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Unit 1 Properties and Shapes

Section 1 Presentation
1. Look at these: Here are some examples of basic forms:

a cube

a hemisphere

a triangular prism

a pyramid

a rectangular prism

a cone

a cylinder

Now look at these drawings of buildings and buildings components:

a hotel

a minaret

an Egyptian house

a mosque column slab

a brick

an Arabic arch

a Roman arch

the structure of a factory

a church

a steel beam a power station building

a steel channel

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Look at this example: The brick is shaped like a rectangular prism. Now complete these sentences: a. b. c. d. e. f. g. The hotel is shaped like a .. The top of the minaret The dome of the Egyptian house .. The column The slab . The church .. The power station building

2. Look at these drawings of two-dimensional shapes:

a square shape

a circular shape

a semi-circular shape

a rectangular shape Now look and read

a triangular shape

The cross-section of a square prism is square in shape.

The longitudinal section of a square prism is rectangular in shape.

Make sentences from this table: The cross-section brick hotel of the The longitudinal- top of the minaret column section of the church
Unit 1: Properties and shapes


square circular semi-circular rectangular triangular

in shape

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3. Now answer these questions about the drawings in exercise 1: a. Which building is pencil-shaped? b. Which building component is I-shaped in cross-section? c. Which building component is C-shaped in cross-section? d. Which dome is egg-shaped? e. Which arch is horseshoe-shaped? f. Which building has diamond-shaped windows? 4. Look and read:
external surface

internal surface

a tube is hollow

a rod is solid

a curved surface

a flat surface

The power station building is hollow. It has five flat external surfaces. Now describe these buildings and components in a similar way: a. The church b. The slab c. The column d. The mosque e. The steel beam 5. Now describe the shapes of the buildings in exercise 1, page 1 and compare them with the buildings around you.

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Section 2 Development
6. Look at these examples:
roll of glass wool

A man can easily lift a large roll of glass wool but not a concrete beam.

concrete beam

Glass wool is light but concrete is heavy.



A man can bend a rubber tile but not a concrete tile. Rubber is flexible but concrete is rigid.


Wood can burn but concrete cannot burn. Wood is combustible but concrete is non-combustible.


stone wall

bitumen roof

Water vapour can pass through stone but not through bitumen. Stone is permeable but bitumen is impermeable.

You can see through glass but not through wood. glass wood Glass is transparent but wood is opaque.

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Stainless steel can resist corrosion but mild steel cannot. Stainless steel is corrosion resistant but mild steel is not corrosion resistant.

polished stainless steel does not go rusty

unprotected mild steel corrodes (goes rusty easily)

wooden handle copper pan

Heat can be easily transfer through copper but not through wood. Copper is a good conductor of heat but wood is poor conductor of heat.

rubber block compressive force deform block return to the original shape when force removed

Rubber can be stretched or compressed and will return to its original shape but clay cannot. Rubber is elastic but clay is plastic.


Bitumen can be dented or scratched easily but glass cannot. Bitumen is soft but glass is hard. dent

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Look at these diagrams. Match the letters A H in the diagrams with the sentences below:


Now complete these sentences with properties: a. The polythene membrane can prevent moisture from rising into the concrete floor. This means that polythene is .. b. The T-shaped aluminium section can resist chemical action, i.e. aluminium is c. The stone block cannot be lifted without using a crane. This means that stone is . d. The corrugated iron roof cannot prevent the sun from heating up the house, i.e. iron is .. e. Glass wool can help to keep a house warm in the winter and cool in the summer, i.e. glass wool is . f. The ceramic tiles on the floor cannot be scratched easily by people walking on them. This means that ceramics tiles are g. Asbestos sheeting can be used to fireproof doors. In other words asbestos is h. Black cloth blinds can be used to keep the light out of a room, i.e. cloth is ..

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7. Make sentences about four other properties of materials from this table:

Steel Stone Glass wool Brick

has the property of

good sound insulation. good thermal insulation. high compressive strength. high tensile strength.

This means

it can resist high compressive forces. it can resist high tensile forces. it does not transmit heat easily. it does not transmit sound easily.

8. Answer the following questions: a. Why is glass used for window panes? Because glass is ..


Why is glass wool used to keep the heat in hot-water tanks? Because glass wool has the property of ..


Why is some steel covered with a thin layer of zinc? Because zinc is .


Why are some fire doors covered with asbestos sheets? Because asbestos is .

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Why are some metal sheets formed into a corrugated shape? Because the corrugated shaped make the sheet


Why is concrete used for columns of a building structure? Because ...

Section 3 Reading
9. Look at these diagrams and then read the passage:

frame construction

planar construction

mass construction Building materials are used in two basic ways. In the first way they are used to support the loads on a building and in the second way they are used to divide the space in a building. Building components are made from building materials and the form of a component is related to the way in which it is used. We can see how this works by considering three different types of construction: 1. In one kind of construction, blocks of materials such as brick, stone or concrete, are put together to form solid walls. These materials are heavy, however, they can support the structural loads because they have the property of high compressive strength. Walls made up of blocks both support the building and divide the space in the building. 2. In another type of construction, sheet materials are used to form walls, which act as both space-dividers and structural support. Timber, concrete and some plastics can be made into large rigid sheets and fixed together to
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form a building. These building are lighter and faster to construct than buildings made up of blocks. 3. Rod materials, on the other hand, can be used for structural support but not for dividing spaces. Timber, steel and concrete can be formed into rods and used as columns. Rod materials with high tensile and compressive strength can be fixed together to form framed structures. The spaces between the rods can be filled with light sheet materials, which act as space dividers but do not support structural loads. Now say which paragraph discusses: a). Planar construction b). Frame construction c). Mass construction 10. Copy and complete this table by putting ticks in the boxes to show the functions of the components: Function of components Structural support Space dividing only only

Form of material Blocks Sheets Rods

Both structural support and space dividing

11. Now say whether these statements are true or false. Correct the false statements. a. Rod materials can be used for both dividing space and supporting the building. b. Concrete can be used as a block material, a sheet material and a rod material. c. Steel is used for frame construction because it has high tensile strength and low compressive strength. d. The sheet materials, which act as space dividers in a frame construction building can be very light because they do not support structural loads. e. Mass construction buildings are light whereas planar construction buildings are heavy. 12. Look at the buildings in exercise 1, page 1 and discuss the basic form of the materials used to build them.

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