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What is the outer hull of Enterprise (NCC-1701) supposed to be constructed from? Are the later vessels in the franchise made from the same material(s)? I'm hoping for a Gene R. answer, but if not, the next best example from the franchise would suffice.

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    Based on the Memory Alpha article for Hull, and particularly after examining all the articles for substances listed in the Hull materials section, I doubt this is a well-known detail. If it is stated anywhere, it is probably in a novel or other non-canonical source. I've also looked through the articles for NCC-1701 and Constitution-class starships with no success.
    – Iszi
    Feb 21, 2013 at 2:46
  • There may be an answer later on, but TOS-era was occasionally mixed up on its own technology - I'd be surprised if it was mentioned and consistent in TOS.
    – Izkata
    Feb 21, 2013 at 2:51
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    I believe the outer hull is composed of Duranium and possibly other alloys...can't remember where/which/when this is stated in canon though.
    – NominSim
    Feb 21, 2013 at 3:06
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    @MajorStackings Actually, I think you should probably choose one or state that you're interested in either. It's quite possible - even likely - that the real-world answers (were either of these universes real) would be different. J.J. Abrams has mentioned that scans of the Narada led to technological advancements that did not happen so early in the prime universe - explaining why the Enterprise and other technological marvels in the alternate reality look so different from the prime universe. It's likely these premature advancements may have included new alloys for starship hulls as well.
    – Iszi
    Feb 21, 2013 at 3:10
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    I heard from a reliable source that it is made of corbomite. Jan 29, 2016 at 20:16

3 Answers 3

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Star Trek: The Next Generation: Technical Manual (Paperback) by Rick Sternbach, Michael Okuda indicate the hulls of Federation ships were a hollow structure reinforced with structural integrity force fields for faster than light travel and woven composite materials using duranium and tritanium/titanium alloys. This is the only publication I have which would have any level of canon reference.

The outer hull of NX-class starships were lined with duranium. (ENT: "The Xindi") - Memory Alpha

Tritanium will frequently reappear in Star Trek as a construction material for starship hulls. TOS Spock states that tritanium is 21.4 times as hard as diamonds.

Tritanium alloy was a widely-used construction material. The bulkheads of Enterprise were composed of tritanium. (ENT: "Dead Stop") In the 24th century, Federation starships, specifically Galaxy-class, Intrepid-class and Raven-type, also had tritanium bulkheads. (TNG: "Where Silence Has Lease"; VOY: "Year of Hell, Part II", "The Raven", "Repentance") - Memory Alpha

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  • Does this state how far back those alloys were used? TNG occurred centuries after TOS, so it's quite probable TNG-era ships would have used different alloys, unless the manual explicitly states otherwise.
    – Iszi
    Feb 21, 2013 at 3:18
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    It specified the design of the hull were consistent with the Constitution class cruisers, but since it was written long before NX-01, we cannot be sure the technology existed for the ENT crew. Feb 21, 2013 at 3:22
  • Good stuff, then. Might want to add it to your answer?
    – Iszi
    Feb 21, 2013 at 3:23
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    @Iszi By "centuries" you mean..."century".
    – NominSim
    Feb 21, 2013 at 3:29
  • @NominSim True enough, though I believe my point still stands. I'm glad to hear it's still covered, though.
    – Iszi
    Feb 21, 2013 at 3:31
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Cast Rodinium was the hardest substance known to Federation science at the time of "Balance of Terror" and was used on the outposts at the Neutral Zone. Spock crushed some plasma-imploded cast Rodinium in his hand during that pre-battle meeting.

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  • The Memory Alpha website calls it Cast Rhodinium, not Castrodinium.
    – mytai01
    Jun 20, 2013 at 20:01
  • Hi @mytai01 I've converted your answer into a comment. I did this because although you seem to have enough reputation, it looks like you meant to reply to this answer.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Jun 20, 2013 at 20:19
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I seem to recall from blueprints back in the 60's that the ENTERPRISE hull was ferro-cement. . .an attainable product and workable in space. TOS had the ship built in orbit. . .

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    Are you able to add any links or pictures to back this up, as recollections do not make for a good answer on here Jan 29, 2016 at 12:35

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