Physical Properties of Metals 130

This class introduces the physical properties of metals and explains how these properties determine potential applications.

Class Details

Class Name:
Physical Properties of Metals 130
This class introduces the physical properties of metals and explains how these properties determine potential applications.
Number of Lessons:
Additional Language:
Spanish, Chinese
Related 2.0 Class:
Introduction to Physical Properties 101

Class Outline

  • Objectives
  • What Are Physical Properties?
  • Mass and Weight
  • Density
  • Melting Points
  • Specific Heat
  • Thermal Conductivity
  • Thermal Expansion
  • Electrical Conductivity
  • Corrosion Resistance
  • Summary


  • Define physical properties.
  • Distinguish between mass and weight.
  • Describe metal density.
  • Describe the melting points of metal.
  • Define specific heat.
  • Describe thermal conductivity.
  • Describe thermal expansion.
  • Describe electrical resistivity and conductivity.
  • Describe material corrosion.


  • CMfgT
  • MSSC Manufacturing Processes and Production


Vocabulary Term Definition
atom The smallest distinguishable unit of a material that maintains the same characteristics.
conductor A material that is very effective at conducting electricity. Metals are generally excellent conductors.
coolant A substance that is used to prevent a workpiece from reaching excessively high temperatures during machining.
corrosion The deterioration of a metal or ceramic.
covalent bond A type of atomic bond that occurs when two atoms share electrons.
crevice corrosion The corrosion of a metal at the joints of a workpiece or component.
degradation The deterioration of a plastic or polymer.
density The relative compactness of a material. Density is the mass of a material per unit volume.
electrical conductivity The ability of a material to convey electricity.
electron The smallest part of the atom that revolves around the nucleus. Electrons have a negative charge, and they are the basic charge of electricity.
electron cloud A sea of electrons that lets electrons freely move around within a metallic bond.
freezing point The temperature necessary to change a liquid to a solid.
gravity The force exerted by the Earth on other objects at or near its surface.
heat of fusion The additional heat that is initially necessary to cause a material to begin to melt.
insulator A material that is highly resistant to the flow of electricity. Ceramics and polymers are excellent insulators.
ionic bond A type of atomic bond that occurs when one atom borrows one or more electrons from another atom.
liquidus The temperature at which an alloy completely finishes melting.
mass The amount of matter that is contained within an object.
mechanical force The application of a force that bends, dents, scratches, compresses, or breaks a material.
melting point The temperature necessary to change a solid to a liquid.
metal alloy A solid combination or mixture of two or more metals, in which the atoms of one metal occupy little spaces between the atoms of the other.
metallic bond A type of atomic bond that occurs when atoms share electrons that float about in a general electron cloud. Metals are held together by metallic bonds.
molecule The smallest unit into which a material can be divided without changing its properties. A molecule consists of a group of atoms held together by strong primary bonds.
passivation Helpful corrosion that protects a material from other harmful effects.
physical properties The way that a material reacts to forces other than mechanical forces. Melting, freezing, thermal conductivity, and electrical conductivity are all physical properties.
pitting The corrosion of a metal that takes place in specific locations on a workpiece or component.
resistor A material that resists the flow of electricity.
solidus The temperature at which a solid alloy begins to melt.
specific heat The amount of heat that is required to raise the temperature of a specific amount of material by one degree.
strength-to-weight ratio The relationship between a material's strength and its weight. Materials that are light but also very strong have a high strength-to-weight ratio.
thermal conductivity The ability of a material to conduct heat.
thermal expansion The tendency of a material to increase in size as it increases in temperature.
thermal stresses A decrease in the quality of a material that occurs due to excessive changes in temperature.
weight The degree of heaviness of an object that results from the gravitational pull of Earth.