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Material Properties

In this worksheet, students study the properties of materials and how their properties determine their uses.

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Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Metals are malleable and ductile; this means they can be made into different shapes; for example, into jewels and car components. They are also good conductors of electricity (copper wires) and thermal energy (heat), so they are used to make cooking pots and saucepans. The high density of metals makes them good materials to make solid structures, like bridges. Some metals - like gold and platinum - are resistant to reaction with oxygen and acids, which makes them very valuable. Bells are usually made of brass, because it is sonorous (makes a rich, full sound). Brass is also used for taps and door handles.
At very low temperatures, some metals become superconductors, i.e. they conduct electricity with no resistance. A permanent magnet would levitate above a superconductor.


Alloys are mixtures of metals and other elements that are more useful. Steel is an alloy of iron and it is much stronger than iron. Bronze is a much harder alloy of copper and tin. It contracts very little when solidifying, so it is easy to make a cast. Amalgam is an alloy used to fill teeth cavities.


There is a wealth of materials used in the manufacture of cars:

  • glass for windscreens, because it is transparent
  • aluminium in car bodies and wheel hubs, because it is strong, but has a low density and does not corrode
  • lead in lead-acid batteries, because it conducts electricity
  • PVC in metal wire coverings, because it is flexible, does not react with water and it insulates electricity
  • fibre in seats, because it is hard-wearing

 

Many materials are also used in construction of buildings. Apart from metals and glass, buildings are made from bricks (for small buildings) and reinforced concrete, which contains a steel frame with the walls built inside it from brick, aluminium, concrete or glass.
 

Calcium carbonate is a compound that decomposes (breaks down) at high temperatures:

 


Limestone (a form of calcium carbonate) is heated and clay is added to make cement. Cement, sand and gravel are mixed together to make concrete. Cement mixed with sand and water is called mortar, which is used to stick bricks together when building.

What property of metals makes them easy to turn to different shapes? Complete the sentence by selecting two of the options below.

 

 

Metals are ____________ and ______________.

malleable

weak

stretchy

ductile

What is the best metal to use for electrical wires?
plastic

copper

magnesium

Why are gold and platinum valuable metals?

They are good conductors of electricity.

They do not react with oxygen and acid.

They are shiny.

They are ductile.

Complete the sentence by selecting one of the options below:

 

A permanent magnet ___________ above a superconductor.
levitates

stands

can not be placed

What alloy is made from mixing copper with tin?
bronze

silver

gold

What is the best metal for car bodies and wheel hubs?

gold

magnesium

aluminium

copper

Which is stronger, concrete or cement?
concrete

cement

Select the form of calcium carbonate from the options below:

teeth

limestone

clay

What is needed to decompose limestone?
water

heat

oxygen

What materials are added to cement to make concrete? Select two from the options below.

sand

water

limestone

gravel

calcium

  • Question 1

What property of metals makes them easy to turn to different shapes? Complete the sentence by selecting two of the options below.

 

 

Metals are ____________ and ______________.

CORRECT ANSWER
malleable
ductile
EDDIE SAYS
Metals are malleable and ductile.
  • Question 2
What is the best metal to use for electrical wires?
CORRECT ANSWER
copper
EDDIE SAYS
The best metal to use for electrical wires is copper.
  • Question 3

Why are gold and platinum valuable metals?

CORRECT ANSWER
They do not react with oxygen and acid.
EDDIE SAYS
Gold and platinum are valuable metals because they do not react with oxygen and acid, which means that they are hard wearing and last for a long time; they do not tarnish.
  • Question 4
Complete the sentence by selecting one of the options below:

 

A permanent magnet ___________ above a superconductor.
CORRECT ANSWER
levitates
EDDIE SAYS
A permanent magnet levitates above a superconductor.
  • Question 5
What alloy is made from mixing copper with tin?
CORRECT ANSWER
bronze
EDDIE SAYS
Bronze is made from mixing copper with tin.
  • Question 6

What is the best metal for car bodies and wheel hubs?

CORRECT ANSWER
aluminium
EDDIE SAYS
The best metal for car bodies and wheel hubs is aluminium, because it is strong but light and does not corrode.
  • Question 7
Which is stronger, concrete or cement?
CORRECT ANSWER
concrete
EDDIE SAYS
Concrete is stronger, because it is made up of cement, sand and gravel all mixed together.
  • Question 8
Select the form of calcium carbonate from the options below:

CORRECT ANSWER
limestone
EDDIE SAYS
A form of calcium carbonate is limestone.
  • Question 9
What is needed to decompose limestone?
CORRECT ANSWER
heat
EDDIE SAYS
Heat is needed to decompose limestone.
  • Question 10

What materials are added to cement to make concrete? Select two from the options below.

CORRECT ANSWER
sand
gravel
EDDIE SAYS
The materials added to cement to make concrete are sand and gravel. Cement already contains limestone, which is a form of calcium carbonate.
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