Form-plating Technology / Science in Stellar Journey | World Anvil
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Sapient Synthetics are composed of three main elements. The "organs" that make them able to work, like the Fusion reactor, powerbanks, or brain-computer-thing. On top of that, they have the skeletal frame, wiring, coolant systems, and artificial musculature. A synthetic is at this point completely functional, but looks rather grim, somwhat like what a flayed human would look like. But the average synthetic has plating of various kinds on top. This is called form-plating, as it is plating that gives form and protects the internals.  


As is in the name, the primary purpose of form-plating is to give form to a synthetic's body. It is often stylized and decorated, and comes in many varieties. There are two common types; armour plates and body plates. The distinction between the two is often nebulous, but armour plates generally go on top of existing form-plating, on important parts of the body, and are generally more durable.   Form-plating also protects the wiring and often delicate electronics and machinery from the elements. Generally, a synthetic's body is completely covered in the plating, though joints are not; they are instead covered in a more flexible material - this is often considered part of form-plating as well. The stomach areas of synthetics are also form-plated, though often coloured with a darker colour, like the joints.  


There are, naturally, varied levels of durability for synthetics. Armour plating, as mentioned before, is a common way to improve durability, though the form-plating itself can be reinforced by incorporating stronger materials and structures. For example, Jon has fairly normal form-plating; not very durable, but still not too flimsy. Quaken, though, has plating durability comparable to an average suit of infantry power armour, where Mad is practically wearing a full suit of heavy armour all the time. Mad and Quaken both also have armour plating on top of some sections of their form-plating, further enhancing their durability.  


Form-plating is most often made of graphene, sometimes with a metal frame and/or elements. This makes it relatively lightweight while decently durable, though not when it comes to any significant damage. Stronger plating often incorporates more metal, often steel and/or aluminium. Some, like Mad's, have Carbon-Interlaced Aluminium Alloy in them, though in a limited capacity, given how heavy that material is.


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