Aluminium

Aluminium or aluminum

  • Aluminium is a widely used, soft, light, durable metal.  It is silvery, gray or white in colour and has a metallic look.
  • Aluminium makes up 8% of the weight of the earth’s crust.
  • Aluminium is generally found combined, in different minerals – over 270 of them.
  • Aluminium is high in heat and electricity conduction.
  • Aluminium doesn’t corrode very easily.

Aluminium Roll, Aluminum, Ten Random Facts

  • Aluminium is hard to extract from ore, like bauxite.
  • Aluminium can be fully recycled without losing any of its qualities.
  • Australia is the one of the major produces of the major aluminium ore, bauxite.
  • In 2005, the global production of aluminium was 3.19 billion kilograms (31.9 million tonnes).
  • Ancient Greek and Romans used aluminium salt to stop bleeding of cuts.
Bibliography:
Aluminium 1 December 2012, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminium>

Silver

Silver is pretty, white and shiny.

  • Silver is harder than gold but softer than copper, and is approximately 2.5 on the hardness Mohs Scale.
  • Silver conducts electricity and heat better than any other metal.
  • Silver is one of the only materials that absorbs oxygen, which enables it to rid substances of germs and bacteria.
  • Silver can be beaten into sheets, drawn into threads and modelled.
  • The alloy, mixture of chemical elements, of silver is called electrum.

Silver necklace, Blue Flowers, Ten Random Facts

  • The main producers of silver are currently Peru, Bolivia and Mexico.
  • Silver in its natural state can be found mixed with gold or other ores like copper, zinc or lead, and is rarely found without contaminants.
  • Sterling silver is the mix of 7.5% copper with silver.
  • Silver was popularly used in many ancient coins, and is now used in medical equipment, some medicines, jewellery, silverware, medals and in the photography industry.
  • Silver is currently worth $32.13 Australian dollars per ounce.
Bibliography:
Blackwood, A 1979, Gold and Silver, Wayland Publishers Limited, England
Silver 20 November 2012, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver>

Wool

Fluffy or thin, heavy or light, all wool is different as well as all these facts.

  • Wool is the coat of a sheep which is shorn off usually once a year.
  • There are over 1 081.8 million wool bearing sheep in the world and all the sheep put together produce approximately 1.27 million tonnes (1.3 million tons) per year.
  • Wool is transported in approximately 200 kg (440 lbs) bags, or bales.
  • Pure wool can be cream, grey, brown or black in colour.
  • The merino is the best sheep for wool breeding since it produces heavy, good quality, fine wool.Brown Cream Grey Wool in a basket, Ten Random Facts 
  • Australia is the biggest producer of wool in the world, followed by New Zealand, and China.
  • Wool is excellent at keeping heat in and cold out, is flame resistant and can be woven into cloth and yarn.
  • Wool can absorb liquids up to 1/3 of its own weight.
  • To make wool ready for retail sale, it is scoured, combed, dyed, spun, woven and finished.
  • As well as clothes and rugs, wool can be used in pianos and stereo speakers.
Bibliography:
Watson, T & Watson, J 1980, Wool, Wayland Publishers, England

Diamond

Ooooooooh – pretty! Well, pretty if polished and cut. Polished and cut facts coming right up!

  • Diamond is one of the rarest and prettiest stones in the world.
  • Diamonds are made from carbon.
  • Diamond is the hardest natural material ever discovered.  The hardness results from the strong carbon atom arrangement.
  • Originally, the main diamond producers were India, Africa and Brazil but currently, Australia and Russia have the greatest supplies and mine more diamonds than any other country in the world.
  • Diamond is normally found in rivers or in a type of rock called kimberlite.Blue cut polished diamond, Ten Random Facts, Free Digital Photos
Polished, Cut Diamond
Image courtesy of Anusorn P Nachol/ Free Digital Photos
  • Diamonds are bought and sold using a measurement called carats, which is equal to 0.2 grams.
  • Before kimberlite was discovered, diamond was often dug out from the sand.
  • Now people use x-rays to separate diamond from kimberlite rock.
  • 75%-80% of people’s engagement rings contain a diamond.
  • Nearly 80% of the diamonds that are mined are used for tools or other equipment since they are not suitable to be used as gemstones.
Bibliography:
Diamond 12 October 2012, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond>
Herbert, S 1980, Diamonds, Wayland Publishers Limited, England

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Igneous Rock

There are many types of rocks and many groups. Igneous rocks are up!

  • Igneous rocks are formed in molten magma.
  • There are two types of igneous rock. One type of igneous rock is formed in the surface of the earth while the other type of rock forms on the crust, because of the cool air.
  • Igneous rock is also formed when magma cools and crystallises into a rock formation.
  • Most of the earth’s crust is made out of igneous rock.
  • Many mountains are made out of igneous rocks. Also, many mountains with lots of surrounding igneous rock suggests that the mountain could be a volcano.

 Igneous Rock, Granite, Free Digital Photos, Free Digital Photos

Igneous Rock
Image courtesy of Antpkr/ Free Digital Photos
  • ‘Igneous’ comes from the latin phrase ‘made from fire’.
  • Earth’s moon is made out of igneous rocks.
  • Many roads are made from crushed igneous rock .
  • The igneous rock called pumice is the lightest rock on earth.
  • Igneous rocks contain many minerals that help plants grow.
Bibliography:
Rocks & Minerals 2004, Dorling Kindersley, United States
Stewart, M 2002, Igneous Rocks, Heinemann Library, Great Britian

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Rice

Rice, is one of the many grains we eat. Rice comes from pure paddies like these pure ten facts.

  • There are more than 113, 000 known varieties of rice in the world.
  • Mature rice paddy plants can be 1-6 meters in height.
  • Rice is eaten daily by approximately half the world.
  • In 2010, rice was the second most popular world-wide product grown.
  • Rice is grown in approximately 100 countries.

 Brown Rice, Short Grain White Rice, Long Grain White Rice, White Rice, Rice, Ten Random Facts

  • Fifty kilograms of rice seeds will grow 2,000 kilograms of rice paddy while 400 million tons of paddy makes 260 tons of milled rice.
  • Insects, rats, viruses, heat, large downpours, birds, snails and wild buffaloes can destroy rice paddies.
  • The rice grains turn a golden yellow when it is time for harvest.
  • By 2009, the whole world was consuming 531, 639 thousand metric tons of paddy, which is equal to 354, 603 thousand metric tons of milled rice.
  •  One average person in Bangladesh eats about half a kilogram of rice daily.
Bibliography:
Hawkey, R 1980, Rice, Wayland Publishers Limited, England
Rice 13 October 2012, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice>

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