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Properties of Metals

In this worksheet, students will explore the fact that many objects are made from metals, or contain metals, but what makes metals so useful?

'Properties of Metals' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Chemistry: The Periodic Table

Curriculum subtopic:   Properties of Metals

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

Metals have special properties that make them very useful, such as electrical conductivity; however, not all metals have the same properties.

 

The properties of metals are a result of how their atoms are arranged.

 

The properties of metals vary depending on the metal. For example, all metals are solids at room temperature (except for mercury, which is a liquid). 

 

Listed below are some of the properties of metals.

 

Electrical Conductivity     Electrical wires

All metals conduct electricity, which makes them essential in the manufacture of all electrical equipment. Manganese has the lowest electrical conductivity, but all metals do conduct electricity. Copper is a good conductor and is used in most electrical wiring. 

 

Thermal Conductivity      Saucepan

 

Thermal conductivity is the ability of a metal to allow heat to pass through it. All metals conduct heat but as with electrical conductivity some metals are better at it than others. Copper is also an excellent conductor of heat but bismuth has the lowest thermal conductivity of al the metals. 

 

High Melting Points     Mercury pouring from a pipette - stock photo

 

Most metals have high melting points and that is why they are found as solids at room temperature; however -  as always - there are some exceptions. Mercury is a metal with a low melting point, which means that it is a liquid at room temperature. This property makes mercury a great material to use in thermometers.

 

Malleability     wave corrugated steel sheet - stock photo

 
Malleability is the ability of a substance to be bent or rolled into sheets. Most metals are malleable which make them ideal to bend into all sorts of shapes from poles to sheets. Antimony is a brittle metal and will break if it is bent or rolled.
 
Strength     Chain
 
Most metals are strong and this makes them an excellent building material for constructing bridges, buildings, cars etc., but - as always - there are some exceptions. The metal sodium is a soft metal that can be cut very easily. 
 
Magnetic         Magnet
 
Some metals, such as, iron, cobalt and nickel are magnetic which means they are attracted to magnets or can be turned into a magnet. Not all metals are magnetic.

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