Saturday, January 7, 2012

Metal Project

A personal hobby of mine is scrapping old electronics and computers for recycle. Scrap yards pay various prices for different metals which get recycled and reused in the products we buy. The process is a wonderful way to make some extra income while keeping electronic & metal waste out of our landfills.

Here is a project based on this theme.

1) Have each student bring in a tiny piece of metal they find from their home. Here are some suggestions.

2) Talk about the various metals, where they are used and see which ones can be identified by the students (a magnet may be helpful)

Common Metallic Materials

• Iron/Steel - Steel alloys are used for strength critical applications

• Aluminum - Aluminum and its alloys are used because they are easy to form, readily available, inexpensive, and recyclable.

• Copper - Copper and copper alloys have a number of properties that make them useful, including high electrical and thermal conductivity, high ductility, and good corrosion resistance.

• Titanium - Titanium alloys are used for strength in higher temperature (~1000° F) application, when component weight is a concern, or when good corrosion resistance is required

• Nickel - Nickel alloys are used for still higher temperatures (~1500-2000° F) applications or when good corrosion resistance is required.

• Refractory materials are used for the highest temperature (> 2000° F) applications

3) Have students weigh each of their metals.

4) Have students convert their weight to pounds

5) Hand out the following chart for current metal prices

Material Rate Per Qty

Aluminum Cans $0.55 LB

#1 Copper $2.50 LB

#2 Copper $2.40 LB

Scrap Metal $7.00 100 LBS
6) Ask each student how much their tiny piece of metal is worth

7) A side project could be have students imagine how much their home, car, etc. would be worth if it was made up of some type of metal.


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