Properties of Metals

  • Metallic bonds are very strong and are a result of the attraction between the positive metal ions and the negative delocalised electrons within the metal lattice structure.
  • Metals thus have very high melting and boiling points and are solids at room temperature, with the exception of mercury which is a liquid.
  • They are usually insoluble in water although some do react with it.
  • Metals are good conductors of heat and electricity due to the delocalised electrons.
  • The layers of atoms in metals can slide over each other meaning metals are malleable and can be hammered and bent into shapes or rolled into flat sheets.

Metallic lattice structure, IGCSE & GCSE Chemistry revision notes

Diagram showing metallic lattice structure with delocalised electrons

Distortion in Alloys

  • Alloys are mixtures of metals, where the metals are mixed together physically but are not chemically combined.
  • They can also be made from metals mixed with nonmetals such as carbon.
  • Alloys often have properties that can be very different to the metals they contain, for example they can have more strength, hardness or resistance to corrosion or extreme temperatures.
  • Alloys contain atoms of different sizes, which distorts the regular arrangements of atoms.
  • This makes it more difficult for the layers to slide over each other, so they are usually much harder than the pure metal.
  • Brass is a common example of an alloy which contains 70% copper and 30% zinc.

Structure of alloy, IGCSE & GCSE Chemistry revision notes

Particle diagram showing a mixture of elements in an alloy

AQA GCSE Chemistry Notes

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Morgan Curtin Chemistry

Author: Morgan

Morgan’s passion for the Periodic Table begun on his 10th birthday when he received his first Chemistry set. After studying the subject at university he went on to become a fully fledged Chemistry teacher, and now works in an international school in Madrid! In his spare time he helps create our fantastic resources to help you ace your exams.