Material Choices - Measuring Properties of Material

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Data can be obtained by taking measurements, and can lead to an explanation of why materials have different properties. During an experiment, other factors, which could affect the outcome, need to be controlled.

Properties of Material

Different materials behave in different ways. They have different properties.

Solid Materials

Solid materials can differ in one or more of the following ways: melting point, strength in tension (when pulled), strength in compression (when pushed), stiffness, hardness and density.

Plastics, Rubbers and Fibres

Many of the products that we use are made using plastics such as polythene and rubbers; and fibres such as cotton. The suitability of a material to a particular job depends on it's properties. A washing bowl may be made from the plastic poly (ethene), commonly called polythene, because this material is waterproof and can be melted and reformed into the shape. A bicycle tyre is made from rubber. A pair of tights may be made from nylon fibres because these are flexible and elastic. 

Choosing Suitable Materials - Effectiveness and Durability

How well a product does the job it was designed for depends


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