GCSE Edexcel Resistant Materials: List of all materials

A concise list of ALL the materials you need to know for this qualification 

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GCSE Edexcel DT: Resistant Materials
Material Properties Uses Image
Pine Straight grained, knotty, pale brown Construction
(Coniferous) colour. Frame work
Cheap and fairly strong Joinery
Not durable naturally but it is enhanced
using varnish.
Oak Very strong, heavy and durable High class furniture
(Deciduous) Expensive Boat building
Garden furniture
Ash Tough, flexible, very durable, resistant Tool handles
(Deciduous) to continuous shocks. Sports equipment
Pale cream in colour. Ladders
Beech Hard, tough, strong. Tools
(Deciduous) White ­ Pinkish brown Toys
Prone to warping Veneers
Cutting boards
Kitchen equipment
Mahogany Reddish brown, interlocking grain. High quality furniture
(Deciduous) Prone to warping. Musical instruments
Easy to work with, medium weight and Ornaments
Plywood Odd number of veneers at 90° to one Furniture
(Manufactured) another. General use
Strong and durable Marine Plywood:
Environmentally friendly and not prone Boat hulls
to defects found in natural timbers (e.g. Water platforms
Available in many sizes + thicknesses
Chipboard Waste wood chips suspended in a With melamine formaldehyde
(Manufactured) thermosetting phenolic resin coating:
Not very strong Kitchen surfaces
With pine veneers:
MDF (medium Heavy, easy to cut, available in many Doors
density different sizes. Furniture
fiberboard) Not suitable outdoors
Hardboard Wood pulp compressed into a thin board Draw bases
(Manufactured) One smooth side, one textured Cupboard backings
No particular strength Bottom layer for some
Not durable carpets

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Material Properties Uses Image
Cast Iron 3.5% carbon Crushing machinery
(Ferrous) Heavy, brittle and strong (compression Vices
only) Engine blocks
Mild Steel 0.15-0.…read more

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Material Properties Uses Image
Acrylic Glass like transparency, various Perspex
(Thermo) colours/textures Car head lamps
Smooth and brittle (normally) Safety glasses
Low density Light, flexible Plastic bags
polyethylene Low melting point Bubble wrap
(Thermo) Food containers
High density Stiff, hard and very strong Toys
polyethylene Buckets
(Thermo) Helmets
Kitchen equipment
Polyvinyl Stiff, rigid, hard wearing and light Windows
chloride (PVC) Chemical resistant and can only be Plumbing
(Thermo) joined via acetone Clothing (plasticized)
High impact Light and strong Vacuum formed for
polystyrene Can be…read more

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Material Properties Uses Image
Glass reinforced Glass fibres are light but strong in Racing car bodies
Polyester tension (not compression) Pond linings
(Fibre reinforced Together with polyester resin they
plastic) constitute consistent strength in all
Superior qualities to competition
Carbon Very light but strong also Has replaced ash in
reinforced plastic Impact resistant (like ash) and does not squash racquet
(Fibre reinforced splinter and gives a modern look Bullet proof vests
plastic) Doesn't require surface finish Protective helmets
Concrete Made up of aggregates, sand…read more

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Smart materials and nanotechnology:
Material Properties Uses Image
Nitinol Shape memory alloy Keyhole surgery
(Smart material) An alloy of Nickel and Titanium Hip replacement surgery
One type shrinks 5% if a current is Greenhouse windows
induced along it Glasses
Another (if broken) returns back to its
"remembered" shape at high temps
Photochromic Blue pigment that changes colour Advertisements
paint dramatically when exposed to UV Clothing
(Smart material) light/sunlight Cars
Can be mixed with acrylic media to Warning signs
form a paint Toys
Thermochromic It changes…read more

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Nano-Biometrics Nano-Silver technology Medical drugs
(Nanomaterial) Extremely powerful medicines
Not commercial however they have
the potential to destroy resistant
viruses like "superbugs"…read more


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