Transport and technology ...
Minerals play a role in modern technology.
Look at your computer. Is it working properly? Yes, well you can thank minerals for that!
There are lots of places you can find minerals in technology.
Scroll down and find out more about the minerals you can find in transport and technology.
Cars - building a car
Many minerals are needed to make a car. Iron is used to make steel. It makes up the bulk of the car, and comes from minerals like magnetite and hematite.
Think about the properties of cars:
You can see why we make cars from steel.
Bumpers, badges, and door handles are often coated in chromium to prevent them rusting - this comes from the mineral chromite.
Learn more about the minerals we use to make cars
Photo courtesy of the Isle of Wight Morris Minors Club
Cars - starting and stopping
Up until recently, lead was added to the petrol used to power car engines. Galena is the main ore of lead, but because we now know lead is quite poisonous, we do not use it much any more.
Car brakes can be made from asbestos minerals. But we now know that asbestos is bad for us well. Researchers are working on a replacement for asbestos in brake pads and other fixtures.
Think about the properties of asbestos:
You can see why we make brakes from asbestos.
Learn more about the minerals we use to make cars stop and start
Two metals, aluminium and titanium, are used a lot in aeroplanes because they are lightweight and strong. Aluminium comes from a material called bauxite. Titanium comes from minerals called rutile and ilmenite.
Titanium is also important in space flight, as it is used a lot in the manufacture of space shuttles.
Think about the properties of aluminium and titanium:
Gold is used in electronics. It conducts electricity very well and is very flexible, twisting easily into fine wires. It is used to make electronic circuit boards and other components.
Think about the properties of gold:
- Conducts electricity
- Does not rust
- Is flexible - can be twisted into wires
Mica is also used in electronics. Muscovite mica is used to make electrical capacitors and high temperature insulators.
Think about the properties of mica:
- Does not conduct electricity
- Has a high melting point
You can see why we use gold and mica in electronics.
Learn more about the minerals we use in electronics
Modern computers rely on the silicon chip to process information. The mineral quartz contains silicon, and is of great importance in electronics.
You may not see the inside of a computer, but the screen you are now staring at is made of quartz as well. Glass is made from quartz sand.
Think about the properties of quartz:
- Transparent (see-through)
You can see why we use quartz to make computer screens.
Learn more about the mineral quartz
Find out about the minerals we use every day...
Building a house
In the kitchen
Around the home
Transport and technology
Neat and tidy
Health and medicine
Finish by playing Mineral mix and match! or return to the Homepage