Bakelite IELTS Reading Answers

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Check for the Bakelite Reading Answers here. You can verify and correct mistakes if any using the answer key given.

If you want to practice more questions using the Bakelite passage, we have included other IELTS question types here. Try to solve these questions and check the answers at the end of the article.

The IELTS reading test checks for your reading skills and your ability to find relevant information from a given passage. In the Bakelite Reading Answers article, you get a passage along with 3 question types. You will have to try to answer all the questions given in the article quickly.

The 3 IELTS reading question types given in this article is to help you get practice with answering them. You will understand the format of the questions and to solve the Bakelite Reading Answers. The question types given in this article are:

  • IELTS reading sentence completion
  • IELTS reading yes/no/not given
  • IELTS reading note completion

9 thoughts on “BAKELITE - The birth of modern plastics”

Some of the important points regarding the Bakelite IELTS Reading Answers article have been given for your information.

  • The passage given in the Bakelite IELTS Reading Answers article is all about the invention of bakelite and how it shaped the modern plastic industry. 
  • This passage is followed by three important IELTS question types that you have to answer carefully.
  • The Bakelite Reading Answers with location and explanations have been provided at the end of this article.  
  • The passage contains 7 paragraphs from which the questions will be asked.
  • You should learn to scan these paragraphs quickly and find information to answer the questions.
  • With the help of this article you will be able to improve your reading and understanding skills.
  • You should understand the task properly by reading the instructions before attempting the Bakelite Reading Answers with location. 
  • You have to learn to manage your time that you take to answer each question. 
  • The Bakelite passage is taken from the Cambridge 5 Test 2 Reading Answers. 

Before attempting to write the Bakelite Reading Answers, check the IELTS reading tips.

Find the practice test with Bakelite IELTS reading answers pdf, here.

IELTS reading passage -  BAKELITE - The birth of modern plastics

The Bakelite reading answers can be solved after reading the given passage carefully.

BAKELITE - The birth of modern plastics

In 1907, a Belgian scientist named Leo Hendrick Baekeland working in New York, discovered and patented a new revolutionary synthetic substance. His invention, which he named ‘Bakelite’, was of great technological importance, and led to the launch of the modern plastic industry.

The word ‘plastic’ originated from the Greek word plassein, which means ‘to mould’. Plastics can be derived from natural sources. Some plastics are semi-synthetic which is a result of chemical action on a natural substance. Some types of plastics are entirely synthetic, i.e., chemically engineered from the components of coal or oil. Plastics have ‘thermoplastic’ behaviour, which means that it melts when heated and can then be reshaped like candle wax. Few others have ‘thermosetting’ characteristics like eggs. They cannot go back to their original state, and its shape does not change forever. Bakelite became the first totally synthetic thermosetting plastic.

The history of today’s plastics dates back to the mid 19th century with the discovery of a series of semi-synthetic thermoplastic materials. The need for the development of these early plastics was due to many factors like immense technological progress in the domain of chemistry, along with wider cultural changes, and the practical requirements to discover suitable substitutes for decreasing supplies of luxury items like tortoiseshell and ivory. 

Baekeland was interested in plastics from 1885. As a young chemistry student in Belgium, he started his research on phenolic resins - a group of sticky substances produced when phenol (carbolic acid) combines with an aldehyde (a volatile fluid similar to alcohol). He then stopped the subject, however, only returning to it some years later. He became a wealthy New Yorker by 1905, after he made his fortune with the invention of a new photographic paper. While Baekeland had been busy making money, some innovations had been made to develop plastics. The first semi-synthetic thermosetting material was patented during 1899 and 1900 which could be made on an industrial scale. In scientific terms, Baekeland’s work in this field does not contribute so much to the actual discovery of the material to which he gave his name, but rather the way in which the reaction between phenol and formaldehyde could be controlled, to make its preparation possible on an industrial  level. Baekeland took out his famous patent with the preparation and the essential features on 13 July 1907, which are still in use today.

The original patent was a process that had 3 stages, where phenol and formaldehyde (from wood or coal) were first mixed inside vacuum in a large round kettle. A resin was formed from it known as Novalak, which becomes soluble and malleable when heated. Then the resin was let to cool in small trays until it became hard, and then was smashed and ground into powder. Other substances (fillers) like wood flour, asbestos or cotton were introduced, which increase strength and moisture resistance, catalysts and hexa (a compound of ammonia and formaldehyde which supplied the additional formaldehyde necessary to form a thermosetting resin). The resin was then given time to cool and harden and is again powered for a second time. This granular powder is the raw Bakelite, which can be made into numerous types of solid objects. In the final stage, the Bakelite is heated and poured into a hollow mould with the required shape and is exposed to extreme heat and pressure; and setting its form forever.

From chairs to TV sets the design of Bakelite objects was governed to a large extent by the technical needs of the moulding process. The object cannot be designed so that it was locked into the mould and was tough to extract. A common rule was that objects should move towards the deepest part of the mould, and if necessary, the piece was moulded as separate pieces. Moulds should be carefully designed so that the molten Bakelite could flow properly and evenly into the shape. Sharp corners were not practical so it had to be removed, giving rise to the smooth, ‘streamlined’ style which was popular in the 1930s. Thick walls take longer to cool and harden. The thickness of the walls of the mould was very crucial -  a factor which had to be taken into consideration by the designer to make the most out of the machines. 

Baekeland’s invention was treated with arrogance by the public in the early years. But it gained unmatched popularity which lasted throughout the first half of the 20th century. It became a spectacular invention for the industrial expansion of the new world. It was described as a material of a thousand uses. Bakelite being non-porous and heat-resistant, was used to manufacture kitchen goods and were advertised as being sterilisable and germ-free. Electrical manufacturers caught on to its electricity insulating properties, and people admired its bright shades of colours, at last, delighted that they are no longer restricted to the wood tones and dark brown colours of the preplastic era. In the 1950s it then became unpopular and was neglected and destroyed in large quantities. Recently, it again gained popularity with more requirements for original Bakelite products in the collectors’ marketplace, and museums, societies. People once again appreciated the style and originality of this innovative material. 

Bakelite IELTS Reading Questions

IELTS Reading Sentence Completion Question 1-5 

Questions 1 – 5 

Complete the sentences below.

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBERS from the passage for each answer. 

1  The history of today’s plastics dates back to the mid ________ with the discovery of a series of semi-synthetic thermoplastic materials. 
2 In 1907, a Belgian scientist named _________ working in New York, discovered and patented a new revolutionary synthetic substance.
3 The word ‘plastic’ originated from the Greek word ________, which means ‘to mould’. 
4 A resin was formed from it known as ________, which becomes soluble and malleable when heated.
5 Bakelite being ________ and heat-resistant, was used to manufacture kitchen goods and were advertised as being sterilisable and germ-free.

Also check: IELTS reading sentence completion

IELTS Reading Yes/No/Not Given Question 6-10

Questions 6 - 10

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the Reading Passage?
Write
YES if the statement agrees with the claims of the writer
NO, if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

6 Plastics cannot be derived from natural sources.
7 Moulds should be carefully designed so that the molten Bakelite could flow properly and evenly into the shape. 
8 Baekeland’s invention gained popularity in the first half of the twentieth century.
9 Novalak is soluble and malleable when heated.
10 Baekeland didn't realise the bad effects of plastic on the environment.

Also check: IELTS reading yes/no/not given

IELTS Reading Note Completion Question 11-1

Questions 11- 15

Complete the notes below.
Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/ OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer. 

11  _______ is a compound of ammonia and formaldehyde.
12 Synthetic plastics can be made from ________ or oil.
13 Bakelite had electricity ________ properties.
14 Bakelite is sterilisable and ________.
15 ________ style which was popular in the 1930s

Also check: IELTS reading note completion

Bakelite IELTS reading answers with explanation

You can verify the Bakelite IELTS reading answers with explanation here. 

Answer for the IELTS Reading Sentence Completion Questions

(Note: The text in italics is from the reading passage and shows the location from where the answer is taken or inferred. The text in the regular font explains the answer in detail.)

1 19th century 

Explanation: The history of today’s plastics dates back to the mid 19th century with the discovery of a series of semi-synthetic thermoplastic materials.

2 Leo Hendrick Baekeland 

Explanation: In 1907, a Belgian scientist named Leo Hendrick Baekeland working in New York, discovered and patented a new revolutionary synthetic substance.

3 plassei

Explanation: The word ‘plastic’ originated from the Greek word plassein, which means ‘to mould’. 

4 Novalak

Explanation: A resin was formed from it known as Novalak, which becomes soluble and malleable when heated.

5 non-porous

Explanation: Bakelite being non-porous and heat-resistant, was used to manufacture kitchen goods and were advertised as being sterilisable and germ-free.

Answer for the IELTS Reading Yes/No/Not Given Question

(Note: The text in italics is from the reading passage and shows the location from where the answer is taken or inferred. The text in the regular font explains the answer in detail.)

6 No (h6)

Explanation: Plastics can be derived from natural sources. 

7 Yes

Explanation: Moulds should be carefully designed so that the molten Bakelite could flow properly and evenly into the shape.

8 Yes

Explanation: Baekeland’s invention was treated with arrogance by the public in the early years. But it gained unmatched popularity which lasted throughout the first half of the 20th century.

9 Yes

Explanation: A resin was formed from it known as Novalak, which becomes soluble and malleable when heated.

10 Not given 

Explanation: The answer is not given in the passage. 


Answer for the IELTS Reading Note Completion Questions 

(Note: The text in italics is from the reading passage and shows the location from where the answer is taken or inferred. The text in the regular font explains the answer in detail.)

11 hexa 

Explanation: Other substances (fillers) like wood flour, asbestos or cotton were introduced, which increase strength and moisture resistance, catalysts and hexa (a compound of ammonia and formaldehyde which supplied the additional formaldehyde necessary to form a thermosetting resin).

12 coal

Explanation: Some types of plastics are entirely synthetic, i.e., chemically engineered from the components of coal or oil. 

13 insulating

Explanation: Electrical manufacturers caught on to its electricity insulating properties. 

14 germ-free 

Explanation: Bakelite being non-porous and heat-resistant, was used to manufacture kitchen goods and were advertised as being sterilisable and germ-free. 

15 streamlined

Explanation: Sharp corners were not practical so it had to be removed, giving rise to the smooth, ‘streamlined’ style which was popular in the 1930s.

Check the other reading passages

Click to check the other important reading passages listed below,

Conclusion

The article on “Bakelite reading answers“ provides solutions to three types of IELTS questions that will be asked in the reading section. The answer key has been provided below the questions so you can check for the right answers. Solve all the questions and practice well to score high marks in the IELTS reading section.

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Global Headquarters

Kanan Intl EdTech Inc

Ph-1, 220, George Street, Toronto Ontario, Canada M5A 2N1

India Headquarters

Kanan International Pvt. Ltd.

D-wing, 2nd Floor, Trident Complex, Ellora Park Vadiwadi Road, Vadodara, Gujarat 390007

IT/ Digital Campus

Chennai Office

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About Kanan International

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Copyright © 2022 KANAN INT EDTECH INC. All rights reserved.