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Car Science Worksheet 1

Materials in a Car
Hundreds of substances go into the construction and operation of the modern motor car. All of the raw materials needed to produce these substances come from the Earths crust. Two types of raw materialsore minerals and petroleumare changed by a complex chain of chemical processes into alloys, plastics, rubber, fuel and lubricants. Other minerals are processed into glass and ceramics. Metals in a car A typical car is approximately 76% metal. Steel, an alloy of the element iron, is used for the body panels, fuel tank and the suspension. Most of the engine also consists of iron or steel. Some parts of the engine contain aluminium and other metals such as lead, beryllium, molybdenum, nickel, zinc and tellurium. Each of these metals is found in nature in the form of an ore. The ore must be mined, then the metal extracted from the ore by either smelting in a furnace or by electrolysis. Plastics and rubber About 12% of a typical car is made from plastics and rubber. Plastics are used for interior surfaces as well as for some exterior components, such as bumpers and light covers. Tyres, door seals and hoses are made from vulcanised rubber. The raw material used to manufacture plastics and rubber is crude oil. Petroleum or crude oil is a thick greenish-brown flammable liquid which is found in porous rock underground. Mining for oil involves drilling into the layer of oil-rich rock and pumping it to the surface. The crude oil is then sent to a distillation plant for separation into components for fuel and the chemical manufacturing industry. Glass and ceramics Glass is used in windows and headlamps. Ceramics are used in spark plugs, catalytic converters and disc brakes. Together they make up about 6% of the mass of a typical car. The raw materials for glass are sand (silicon dioxide) and limestone (calcium carbonate). Ceramics are made from minerals which have been moulded and fired at high temperatures. Advanced ceramics containing silicon carbide and aluminium oxide are lighter, stronger and more heat resistant than steel. Fuels and other fluids Petrol, brake fluid, motor oil and grease make up the remaining 6% of the mass of a typical car. Each of these is produced from crude oil. Future of the car Dwindling reserves of petroleum and some ore minerals, and ongoing environmental damage, will bring about the end of the motor car as we know it. Various alternative vehicles built from new materials and using different energy sources have been developed.

Car Science Worksheet 1

Questions 1. List five substances used in a car that are extracted from metal ores. 2. Describe petroleum. 3. Give three reasons why metal components in car engines are increasingly being replaced by ceramics. 4. In the last decades of the twentieth century, cars became more compact and lighter in weight. Explain why this change was necessary. 5. The only way to save resources and reduce pollution is to ban the car. Everyone can use public transport. What do you think? Decide whether you agree or disagree with this point of view and write an exposition. 6. New materials such as carbon fibre composites have been used to replace steel for car body panels. What is carbon fibre composite? What properties does this material have that make it suitable for use in cars? Questions 1 List five substances used in a car that are extracted from metal ores. 2 Describe petroleum. 3 Give three reasons why metal components in car engines are increasingly being replaced by ceramics. 4 In the last decades of the twentieth century, cars became more compact and lighter in weight. Explain why this change was necessary. 5 The only way to save resources and reduce pollution is to ban the car. Everyone can use public transport. What do you think? Decide whether you agree or disagree with this point of view and write an exposition. 6 New materials such as carbon fibre composites have been used to replace steel for car body panels. What is carbon fibre composite? What properties does this material have that make it suitable for use in cars?

Questions 1 List five substances used in a car that are extracted from metal ores. 2 Describe petroleum. 3 Give three reasons why metal components in car engines are increasingly being replaced by ceramics. 4 In the last decades of the twentieth century, cars became more compact and lighter in weight. Explain why this change was necessary. 5 The only way to save resources and reduce pollution is to ban the car. Everyone can use public transport. What do you think? Decide whether you agree or disagree with this point of view and write an exposition. 6 New materials such as carbon fibre composites have been used to replace steel for car body panels. What is carbon fibre composite? What properties does this material have that make it suitable for use in cars?