Chemistry » Classification of Matter » Metals, Metalloids And Non-Metals

Metals

Metals

Examples of metals include copper (\(\text{Cu}\)), zinc (\(\text{Zn}\)), gold (\(\text{Au}\)), silver (\(\text{Ag}\)), tin (\(\text{Sn}\)) and lead (\(\text{Pb}\)). The following are some of the properties of metals:

Copper wire

  • Thermal conductors

    Metals are good conductors of heat and are therefore used in cooking utensils such as pots and pans.

  • Electrical conductors

    Metals are good conductors of electricity, and are therefore used in electrical conducting wires.

  • Shiny metallic lustre

    Metals have a characteristic shiny appearance and are often used to make jewellery.

  • Malleable and ductile

    This means that they can be bent into shape without breaking (malleable) and can be stretched into thin wires (ductile) such as copper.

  • Melting point

    Metals usually have a high melting point and can therefore be used to make cooking pots and other equipment that needs to become very hot, without being damaged.

  • Density

    Metals have a high density.

  • Magnetic properties

    Only three main metals (iron, cobalt and nickel) are magnetic, the others are non-magnetic.

You can see how the properties of metals make them very useful in certain applications.

Discussion: Looking at metals

  1. Collect a number of metal items from your home or school. Some examples are listed below:

    1. hair clips

    2. safety pins

    3. cooking pots

    4. jewellery

    5. scissors

    6. cutlery (knives, forks, spoons)

  2. In groups of \(\text{3}\)\(\text{4}\), combine your collection of metal objects.

  3. What is the function of each of these objects?

  4. Discuss why you think metal was used to make each object. You should consider the properties of metals when you answer this question.

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