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Polish the surface of the material, if it reflects the light it is likely to be a metal.
Conduction of electricity:
Set up the circuit as shown below, and test the materials, if the bulb lights it is a conductor and hence a metal, if an insulator then an organic or ceramic material. (Exception: Carbon).
Test of magnetism:
Note which materials are attracted to a magnet.
The following tests are specific to plastics
Place small samples of plastic in 10ml acetone in a beaker if after 5 minutes there is sign of it dissolving then it is or contains polystrene.
Place samples of plastics in
If it floats in pure water it is likely to be a plastic that contains Polyethylene and/or polypropylene.
If it only floats in salty water then its likely to be a polystyrene.
If it sinks in both it is likely to be PVC or PET.
Effect of hot water
Put small samples of plastics in hot water and watch what happens. If it curls up at the edges then the plastics is HDPE or LDPE
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