metals and extraction of iron preview page

Learning Outcomes 

Student should be able to:

Properties of Metals 

(a) describe the general physical properties of metals as solids having high melting and boiling points, malleable, good conductors of heat and electricity in terms of their structure  

(b) describe alloys as a mixture of a metal with another element, e.g. brass; stainless steel

(c) identify representations of metals and alloys from diagrams of structures 

(d) explain why alloys have different physical properties to their constituent elements. 

Reactivity series 

(a) place in order of reactivity calcium, copper, (hydrogen), iron, lead, magnesium, potassium, silver, sodium and zinc by reference to

(i) the reactions, if any, of the metals with water, steam and dilute hydrochloric acid, 

(ii) the reduction, if any, of their oxides by carbon and/or by hydrogen 

(b) describe the reactivity series as related to the tendency of a metal to form its positive ion, illustrated by its reaction with 

(i) the aqueous ions of the other listed metals 

(ii) the oxides of the other listed metals 

(c) deduce the order of reactivity from a given set of experimental results 

(d) describe the action of heat on the carbonates of the listed metals and relate thermal stability to the reactivity series. Extraction of metals 

(a) describe the ease of obtaining metals from their ores by relating the elements to their positions in the reactivity series. 

Recycling of metals 

(a) describe metal ores as a finite resource and hence the need to recycle metals, e.g. recycling of iron 

(b) discuss the social, economic and environmental issues of recycling metals. 


(a) describe and explain the essential reactions in the extraction of iron using haematite, limestone and coke in the blast furnace 

(b) describe steels as alloys which are a mixture of iron with carbon or other metals and how controlled use of these additives changes the properties of the iron, e.g. high carbon steels are strong but brittle whereas low carbon steels are softer and more easily shaped 

(c) state the uses of mild steel, e.g. car bodies; machinery, and stainless steel, e.g. chemical plants; cutlery; surgical instruments 

(d) describe the essential conditions for the corrosion (rusting) of iron as the presence of oxygen and water; prevention of rusting can be achieved by placing a barrier around the metal, e.g. painting; greasing; plastic coating; galvanising 

(e) describe the sacrificial protection of iron by a more reactive metal in terms of the reactivity series where the more reactive metal corrodes preferentially, e.g. underwater pipes have a piece of magnesium attached to them. 

Sample worksheet 

metals sample worksheet