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Minerals in Your Home
Many building materials are made from minerals. Take a look at some common examples.
Bricks and Ceramic Tiles
Clay minerals are used to make bricks and tiles. Wet clay is easy to shape. Once it has been baked, it is very strong. Clay is also a good insulator. Clay helps to keep out the cold in winter and the heat in summer.
Bricklayers spread mortar between bricks. Mortar holds the bricks together. Mortar contains clay minerals and other minerals such as gypsum. Mortar is sticky when wet and sticks to the bricks. When mortar dries, it adds strength to brick walls. Mortar also helps keep out water.
Drywall is large panels used to build walls inside homes. Another name for drywall is gypsum board. The mineral gypsum is the main ingredient in drywall.
To make drywall, water and gypsum are mixed into paste. The paste is sandwiched between two long sheets of paper. After the paste hardens, the drywall is baked to make it even stronger. Then the drywall is cut into panels. Gypsum will not catch fire easily. Drywall adds strength and safety to a building.
The mineral copper is used to make electrical wiring. Electricity flows easily through copper. Copper wire bends without breaking.
In the past, water pipes in homes were usually made of copper. But copper is now much too expensive to use for pipes. Plumbing in newer homes is made from less expensive materials.
Kitchen and Bathroom Taps
Your kitchen and bathroom taps are probably a silver colour. They are coated with a metal called chromium, which is often called chrome. Chromium comes from the mineral chromite. Chromium does not rust easily, so it is a good material to use in wet places.
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1. Match each product with a mineral in it. In the table, the properties of each mineral will give you clues.
Emery boards are used for filing fingernails.
Powder that helps keep things dry.
Clear flower vases hold water.
Pencils make marks that we can erase.
2. Match each product with a mineral in it. In the table, the properties of each mineral will give you clues.
Kitchen salt adds flavour to food.
Stovetop cleaners remove dried spills that can be tough to get off.
Some makeup sparkles.
3. Mortar contains clay minerals and what other mineral?CorrectIncorrect
4. Fill in the blank using information from the text.
Electricity flows through copper.
5. Chromium does not rust easily.CorrectIncorrect