Worksheet: Uses of Metals

In this worksheet, we will practice identifying the uses of metals, such as copper, aluminum, and steel, based on their physical and chemical properties.

Q1:

Which of the following is not a potential advantage of steel over aluminum?

  • AHigher hardness
  • BLower cost
  • CHigher strength
  • DLower density
  • EHigher melting point

Q2:

Which of the following is not a potential disadvantage of lead relative to tin?

  • ALower reactivity
  • BLower strength
  • CHigher density
  • DHigher toxicity

Q3:

Which of the following is a major advantage of copper over steel when used as a roofing material?

  • AHigher melting point
  • BHigher corrosion resistance
  • CHigher strength
  • DHigher thermal conductivity
  • ELower density

Q4:

Which of the following values is generally higher for aluminum alloys than for copper?

  • AElectrical conductivity
  • BStrength
  • CMelting point
  • DCost per kilogram
  • EDensity

Q5:

For the storage of liquids, cans made from tin are often preferred over those made from steel. What is the main advantage of tin over steel in this application?

  • ALower cost
  • BLower density
  • CHigher strength
  • DLower reactivity
  • ELower thermal conductivity

Q6:

Aluminum and iron have a range of physical and chemical properties. Based on how the two metals differ, which property can be most easily exploited to separate the two metals when they are being recycled?

  • AChemical reactivity
  • BMagnetism
  • CDensity
  • DMelting point
  • EThermal conductivity

Q7:

In ancient Rome, water was frequently transported through pipes made from lead.

Which of the following is not a property of lead that makes it more suitable than other structural metals for this application?

  • AHigh malleability
  • BLow reactivity
  • CLow cost
  • DHigh strength

The use of water pipes made from lead is now usually avoided. Which potential hazard is mostly responsible for this change?

  • ALeaks due to rusting of lead
  • BWater contamination due to dissolution of lead
  • CWater contamination due to rusting of lead
  • DLeaks due to melting of lead
  • ELeaks due to cracking of lead

Q8:

Metals may be used to transfer thermal energy in heating systems.

Which physical property is most important in the selection of a metal for heating applications?

  • ADuctility
  • BElectrical conductivity
  • CThermal conductivity
  • DStrength
  • EMelting point

What metal is most suitable for use in small-scale heating applications?

  • ATin
  • BCopper
  • CAluminum
  • DSilver
  • EIron

Q9:

Although steel is sometimes used in place of aluminum in automobiles, aluminum is strongly preferred in aircraft. Which property is most responsible for the difference in the use of metals in these applications?

  • AMalleability
  • BElectrical conductivity
  • CCost
  • DDensity
  • EStrength

Q10:

Food is placed in airtight metal containers for storage in a mobile refrigerator. The trays may be made from steel or aluminum.

Why is contamination of the food less likely if the containers are made from aluminum rather than steel?

  • AAluminum is less likely to tear when cooled because it is a more malleable metal.
  • BAluminum is less likely to tear when cooled because it is a stronger metal.
  • CAluminum aids refrigeration because it has a higher thermal conductivity.
  • DAluminum is less corroded by food because it is a less reactive metal.
  • EAluminum is less corroded by food because it is better protected by surface oxide.

Why is it much less expensive to store, refrigerate, and transport a large quantity of food if the containers are made from aluminum rather than steel?

  • AAluminum is more thermally conductive than steel, so less energy is needed to refrigerate the containers.
  • BAluminum is less dense than steel, so lighter containers may be used.
  • CAluminum is stronger than steel, so thinner containers may be used.
  • DAluminum is less expensive than steel, so the cost of the containers is lower.
  • EAluminum is stronger than steel, so less food is wasted due to breakage of the containers.

Q11:

Listed in the table are the physical properties that are prioritized when selecting metals for five different applications.

Applicationabcde
Priority 1Very low weightVery high thermal conductivityVery high strengthVery low costVery high strength
Priority 2Corrosion resistanceModerate costLow weightHigh malleabilityLow cost
Priority 3High malleabilityHigh ductilityCorrosion resistanceModerate strengthCorrosion resistance

For which application would copper be most suitable?

  • Aa
  • Bc
  • Cb
  • De
  • Ed

For which application would stainless steel be most suitable?

  • Aa
  • Bc
  • Cb
  • De
  • Ed

For which application would wrought iron be most suitable?

  • Aa
  • Bc
  • Cb
  • Dd
  • Ee

For which application would aluminum be most suitable?

  • Aa
  • Bb
  • Ce
  • Dc
  • Ed

Q12:

The table shows the properties of five different metals.

Metalabcde
StrengthVery highHighLowModerateVery high
MalleabilityLowHighVery highHighLow
Corrosion ResistanceLowLowVery highHighVery high
DensityHighHighVery highLowModerate
CostLowLowVery highModerateHigh

Which metal is most suitable for use in aircraft bodies?

  • Aa
  • Be
  • Cb
  • Dc
  • Ed

Which metal is most suitable for use in mass-produced gates and railings?

  • Ab
  • Bd
  • Ce
  • Da
  • Ec

Which metal is most suitable for use in hip replacements?

  • Ae
  • Bd
  • Cb
  • Dc
  • Ea

Q13:

A large bridge is made mostly of steel.

Which physical property of steel makes it most suitable for this application?

  • AHigh corrosion resistance
  • BLow density
  • CHigh malleability
  • DA high melting point
  • EHigh strength

Why is it important to paint the steel regularly?

  • ATo prevent rust formation
  • BTo decrease brittleness
  • CTo increase strength
  • DTo fill cracks
  • ETo minimize temperature changes

Q14:

Illustrated in the diagram are five structures commonly made from metals.

Which structure is much more likely to be made from steel than aluminum?

  • A(e)
  • B(d)
  • C(b)
  • D(c)
  • E(a)

Which two structures are much more likely to be made from aluminum than steel?

  • A(b) and (c)
  • B(a) and (d)
  • C(c) and (e)
  • D(d) and (e)
  • E(a) and (b)

Which two structures are commonly made from either steel or aluminum?

  • A(a) and (e)
  • B(b) and (d)
  • C(c) and (d)
  • D(a) and (b)
  • E(c) and (e)

Q15:

Illustrated in the diagram are a number of problems, a–e, that can affect the usefulness of a metal boat.

The hull of a boat is often constructed from iron, copper, or aluminum alloys.

For a given thickness of metal, which two problems are greatly reduced by the use of steel, an iron alloy, as the hull material?

  • Aa and c
  • Bb and c
  • Cb and d
  • Da and e
  • Ed and e

For a given thickness of metal, which two problems are greatly reduced by the use of brass, a copper alloy, as the hull material?

  • Aa and b
  • Bc and d
  • Ca and c
  • Dd and e
  • Eb and d

For a given thickness of metal, which two problems are greatly reduced by the use of an aluminum alloy as the hull material?

  • Aa and b
  • Bc and d
  • Cb and d
  • Dc and e
  • Ea and e

Q16:

Illustrated in the diagram are four components of musical instruments that are commonly made of copper alloys.

Which physical property of brass makes it more suitable than bronze for application A?

  • ALower friction
  • BGreater ductility
  • CGreater malleability
  • DGreater strength
  • ELower density

Which physical property of brass makes it more suitable than bronze for application B?

  • AGreater hardness
  • BGreater corrosion resistance
  • CGreater ductility
  • DGreater malleability
  • ELower density

Which physical property of bronze makes it more suitable than stainless steel for application C?

  • AGreater strength
  • BLower density
  • CGreater malleability
  • DGreater corrosion resistance
  • ELower friction

Which physical property of bronze makes it more suitable than brass for application D?

  • AGreater hardness
  • BGreater malleability
  • CLower density
  • DGreater ductility
  • ELower friction

Q17:

Shown in the images are five applications of metals, (a)–(e).

In which two applications are steels least suitable as the main structural materials?

  • A(b) and (e)
  • B(b) and (d)
  • C(c) and (d)
  • D(a) and (e)
  • E(a) and (c)

In which application is wrought iron most suitable as the main structural material?

  • A(b)
  • B(a)
  • C(d)
  • D(e)
  • E(c)

In which application is stainless steel most suitable as the main structural material?

  • A(c)
  • B(d)
  • C(b)
  • D(a)
  • E(e)

In which application is high-carbon steel most suitable as the main structural material?

  • A(a)
  • B(d)
  • C(b)
  • D(c)
  • E(e)

Q18:

The diagram illustrates the use of three metals in an electrical pylon and its protective fencing.

Based on their physical properties, what is the main reason for selecting aluminum over copper for application A?

  • AIt is more conductive.
  • BIt is more ductile.
  • CIt is lighter.
  • DIt is stronger.
  • EIt has a higher melting point.

Based on their physical properties, what is the main reason for selecting high-carbon steel over wrought iron for application B?

  • AIt is more ductile.
  • BIt is stronger.
  • CIt is more conductive.
  • DIt is more malleable.
  • EIt is lighter.

Based on their physical properties, what is the main reason for selecting low-carbon steel over high-carbon steel for application C?

  • AIt is lighter.
  • BIt is more conductive.
  • CIt is more malleable.
  • DIt is more ductile.
  • EIt is stronger.

Q19:

The properties of five metals are listed in the table.

Metal Cost per Kilogram ($ ) Strength (Mpa) Electrical Conductivity (×10 S/m) Melting Point (C) Density (g/cm3)
𝐴 6.67 210 5.96 1,085 8.9
𝐵 8.76 450 3.78 950 8.7
𝐶 1.52 760 1.00 1,425 7.8
𝐷 66.10 1,013 0.24 1,604 4.5
𝐸 463.30 170 6.30 962 10.5

Which metal is most suitable for use in a mass-produced electrical cable?

  • A𝐶
  • B𝐸
  • C𝐷
  • D𝐵
  • E𝐴

Which metal is most suitable for use in the supports of a vehicle bridge?

  • A𝐴
  • B𝐷
  • C𝐶
  • D𝐸
  • E𝐵

Which metal is most suitable for use in the screws of a medical implant?

  • A𝐵
  • B𝐸
  • C𝐶
  • D𝐴
  • E𝐷

Q20:

Illustrated in the diagram is the structure of an electrical cable.

Identify the metal most likely to be used in component X .

  • AIron
  • BTin
  • CAluminum
  • DGold
  • ECopper

Which physical property is most important in the selection of a metal for component X?

  • AMelting point
  • BElectrical conductivity
  • CDuctility
  • DStrength
  • EThermal conductivity

Q21:

A stent is a tube that is surgically inserted into blood vessels to hold them open and increase blood flow. Nitinol, an alloy of titanium and another metal, is commonly used in this application.

Which other metal is present in nitinol?

  • ATin
  • BZinc
  • CCopper
  • DIron
  • ENickel

Which of the following diagrams best illustrates the behavior of a nitinol stent?

  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E

Q22:

Labeled in the diagram are three metal components of an electric drill, A–C.

Which of the following is not an advantage of plastic over steel for the construction of component A?

  • AIt is easier to shape.
  • BIt is less expensive.
  • CIt is less electrically conductive.
  • DIt is less brittle.
  • EIt is more corrosion resistant.

Which of the following is the main advantage of a high-carbon steel over a low-carbon steel for the construction of component B?

  • AIt is less expensive.
  • BIt is more malleable.
  • CIt is less brittle.
  • DIt is harder.
  • EIt is more corrosion resistant.

Which of the following is the main advantage of copper over steel for the construction of component C?

  • AIt is more corrosion resistant.
  • BIt is more ductile.
  • CIt is more electrically conductive.
  • DIt is stronger.
  • EIt is less stiff.

Q23:

Labeled in the diagram are two steel components of a bicycle.

Why is low-carbon steel more suitable than high-carbon steel for the construction of component A?

  • ALower density
  • BGreater shine
  • CHigher malleability
  • DHigher strength
  • ELower corrosion rate

Why is high-carbon steel more suitable than low-carbon steel for the construction of component B?

  • ALower cost
  • BLower density
  • CHigher strength
  • DLower brittleness
  • EHigher malleability

Which material is usually used to coat component A to prevent rusting?

  • AStainless steel
  • BOil
  • CZinc
  • DIron oxide
  • EPaint

Component B is usually coated with oil to protect it from rusting. What is the main advantage of oil over solid protective coatings?

  • AIt does not crack.
  • BIt is less expensive.
  • CIt is less heavy.
  • DIt requires less maintenance.
  • EIt does not react with steel.

Q24:

Which of the following is not a common application of copper?

  • AElectrical wiring
  • BPlumbing
  • CStructural supports in buildings
  • DJewelry
  • ECoins

Q25:

Consider the given table.

MetalElectrical Conductivity 𝜎 (S/m at 20C)Strength (Highest to Lowest)Melting Point (C)Density (g/cm3)Price ($/kg)
Aluminum3.77×104th6602.701.69
Copper5.96×102nd1,0858.965.59
Silver6.30×103rd96210.49568.41
Steel6.99×101st1,3707.870.26

Given the information in the table, which metal is the best electrical conductor?

  • AAluminum
  • BSteel
  • CCopper
  • DSilver

Given the information in the table, which metal would be best for making overhead power cables?

  • ASilver
  • BCopper
  • CAluminum
  • DSteel

Given the information in the table, which metal would be best for making the electrical cables used in homes?

  • ACopper
  • BSteel
  • CSilver
  • DAluminum

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