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Materials

In this worksheet students will explore the many different materials that we use to make our lives easier.

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:  Extend Your Learning

Curriculum subtopic:  Interesting Topics from the Old Curriculum

Difficulty level:  

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QUESTION 1 of 10

Everything around us is made from different materials. The properties of a material must be considered to establish how suitable it is for the object being made; for example, you wouldn't make a teapot out of chocolate!

 

A car is a good example to look at because it is made from many different materials:

 

   

 

The exterior of most modern cars is made from aluminium because it is lightweight and doesn't corrode easily. The bumpers are made from plastic because it is flexible, and the windows are glass. 

The interior is made from leather or cloth for the seats and plastic on the dashboard because it is cheap and easy to mould into the shape required. It will also have carpets on the floor and sound insulation. 
 
 
There are many factors that must be considered when choosing a material:
 
Cost - is the material too expensive?
Availability - is the material available or is it difficult to source?
Properties - does the material have the properties required for the job?
Appearance - does the material look good?


 

Gold is an excellent material for making jewellery. It has a beautiful appearance but is expensive because of how rare it is. Gold is a soft metal and, because of this, it is mixed with other metals to make it a bit more hardwearing. 9ct gold contains about 38% gold and the rest is copper and zinc, which make it less expensive but more hardwearing.  

Aeroplanes are made from the metal aluminium. Which of the following properties of aluminium make it an excellent material for making the body of aeroplanes?

low density

silver colour

high melting point

The death mask of Tutankhamen is mad of gold and is over 3000 years old. It was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter. 

 

 

What property does gold have that allowed the mask to survive for so long?

unreactive

high density

high cost

Pots and pans used for cooking are commonly made from a metal pan attached to a plastic handle. 

 

 

What property of the plastic makes it suitable for making the handle?

conducts heat

insulates heat

low cost

Shown here is a hall and staircase made from highly polished marble.

 

 

List below the advantages and disadvantages of using marble for this purpose.

 Advantage Disadvantage
Can be polished
Expensive
Heavy
Hardwearing
Slippy when wet
Easy to clean

Bottled water is one of the biggest causes of pollution due to the the amount of plastic used to make the bottles and the amount of fuel used to transport them.

 

 

List below the advantages and disadvantages of using plastic to make these bottles.

 Advantage Disadvantage
Cheap
Light weight
Causes pollution when disposed
Strong
Water proof
Made from crude oil

Some of the frames for the bikes used in racing weigh less than a bag of sugar. The frames are produced from plastics that have been reinforced with carbon fibre.

 

What property of the plastic make it an ideal material for making the frames?

lightweight

low cost

heat insulator

Metals are described as being finite which mean they are running out and cannot be replaced. Which of the following materials is now used to replace metal in the manufacture of car bumpers?

wood

plastic

glass

Kevlar is a plastic that was developed over 40 years ago by a famous American company. It has many uses, from bullet proof vests to the wings of air craft.

 

What properties does kevlar have which make it suitable for use in these products? Tick three boxes.

 

Light weight

Flexible

High density

Very strong

High melting point

  • Question 1

Aeroplanes are made from the metal aluminium. Which of the following properties of aluminium make it an excellent material for making the body of aeroplanes?

CORRECT ANSWER
low density
EDDIE SAYS
Aluminium has a low density which means it is lightweight. This makes it an ideal choice for manufacturing the body of air crafts.
  • Question 2

The death mask of Tutankhamen is mad of gold and is over 3000 years old. It was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter. 

 

 

What property does gold have that allowed the mask to survive for so long?

CORRECT ANSWER
unreactive
EDDIE SAYS
Gold is a very unreactive metal which means that it is not changed into a compound by reacting with substances such as water and oxygen. If the mask was made from iron it would have rusted away long ago.
  • Question 3

Pots and pans used for cooking are commonly made from a metal pan attached to a plastic handle. 

 

 

What property of the plastic makes it suitable for making the handle?

CORRECT ANSWER
insulates heat
EDDIE SAYS
The plastic handle reduces the amount of heat travelling up the handle to prevent burns. Metals allow heat to travel through them easily and are heat conductors making them the ideal material for making the pot.
  • Question 4

Shown here is a hall and staircase made from highly polished marble.

 

 

List below the advantages and disadvantages of using marble for this purpose.

CORRECT ANSWER
 Advantage Disadvantage
Can be polished
Expensive
Heavy
Hardwearing
Slippy when wet
Easy to clean
EDDIE SAYS
Marble is a very beautiful rock and can be used to manufacture lots of objects, but is it very expensive.
  • Question 5

Bottled water is one of the biggest causes of pollution due to the the amount of plastic used to make the bottles and the amount of fuel used to transport them.

 

 

List below the advantages and disadvantages of using plastic to make these bottles.

CORRECT ANSWER
 Advantage Disadvantage
Cheap
Light weight
Causes pollution when disposed
Strong
Water proof
Made from crude oil
EDDIE SAYS
Plastic bottles create lots of pollution. They do not break down naturally and produce toxic fumes when they are burned. The fact that they are made from crude oil is a disadvantage as it is a naturally occurring fossil fuel and cannot be replaced.
  • Question 6

Some of the frames for the bikes used in racing weigh less than a bag of sugar. The frames are produced from plastics that have been reinforced with carbon fibre.

 

What property of the plastic make it an ideal material for making the frames?

CORRECT ANSWER
lightweight
EDDIE SAYS
The plastics used are lightweight but were found not to be strong enough, which is why they had to be reinforced with carbon fibre.
  • Question 7

Metals are described as being finite which mean they are running out and cannot be replaced. Which of the following materials is now used to replace metal in the manufacture of car bumpers?

CORRECT ANSWER
plastic
EDDIE SAYS
Plastic is now used to produce car bumpers because it is flexible and can be moulded easily into complex shapes required for car bumpers.
  • Question 8

Kevlar is a plastic that was developed over 40 years ago by a famous American company. It has many uses, from bullet proof vests to the wings of air craft.

 

What properties does kevlar have which make it suitable for use in these products? Tick three boxes.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Light weight
Flexible
Very strong
EDDIE SAYS
Kevlar is a very strong, flexible and light material that has many uses.
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