Properties of Materials
China is strong, waterproof and a good thermal insulator making it a good material for a teacup.

Properties of Materials

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Properties of materials are characteristics of matter. There are certain words used for describing them and you need them in your vocabulary. The properties of different materials make them useful for different purposes. Although it floats, cork would not be a very good choice of material if you wished to build an ocean-going ship. And, although it's very shiny, painting your wall with some gloss paint would not make a good mirror.

Does your vocabulary include the words that describe the properties of materials? See how well you understand their meanings by taking this science quiz.

1.
If light cannot pass through a material, which property does that material have?
It is opaque
It is translucent
It is transparent
It is magnetic
Translucent materials may be colored but you can still see dim shapes through them, like stained glass. Transparent materials are completely see-through, like plain glass
2.
Why is copper used for electrical wiring?
Because it is light
Because it is flexible
Because it is a good electrical conductor
All of the above
There are lots of reasons we use copper in our electric wires rather than other materials
3.
What do we call a material which is not at all bendy?
An insulator
Rigid
Magnetic
Flexible
The same material can be flexible or rigid - a copper kettle would be rigid, while copper wiring is very flexible
4.
A real 50p coin is heavier than a toy plastic 50p coin. Materials that are heavier than objects of the same size are more what?
More solid
More magnetic
More light
More dense
The mass of an object compared to its size is described as its density
5.
What is the opposite of waterproof?
Absorbent
Flexible
Smooth
Opaque
Absorbent materials will soak up liquids whilst waterproof materials will not
6.
Plasticine can be easily molded or squashed into different shapes. What do we call this property?
Transparency
Conductivity
Density
Malleability
If a material is malleable, its shape can be changed easily
7.
Which of these materials shows great elasticity?
Sand
Oak
Rubber
Concrete
Elasticity is a measure of how well a material returns to its original shape and size after being stretched or compressed
8.
Which properties of china make it a good material for a teacup?
It is brittle and permeable and a good electrical insulator
It is shiny and transluscent and a good thermal conductor
It is strong and waterproof and a good thermal insulator
It is dense and opaque and a good electrical conductor
If china were a good thermal conductor, you would seriously burn your hands by holding a hot cup of tea
9.
What is the opposite of elasticity?
Stretchiness
Brittleness
Flexibility
Hardness
Something that is very hard and will break rather than bend is described as 'brittle'
10.
What does 'property' mean when discussing materials?
A material's possessions, such as money and land
The qualities of a particular material
The copyright on a particular material
The objects which are made from a specific material
A material's properties might include hardness, flexibility, strength, shininess, softness, etc.
Author:  Sheri Smith

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