Metals activities

Metals activities for secondary school students

Metals activities

 A fantastic BBC video about the Blast Furnace

  A blast furnace is used  for smelting to produce  iron.

In a blast furnace, iron ore, limestone and coke are continuously supplied through  charging hole (the top of the furnace.

It is necessary  air which is blown into the bottom of the chamber  so the chemical reactions take place.

  The  molten metal moves downward and the slag remain at the top.. Now, launch the video. Be aware that this video have two phases.

1º Start bottom ( top left corner of the popup windows ). It will show you all the process

2º Built bottom ( near the start bottom ). A virtual teacher will check if you have paid attention before

Blast Furnace videovideo

Activity 2. How materials help bike construction

a bikeRead and answer:

This is what Roberto,  a bike maker, say about bikes and materials.

When I choose a material for a bike , I have  to think about the properties of the material, for example:

a)  How elastic is it?

b) If you bend or stretch it, will it go back to its original shape?

c) How strong is it?

There are two kinds of strength:

The first is how much force you need to bend it to a point where it can’t go back to its original shape.  It is called Elasticity

The second is the Toughness, or the resistance to fracture  ( break ) of a material when stressed.

  • Steel is the least expensive choice.  It’s strong and it has good elasticity but its heavy.
  • Aluminium is light and strong but its flexible. The more it bends, the quicker it breaks. So aluminium bike frames use large diameter tubes. That limits the amount of bending.
  • Titanium has a great strength-to-weight ratio. It’s got good elasticity so when it bends it tends to return to its original shape. It’s corrosion-resistant so you don’t need to paint it. But it’s expensive – fifteen times the price of steel!

The professionals use carbon fibre. It’s very light and it’s very strong. You can shape it any way you like. But carbon-fibre frames are hand-made so they’re very expensive.
Now,  Copy into your notebook  the advantages and disadvantages  of the following materials:

a) Steel              b) Aluminium      c) Titanium    d ) Carbon fibre


Activity 3. Complete the paragraph with the correct words

 Words and number: Brass , stainless steel, 1535 ºC,  1083 ºC, Steel , windows frames, carbon ,  Malleable, Bronze, Corrosion resistance ,  metals, alloy,  Aluminium , ductile,   wires,  tin

Pure iron has a melting point of ________. Iron is the most used of all the ______. An ______  is a combination of two or more elements. For example, _____ is a metal alloy whose major component is iron, with _______content between 0.02% and 2.14% by mass. The introduction of other metallic allows the production of special purpose steels, such as _________, made with chromium.  Sinks are made of ________.

A  non-ferrous metal is the copper which has a melting point of ____.  Is is _________ and ______  and very suitable for   hot and cold working. It is used for ____ and central heating pipes. By far the preferred copper alloy in antiquity was ______, which  is a combination of copper and ____.

_____ is an alloy of copper with zinc and it is very Corrosion-resistant.

________ is a soft,  lightweight, nonmagnetic  and malleable metal. _________ has about one-third the density of iron.
___________is excellent due to a thin surface layer of aluminium oxide that forms when the Aluminium  is exposed to air, preventing further oxidation.  One of the most popular applications is _______, cans or kitchen cooking  utensils ( better if made of stainless steel ).

Once reading,  go to the potatoes activity -> metal and alloy 


benderBend:  Have you ever watch Futurama?. Do you Know who is bender and what bender did at the beginning ?. See at the left

Sink or basin is a bowl-shaped fixture that is used for washing hands.


 tin wiretin:  Heavy metal  Usually used for copper joints

Brass :  It  is an alloy of copper and zinc. The malleability and acoustic properties of brass have made it the metal of choice for brass musical instruments such as the trumpet,  trombone, tuba,  etc . Bellow, some examples of brass instruments

Brass instruments