Let’s Investigate Question 1 Why is copper and not aluminium used as wires? Hint: look at the physical and chemical properties of both metals. Also consider the reactivity of both metals. Question 2 Aluminium is a reactive metal. But Aluminium reacts slowly in acid at first before reacting with it vigourously. Why?
Some facts. Reactivity Series: Very reactive metals will react with cold water. Reactive metals will react with steam and dilute acid. Non-reactive metals do not react with acid. Summary: If a metal reacts with cold water, do not add the metal into an acid (or explosion might take place). If a metal does not react with any acid, the metal is not reactive.
Memorise This! Metal reactivity Series: K - Potassium Na - Sodium Ca - Calcium Mg - Magnesium (C) - Carbon (non-metal) Al - Aluminium Zn - Zinc Fe - Iron Pb - Lead (H) - Hydrogen Cu - Copper Ag - Silver
Why is Reactivity Important? Displacement Reaction: Metals that are more reactive (high up in reactivity series) can displace the ions of metals that are less reactive. Example: Zinc is more reactive than copper; therefore, Zinc metal can displace copper ions. Zn (s) + CuSO 4 (aq) ZnSO 4 (aq) + Cu (s) Blue solution turns colourless