Properties of metals

Metals are widely used chemical elements thanks to their physical and chemical properties that characterize them as conductors of heat and electricity.

In their natural state and at room temperature they are in a solid state, except for mercury, which is in a liquid state. Also, metals have a high melting point, density and light reflection.

Metals are elements that abound in the earth's crust and can be found both in their pure state (gold, silver, copper), and in alloys (steel, bronze).

Its use is very wide and diverse, since since prehistoric times the human being has known how to take advantage of metals to carry out different activities.

Physical properties of metals

The main physical property of metals has to do with their ability to conduct electricity and this is due to their high levels of ductility.

Ductility is the property of metals to mold, stretch and change shape without their composition being altered when under a traction force. For example, fine threads or wires can be formed.

Likewise, metals have an important malleability property that makes it possible to create metal sheets as high compression is exerted on this element, without breaking or breaking.

On the other hand, it should be mentioned the toughness that metals enjoy and that allows them to be hard and resistant, so they have high resistance when they want to break or when they receive blows or other types of forces. Even metals offer a high resistance to being scratched.

Finally, mention must be made of the physical property that metals possess of mechanical resistance without undergoing physical changes. That is, the ability to resist different types of forces such as torsion, bending or traction.

On the other hand, it should be mentioned that some metals can also be forged, that is, modify their shape through high temperatures, or weld and form a single body after joining several pieces.

See Metallurgy.

Chemical properties of metals

Metals have a series of chemical properties that cause a change in these elements during a chemical reaction. For instance:

  • Forming cations after the loss of electrons to obtain positive ions.
  • There are metals that react to oxygen and form basic oxides, such as iron, which, when in contact with oxygen, generates iron oxide.
  • The combination of an alkali metal with water forms a metal hydroxide.
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