presence of a protective oxide layer.

Even in space, this oxide layer persists unless it is intentionally removed. If it were to be polished away, the metals could indeed weld together.

Designers of satellites and spacecraft must take this into account when selecting metal components for space missions.

Designers of satellites and spacecraft must consider this when selecting metal parts for space missions.

Although it’s not as straightforward as magnets sticking together, cold welding in space is truly possible!

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