What are Metals and Non Metals and Its Properties?

Posted on May 4th, 2021
Metals and Non-metals and its properties
Metals and Non-metals

What are Metals and Non-Metals, Its Properties & Difference between metals and non-metals?

Here, discussed on Metals and Non-Metals, Its Properties & Difference between metals and non-metals.

What are metals?

With the exception of hydrogen, metals are all elements that form positive ions by losing electrons during chemical reactions. Metals are thus electropositive elements with reduced ionization energies. They have a bright luster, can echo sound, and are excellent conductors of heat and electricity. Except for Mercury, metals are solids under natural conditions.

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Metals Physical properties

  • Conduction: Metals are a good conductor of heat and electricity. This is why electric wires are made of metals such as copper and aluminum.
  • Malleability: Metals can be shaped. Metals will therefore be pounded into a thin film. Because of this property, iron is used in the construction of large ships.
  • Ductility: This property enables the metals to be drawn into thin wire. Due to this property, a wire is made of metals.
  • Melting and Boiling Point: Melting and boiling points are generally higher for the metals. (Sodium and potassium metals have low melting and boiling point, they are the exception.)
  • Density: Most of the metals have higher density.
  • Color: Except for gold and copper, most of the metals are grey in color.
  • Hardness: Except alkali metals such as sodium, potassium, and lithium, which are very soft metals. These metals can be sliced using a knife.
  • Strength: The majority of the metals is solid and has high tensile strength. As a result, large buildings are made of metals such as copper (Cu) and iron (Fe). (With the exception of Sodium (Na) and potassium (K), these are the soft metals).
  • State: At room temperature, metals are solid, whereas, mercury (Hg) is the exception.
  • Sound: Since metals produce a ringing sound, so, they are referred to as Sonorous. This can also be called a Metallic sound. This is why metal wires are used in the manufacture of musical instruments.


Download NCERT Solutions For Class 10 Science Chapter 3 Metals and Non-Metals


Metals Chemical Properties

Chemical properties of metals , Difference between metals and non-metals
Chemical properties of metals

Electropositive elements that react with oxygen usually form basic or amphoteric oxides with oxygen, these elements are metals. Other chemical properties include:

  • Electropositive Character: Metals have low ionization energies and usually lose electrons (i.e. are oxidized) through chemical reactions; they do not generally accept electrons. For example:
    • Alkali metals are always 1+, i.e. lose the electron in s subshell.
    • Na0 —> Na++ e
    • Alkaline earth metals are always 2+, i.e. lose both electrons in s subshell.
    • Mg0 —> Mg2++ 2e
    • There is no obvious pattern for a transition metal, 2+ is common (lose both electrons in s subshell), and 1+ and 3+can also be observed
    • Al0 —> Al3++ 3e

Compounds of metals with non-metals are usually ionic in nature. The vast majority of metal oxides is basic oxides and dissolves in water to form metal hydroxides:

Na2O(s) + H2O(1) —> 2NaOH(aq)

CaO(s) + H2O(1) —> Ca(OH)2 (aq)

To form metal salts and water, metal oxides demonstrate their basic chemical nature by reacting with acids:

MgO(s) + HCl (aq) —> MgCl2(aq) + H2O(1)

NiO(s) + H2SO4(aq) —> NiSO4(aq) + H2O(1)


What are non-metals?

Non-metals are the elements that appear to gain electrons and form anions during chemical reactions. These elements are electronegative and ionization energies are higher for these elements. They are dull, fragile, and poor heat and electricity (graphite is an exception). Non-metal may exist as gases, liquids, or solids.


Non-metals Physical properties

  • Conduction: Non-metals are bad conductors of heat and electricity. Graphite, a carbon allotrope, is an exception is a good conductor of electricity.
  • Malleability and ductility: Non-metals are brittle.
  • Melting and boiling point: Non-metals usually have low boiling and melting points.
  • State: Non-metals can be liquid, solid, or gas.
  • Luster: Non-metals have a dull appearance. Diamond and iodine are exceptions.
  • Sonority: Non-metals do not produce a typical sound on being hit. Thus, they are not sonorous.
  • Density: Density for the most number of non-metals is low.
  • Color: Non-metals are in many colors.
  • Hardness: Non-metals are usually soft rather than hard. The diamond, on the other hand, is an exception; it is the hardest naturally occurring substance.


Non-metals Chemical Properties

Chemical properties of Non metals, Difference between metals and non-metals
Chemical properties of Nonmetals

Non-metals have an affinity for gaining or sharing electrons with other atoms. The character of non-metals is electronegative. As non-metals react with metals, they tend to gain electrons (typically achieving the noble gas electron configuration) and become anions:

3Br2(1) + 2Al(s) —> 2AlBr3 (s)

Covalent substances are compounds made entirely of non-metals. They usually react with oxygen to form acidic or neutral oxides, which dissolve in water to form acids:

CO2(g) + H2O(1) —> H2CO3 (aq)(carbonic acid)

Carbonated water, as you might be aware, is slightly acidic (carbonic acid).

Nonmetal oxides can form salts when they react with bases.

CO2(g) + 2NaOH(aq) —> Na2CO3 (aq) + H2O(1)


Difference between metals and non-metals

The difference between metals and non-metals is as follows:

Metals Non-metals
Metals are ductile and malleable. Non-metals are non-ductile and non-malleable.
Metal produces a ringing sound on striking, which is said to be the sonorous property. In the case of non-metals, they do not show this type of sonorous property.
For heat and electricity, metals are good conductors. For heat and electricity, non-metals are bad conductors, except graphite, which is a good conductor.
Metals usually exist as a hard solid substance. Non-metals usually exist in all three forms, i.e. solid, liquid, and gases.


Important things to remember

  • Non-metal is a chemical element that does not possess metal’s properties. Hydrogen, helium, oxygen, nitrogen, fluorine, neon, or radon are only a few examples of gases.
  • Many chemical elements are referred to as metals. Those are the elements that comprise the vast majority of the periodic table. These elements, in general, have the following properties: they can conduct heat and electricity. Metals can be shaped easily.
  • Oxygen is a non-metal that both plants and animals use for breathing. It is essential to sustain our life. It is used in the combustion of fuel in households, industries, and vehicles for transportation.
  • Oxygen is an essential non-metal for our life and it is inhaled during breathing by all living beings.
  • Liquid hydrogen is the non-metal used in rockets. They are separate hydrogen and oxygen tanks that mix and burn to power the rocket. Hydrogen is used because of its high calorific value.


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