Chemistry KS3 & KS4/GCSE: What is a superalloy?

Mark Miodownik puts the properties of a superalloy to the test.

Superalloys are high-performance alloys designed to withstand incredible temperatures and pressures.

Mark describes how the matrix of cubic crystals in their unique micro-structure makes them super strong, and able to resist the extreme conditions at the heart of a jet engine.

This clip is from Materials: How They Work.

Teacher Notes

This clip could be used to introduce metals and how metal structure is linked to its physical properties.

Before playing the clip, pose the question "What's so special about metal?" and ask the students to use the clip to come up with answers to be discussed at the end.

Curriculum Notes

These clips will be relevant for teaching Chemistry at KS3 and GCSE/KS4 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4/5 or Higher in Scotland.

The topics discussed will support OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC GCSE in GCSE in England and Wales, CCEA GCSE in Northern Ireland and SQA National 4/5 and Higher in Scotland.

More from Materials: How They Work:

Bronze - The first alloy
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What is Graphene?
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How was metal discovered?
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How reinforced concrete works
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How the Romans invented concrete
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Superconductors and the 'Meissner effect'
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The atomic structure of metal
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What is superconductivity?
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The Invention of Carbon Fibre
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The plastic revolution
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Goodyear's groundbreaking invention of vulcanised rubber
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The structure, properties and uses of Bakelite
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What is reinforced concrete?
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Why is concrete so brittle?
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