Get a good beach fire going and melt some of the sand, a glass globule will appear from melted silica grains. Discovered 5000 years ago, glass has many uses. Gin and Tonic does not taste the same in earthenware cups.
Smelting produces metal from rock ores using intense heat and chemicals leaving gases, slag and metal behind. Base metals like silver, iron and copper are produced this way.
Cast iron is melted pig iron. It has a low melting temperature and is easy to mould into shapes. It is good under compression, but brittle under tension.
The technique of floating molten glass on a bed of molten tin was invented in the 1950s. It enabled large glass panes to be produced quickly, and very cheaply.
Carbon fibre is strong and light fibre reinforced plastic. It has very high strength to weight ratio and can be rigid or flexible if required.
Although a poison, cyanide is mainly produced for the extraction of gold and silver from their ores. The left over liquids are discarded in ponds which can result in environmental and health problems.
Fusing base metals together at high heat forms a joint that is as strong or stronger than the base metal. Welds can be made from flame, electricity, electron beams and even friction.
An alloy is a mixture of metals or other elements. Steel, brass, pewter, and bronze are all alloys. Most coins are made from alloys. It would cost more to make a one cent coin from pure copper than the coin is worth.
The light bulb was invented in the 1800s and billions are in use every day. Initially light bulbs were incandescent. Now fluorescent lights and LEDs are more popular due to their longer life.
Stainless steel is an alloy of iron and chromium which does not readily corrode, is easy to clean and is resistant to acid attack. It is used in most industries and in every kitchen that has knives around.
A thermos flask is an insulating storage vessel with two flasks placed one within the other, a partial vacuum is created and the two flasks are sealed. Used to keep food hotter or colder for longer, journeys would not be the same without them.