Would liquid metal be stable in space unlike most other liquids like water? Are there any metals that has a high vapor pressure limit?

Side question: Can liquid metal be given an electromagnetic field if electricity is passed through it?

Liquid shield for spacecraft?


  • $\begingroup$ It is not called the Armstrong limit it is called the vapor pressure $\endgroup$ – Uwe Mar 14 at 22:58

The question has been evolving. I've addressed the original:

Are there any metals that has a high Armstrong limit?

I've never heard of a liquid metal that boils at 20° C or 37° C in a vacuum. Metallic hydrogen might be suggested but that's not a liquid at atmospheric pressure. So I think the answer is pretty much

All of them!

Things like mercury or gallium (>30° C) would just sit there as liquids at 2 atmospheres, 1 atmosphere, or vacuum. They have low (but non-zero) vapor pressures but they wouldn't suddenly boil. Ditto for most eutectics as well.

  • $\begingroup$ The Armstrong limit is not at 20 °C, it is at 37 °C. $\endgroup$ – Uwe Mar 14 at 23:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Uwe added, thanks. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Mar 14 at 23:03
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    $\begingroup$ @Muze "near the Sun" has nothing to do with the Armstrong limit. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Mar 14 at 23:05
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    $\begingroup$ There is a paper about the vapor pressure of mercury. See page 10 figure 1 for a graph of pressure and temperature. At 300 K the vapor pressure of mercury is less than 1 Pa, a pretty good vacuum. So liquid mercury at 37 °C will indeed boil in a vacuum (better than 1 Pascal). The dynamic of boiling depends on the heat energy transfered. $\endgroup$ – Uwe Mar 15 at 12:33
  • $\begingroup$ Yes but would the suns roche limit pull apart the ball? $\endgroup$ – Muze the good Troll. Apr 13 at 0:49

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