# Physical properties of materials

This section introduces the meaning of each of the following physical properties and, where applicable, their units of measurement. It is likely that the teaching of this and the first topic (Mechanical properties of materials) will overlap. Most of these are probably more familiar from KS4 teaching than the technical terms applying to mechanical properties, although a more mathematical approach is needed.

• density
• melting point
• thermal conductivity
• electrical conductivity (resistivity)
• thermal expansion
• corrosion resistance

### Nuffield Science Calculations

As the title states, a guide to the many calculations in science courses. Although not recent the worked examples and exercises are still relevant and useful to help students gain familiarity with mathematical approaches. For this topic, of particular interest will be

Density: p43/44 of the book (p51/52 of the pdf)

Resistance from p32 of the book (p40 of the pdf)

Answers are at the end of the file.

publication year
1990 - 1999

1 file

### Thermal Properties

Topic 3 (heat transfer) places conduction in context. Other forms of heat 'loss' are explained, and the examples given for real world use help to show the importance, although some are a little dated (eg the space shuttle). A useful analogy linking thermal and electrical conduction may help some students to see common approaches, although the maths may be intimidating for some.

publication year
1980 - 1989

1 file

### Thermal Conductivity

This short video (and accompanying notes) show what conductivity is by showing what happens when ice is placed on materials which conduct at different rates. For a theoretical treatment, the definitions at SchoolPhysics are well worth a look (includes sample questions and a mathematical approach).

publication year
2010 to 2019

1 file

### Episode 112: Resistivity

Lots of practical approaches here, helping students to understand the factors affecting resistivity. The editable Word document includes student instructions and equipment lists, as well as some follow-up questions to test progress. This would work well in combination with a simulation such as Conductivity from PhET, perhaps as a homework assignment.

publication year
2000 - 2009

1 file

### Metals Unit Guide

The practicals described here - mainly into corrosion and ways to prevent it - are intended for KS4 pupils but would provide a useful starting point for those less confident with their previous chemistry. Complete instructions are given with prompt questions for students to consider. Extending the practicals with more recent approaches to reducing corrosion, perhaps with novel materials, would be an easy way to engage students.

publication year
1980 - 1989

1 file

### Corrosion: the Virus of Engineering

This booklet has clear illustrations and would be useful to develop students' understanding of corrosion, once they are confident with chemical reactions and notation. The practical activities are mentioned but not described in detail. Rusting as an example of corrosion is dealt with on pages 14 and 15 of the textbook (p19/20 of the pdf).

publication year
2010 to 2019

1 file