Characteristics of metals

Metals are high-density chemical elements, mostly solid with the exception of mercury, which can be both pure elements and alloys to each other.

In the periodic table, metals are the most abundant chemical elements and are characterized, mainly, by having their own brightness and being good conductors of heat and electricity. The rest of the elements are called nonmetals.

In this sense, it is important to highlight what are the main characteristics of metals.

Conductors of electricity

Metals have among their main characteristics the possibility of being good conductors of electricity because they offer little resistance, therefore, the electrical charge can easily pass through these elements.

Among the best conductors of electricity are copper, aluminum, silver and gold. For example, electrical wiring, in addition to having good flexibility, are also metals that conduct electricity.

Heat conductors

Metals are also excellent conductors of heat because they have little resistance to high temperatures. For this reason, metals are widely used as a channel for the transit of heat.


Metals have malleability as their property, this allows their shapes to be modified through the application of a continuous pressure force, hammering, among others, or after a casting process.

There are cases in which metals can be reduced to sheets and, if their modification exceeds the limits of their malleability and elasticity, they can become a fragile and brittle element.


It refers to the possibility of molding metals into fine resistant threads or wires, which can only be broken after undergoing large deformation forces.


Metals are also characterized by their high toughness, that is, for being highly resistant throughout the deformation processes before breaking. The toughness of metals is due to the cohesion of their molecules and is linked to the malleability and ductility of metals.


Metals make it possible to form alloys, homogeneous mixtures between two or more metals, of which, for example, bronze, steel and brass, among others, can be produced.


Metals have among their properties the possibility of reflecting light in such a way that it gives them a particular shine, and that can be different depending on the metal.


Generally, metals are grayish in color, however, they can also vary in color. For example, gold is yellow in color and copper has a reddish color.

Solid state

Metals at room temperature are in a solid state, except for mercury, which is characterized as a metal that is in a liquid state.

However, various metals can change their physical state if they experience extreme temperatures.

Low electronegativity

Among the chemical properties, the low electronegativity and low ionized energy stand out, which is why metals give up electrons more easily. The fewer the electrons, the more metallic the elements are.

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