Star Carbide Steel
Star carbide steel, or star carbide, is a form of carbon alloy steel used by the Starlit Court for its lightweight, strength, and durability. Star carbide is a rare material in beacon space outside of the starlit court. It’s rarity is not due to the use of some exotic materials or phenomenon exploited to create the metals, in fact the process used to create star carbide steel primarily uses mundane steel, carbon, and a small amount of magnesium and trace amounts of other elements. What makes star carbide rare is the process and facilities required to create it.
The process of creating star carbide is a highly guarded secret that dates back to before the Elentar exodus. The steel is created via zero-gravity orbital forges, in which the raw materials are combined, superheated, and cooled using advanced gravity manipulation and industrial lasers to mass produce industrial quantities of the metal. The process controls the exact material components of the steel, flushing out any impurities, and creating microscopic lattice work patterns, air pockets, and crystalline formations that give the metal its enhanced properties.
The exact process of creating star carbide has been refined and tinkered with over the course of the Starlit Court’s search for Grail. The court has developed several variants of the metal, for various use cases. That being said, the production and use of star carbide is time consuming, as the Court has only a handful of facilities capable of producing the metal. Due to this limiting factor, star carbide is used almost exclusively by the Starlit court in their war mechs, where the metal has a substantial impact on the weight of the machines, allowing for the creation of mechs that are nearly 30% lighter than if the were made with conventional materials without sacrificing the mech’s structural integrity.
There are only a handful of forges capable of creating star carbide in beacon space; one on each of the forge order flagships, and two within the anchorage on Sihi. That being said, several Sihian trade guilds have constructed smaller forges that are able to produce star carbide in limited volumes, typically in the production of mech parts.