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Plastic Properties

In this worksheet, students will be looking at the properties of plastics - one of the most common materials in everyday life.

'Plastic Properties' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Properties and Changes of Materials

Curriculum subtopic:  Comparing and Grouping Properties of Materials

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Plastics are very common materials.  They are made from crude oil, one of many products from this liquid which we obtain from below the ground.

 

We are likely to come across plastics every day in any number of different forms: they are used for all kinds of jobs.

 

Plastic bag Plastic bottles PLastic spoon

 

 

One of the many properties of plastics that makes them so useful is that they are easy to produce in different shapes and sizes and so can be used to make a huge variety of objects.

 

Lego bricks

 

This worksheet will help you test your knowledge of one of the most useful materials ever made.

What raw material are plastics made from?

Plants

Rocks

Oil

Why are plastics used to cover electrical wires?

 

PLastic-covered electrical wire

They are colourful and easy to see

They don't conduct electricity

They can be used to fix the wires in place

They keep the wires cool

Which of these properties do you think make plastics a good choice for making bottles? (Select all of the options that you think are correct).

 

Plastic bottles

they are strong

they are light

they can be made transparent

they can be recycled

Plastics don't react very easily with other substances. Why might this be a bad thing?

 

Choose ONE answer from the list.

It makes it difficult to mix plastics with other things

It means that plastics don't break down and stay in the environment

If you try to paint plastic the paint just flakes off

How are plastics made into different shapes?

 

Choose ONE answer.

They are carved from big blocks

They are softened by heating and then shaped in moulds

They are grown from small plastic seeds

  • Question 1

What raw material are plastics made from?

CORRECT ANSWER
Oil
EDDIE SAYS
Plastics are made from crude oil, or petroleum, which is also used to make fuels, such as petrol for cars. That seems amazing, but through a variety of chemical processes, the raw crude oil can be made into plastics.
  • Question 2

Why are plastics used to cover electrical wires?

 

PLastic-covered electrical wire

CORRECT ANSWER
They don't conduct electricity
EDDIE SAYS
Plastics don't conduct electricity, so they make it safer to work with wires that are used in electrical equipment. Being colourful is helpful, but it's the insulating properties of the plastic that is important here - because plastic won't conduct electricity, it can be used to prevent us from getting an electric shock.
  • Question 3

Which of these properties do you think make plastics a good choice for making bottles? (Select all of the options that you think are correct).

 

Plastic bottles

CORRECT ANSWER
they are strong
they are light
they can be made transparent
they can be recycled
EDDIE SAYS
All of these properties make plastics useful. A plastic bottle is lighter than a similarly-sized glass bottle and will not break if you drop it. Many types of plastic can now be recycled and re-used when we have finished with them. So make sure you use your recycling bins! That's especially important as we begin to realise just how we have polluted our world with plastic: re-using and recycling are more important now than ever.
  • Question 4

Plastics don't react very easily with other substances. Why might this be a bad thing?

 

Choose ONE answer from the list.

CORRECT ANSWER
It means that plastics don't break down and stay in the environment
EDDIE SAYS
Most plastics don't break down. If you throw them away they will stay in the environment for a very long time. You may have seen pictures on the TV or online of masses and masses of plastics in the sea. We need to learn to use less of this material but I'm sure you'll agree that this is a good reason to make sure you recycle as much as possible.
  • Question 5

How are plastics made into different shapes?

 

Choose ONE answer.

CORRECT ANSWER
They are softened by heating and then shaped in moulds
EDDIE SAYS
Plastics can be softened by heating to a high temperature and shaped in moulds. Some plastics can be reheated and softened again but others stay hard even when heated.
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