Introducing Elements: The Basis for Understanding Matter Diversity

This tutorial is about the diversity of matter and the study of elements forms the basis for understanding the fascinating ways in which matter shows a great deal of variety all around us.


Elements can be classified into three main types — metals, nonmetals, and metalloids. Metals are located on the left side of the periodic table and are generally shiny, good conductors and ductile.

Nonmetals, on the other hand, are located on the right side of the periodic table and are generally shiny, good conductors, malleable, and ductile, while metalloids, otherwise known as mixed groups are elements that share some properties of both metals and non-metals.

Elements in Aircraft Manufacturing

The materials used in manufacturing of aircraft have changed significantly since the construction of the first aircraft. With the objective of flying using air support while, resisting gravitational forces, the materials used for construction of aircraft must have a small weight and high specific strength and must be heat resistant, fatigue load resistant, crack resistant and corrosion resistant.


Photo Credit: The Atlas Group

Back in the days, aircraft were constructed using wood and fabrics. But aircraft made out of wood and fabric were subject to rapid deterioration and high maintenance. Thus, the search for better materials began. Today, aluminium, steel, titanium and composite materials are preferred in the construction of aerospace structures.

It takes a combination of metals, nonmetals, and metalloids, to construct an airplane and have a viable aircraft. It is necessary to understand the properties of each element and how they will work with each other. In the following lessons, we will explore the different classifications of elements.

Confused about anything that was mentioned in the lesson? Ask a question!


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