Year 12 Chemistry Preliminary Assessment Task 2: The Chemical Earth And Metals

Essay by dxaqtaHigh School, 12th gradeA+, June 2004

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You work for an aeronautical company who wants to stay ahead of the compettion and find out as much as they can about the historical and current use of metals. This knowledge helps the company when they are deciding which metals should be used for the different jobs. Your boss has asked you to find out the following information:

Outline the use of a metal based on the properties of hardness, malleability and reactivity:

Copper was the first the metal to be extracted from its minerals and was the first metal to be used by humans. The period in which copper was readily used was regarded as the transition from the Stone Age into the copper age. This was a very important time in our history.

In the early years, copper was used to make tools, weapons and cooking equipment. The Egyptians even used copper to develop and convey water through their cities.

It was also used for pots as copper has an excellent thermal conductivity.

In the early use of copper there was one disadvantage and this was that copper is quite a soft metal and therefore was not as affective when used for weapons and tools. But when people discovered that copper becomes stronger and harder when tin is added, this was a major breakthrough when it came to use in weapons and tools.

In more recent times copper is mostly used for its excellent electrical, thermal conductivity, it's resistant to corrosion and its ability to form huge range of alloys. Copper is widely used in electrical cables and wiring in appliances, electrical generators and motors because of its characteristics. Copper pipes and hot water systems are used because copper does not corrode in hot water and can handle high heats , due to its melting and boiling...