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The parts of your car come in all kinds of different shapes and sizes and, what is equally important, in a wide variety of different materials. Let us have an in-depth look at car materials.

Iron. Obviously the bulk of a motor car is made from metals based on iron. Iron is an element that has a chemical symbol Fe and is the father of the ferrous family. It is obtained by filling a blast furnace with iron oxides or carbonates and coke, setting light to the mass and blowing air through it. The carbon in the coke and the oxygen in the iron oxide combine to produce carbon monoxide that burns and takes more oxygen from the iron part of the furnace charge to give carbon dioxide. As the temperature increases the iron melts and, from time to time, is allowed to flow out of the bottom of the furnace into special troughs cut into the sand floor of the iron works.

Blast furnace-produced iron, the basic material of steels, contains between 3 and 4% of carbon and smaller percentages of impurities such as sulphur, silicon, phosphorus and manganese.

Cast iron. Ordinary cast iron is produced by melting pig iron and pouring it into moulds, made of sand, to get it to set into complex shapes. It is a cheap material that is soft, fairly brittle and unsuitable for anything that takes a tension or bending load. In compression there is virtually no plastic deformation or elasticity; it just suddenly fractures across a plane at about 55°. So cast iron is used for castings such as crank-cases, gearboxes and rear axles. If the pig iron used for casting is specially selected to have smaller amounts of carbon and a low sulphur and phosphorous content and the rate of cooling the casting is controlled to a slow rate, then the structure of the iron is improved. The graphite can be made to form into balls or nodules, which are much stronger than the usual plates or starfish shapes and the iron part tends to form as pearlite. These cast irons are two or three times as strong in tension as ordinary grey cast iron and have a certain amount of elasticity and less brittleness. They are used for crankshafts as it is much easier to cast a crankshaft shape than to forge it.

Copper. The main constituent of the brass/bronze family is copper, which is obtained by roasting the copper sulphide ores to remove the arsenic and antimony impurities and then smelting the ores in a furnace to produce the molten metal. Copper is soft, ductile and easily worked and is difficult to produce in a really pure state. Plain copper is seldom used for anything but electrical components in cars, due to its low resistance. It is used for pipework because of its ductility, but has been replaced by cheaper and better materials.

Aluminium is produced by electrolytic means from bauxite, an aluminium hydroxide, and makes a good clean casting with a fairly coarse grain structure. It is a fair substitute for cast iron except that it is a bit more ductile. On the other hand, it can be rolled or drawn into sheets, rods, and tubes that can be bent due to their ductility whereas cast iron cannot. The aluminium alloys with copper, manganese, silicon and nickel are pretty numerous and are selected either for their corrosion resistance, high electrical conductivity, ductility or higher strength.


2. Find in the text English equivalents to the following words and word combinations:


хімічний символ, отримувати, доменна піч, спеціальний жолоб, процентне співвідношення, компресія, картер, коробка передач, еластичність, відпал, в’язкий.


3. Find odd words:

conductivity, ductility, strength, similarity; shape, model, example, pattern;

aluminium, bronze, copper, zinc; amount, quantity, structure, number.

4. Make word combinations from the following words and translate them into Ukrainian:

chemical copper
blast shape
carbon monoxide
special discharge
furnace iron
cast symbol
pig furnace
plastic troughs
crankshaft iron
to roast deformation

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