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Transition Metals

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How to Build a Skyscraper

How do we build skyscrapers?

Credit: Michael Slonecker
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Manhattan_at_Dusk_by_slonecker.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

[Figure1]

Buildings are commonly made from steel, which is created by combining iron with other elements. Steel is not only used for buildings, but also used to make bridges, roads and even pieces of art. When we're standing high in a building, how can we ensure that the steel is strong enough to hold us up? In order to ensure it's strength, we have to add carbon to make the alloy stronger.

Creative Applications

  1. What do you think would happen if you added between .15 and .25% carbon to the iron during the manufacturing process? What could this new alloy be used for?
  2. What would happen if you added between .20 and .60% carbon? What could this alloy be used for?
  3. What do you think most buildings are being built with now?
  4. What kind of impurities are in steel?

Resources

http://www.chem.uwec.edu/Chem115_F02/batesdj/paper.html

http://science.howstuffworks.com/iron4.htm

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Michael Slonecker; Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Manhattan_at_Dusk_by_slonecker.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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