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We can use the properties of a material to help us to identify it. The property gives us information about the characteristics of the material. There are three types of properties:

  1. Physical: Appearance, conduction of heat or electricity, melting points, boiling points etc.

  2. Chemical: Reactions of the materials with other substances such as air, water and acids.

  3. Mechanical: Malleability, ductility, tensile and compressive strength etc.

 

Activity : Designing packaging materials

Aim: To design two types of packaging.

  1. To use to carry something fragile through the post.

  2. An insulated container.

Materials supplied

1 metre Sellotape
1 A4 sheet of aluminium foil
1 A4 sheet paper
1 plastic bag
1m cotton thread
5 straws
1 piece of cotton wool

Task

a. Make your models (size is not important)

b. Write a report to explain your designs. Include:

  1. A labelled diagram of your model.

  2. Why you used each material, include the properties.

  3. How you could test your model.

 

PHYSICAL SCIENCE

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Everyday Materials

Properties of Packaging Materials

 

Definitions and examples

 

Property

What it means

Examples

Strength - Tensile

Strong - hard to stretch

Metals

Weak - easy to stretch

Elastic

Strength -Compressive

Strong - hard to crush

Metals

Weak - easy to crush

Plasticine

Flexibility - Bendiness

Flexible - easy to bend

Metals, plastics

Stiff - hard to bend

Ceramics, glass

Thermal conductivity

Conductor - lets heat pass

Metals

Insulator - does not let heat pass

Ceramics, glass, plastics

Electrical conductivity

Conductor - lets electricity flow

Metals

Insulator - does not let electricity pass

Ceramics, glass, plastics

Hardness

Hard - difficult to cut or scratch

Metals, glass, ceramics

Soft - easy to cut or scratch

some plastics

Toughness

Tough - difficult to break when hit

Metals

Brittle - easy to break when hit

ceramics + glass

Appearance

Colour, brightness, shiny, dull, rough, smooth etc

Metals - shiny

Glass - transparent

Chemical reactivity

How easy or difficult it is to react with different chemicals

Metals - some react very easily with acids and oxygen

Ceramics and glass are unreactive

Flammability

Burns easily if flammable

Petrol

Density

Mass(g) per ml (cm3)

Lead - high density

Foam - low density

Boiling point

Temperature: liquid to gas

High - ceramics

Melting point

Temperature: solid to liquid

Low - plastics

Elasticity

Elastic- returns to its original shape when forces removed.

Elastic - rubber

Inelastic - does not return to its original shape when forces are removed

Inelastic - plastics

 

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