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Physical Properties of Metals and Non-metals

Last Updated : 14 Jul, 2021
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All the Objects we use in our daily life are divided into Metals and Non-Metal, By their properties, we can say which is Metal and which is Non-Metal, so in this article, we will learn what exactly are metals and non-metals and discuss their physical properties


Metals are natural compounds of the earth’s crust, where they are usually found in the form of ores, which is composed of both one and many other materials. And they are naturally present in rocks washed away by surface water and groundwater and in the atmosphere.

Metals are arranged on the left-side of the periodic table, Metals are the electropositive element where they tend to donate electrons and form positive ions and become stable. There are various kinds of metals

  • Alkaline earth metals: calcium, strontium, barium, magnesium, etc.
  • Alkali metals: Lithium, sodium, rubidium, cesium, etc.
  • Transition metals: Iron, Copper, Nickel, Zinc, etc.
  • Actinides: Uranium, plutonium, Thorium, Actinium, etc.
  • Lanthanides: Lanthanum, Cerium, etc.

Physical properties of Metals

  • Malleable: Malleability refers to the property of metals by which they can be beaten into thin sheets.

Example: Aluminum is beaten to make Aluminum foils, which are used to wrap food

  • Ductile: Ductility refers to the properties of metals by virtue of which they can be drawn into thin wires.

Example: Silver, Copper are can be drawn into thin wires, copper used in electric wires and silver in ornaments.

  • Conductivity: Metals are good conductors of heat and electricity, they allow electricity and heat to pass through them

Example: Silver, Copper.

  • Lustrous: All the metals have shinny nature when exposed to light, this property is called Lustrous.
  • Strength: All The metals are very strong

Example: Iron, Aluminum.

  • Sonorousness: Metals make ringing or vibrating sound when struck with another hard object, this property is called Sonorousness.

Examples: Gold, Silver, Iron.

  • Solid: All Metals are in solid state at room temperature except mercury, sodium, potassium.

Examples: copper, silver, gold, calcium.

Applications of Metals

  • Metals are used in the making of electric wires
  • Metals are used in the making of household utensils.
  • The Aluminum foils are used in packaging.
  • Silver and gold are used to make ornaments.


An element that lacks metal properties and is capable of forming anions, acid oxides, acids, and stable hydrogen compounds. Metals are arranged Right-side of the periodic table.

Non-metals form negative ions by accepting or gaining electrons. Non-metals have 4, 5, 6, or 7 electrons in their outermost shell.

Examples of Non-Metals: Halogens, Sulphur, carbon, phosphorus, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and noble gases.

Physical properties of Non-Metals

  • Non-Ductile: Ductility refers to the properties of metals by virtue of which they can be drawn into thin wires, but Non-Meals are not ductile.
  • Poor conductors: Conductivity is the property of allowing electricity or heat to pass through them, but Non-Metals are poor conductors except graphite

Example: plastic.

  • Transparent: The property of allowing light to pass through so that objects behind can be distinctly seen. Most of the Non-Metals are transparent.

Example: Glass.

  • Non-Sonorous: The property of making ringing or vibrating sound when struck with another hard object is called Sonorous, Non-Metals can’t make ringing sounds, so they are Non-Sonorous.
  • Brittle: All the Non-Metals are very brittle except diamond.
  • State: Most of the Non-metals are found in a liquid or gaseous states, some Non-Metals are in solid-state. 

Applications of Non-Metals

  1. Non-Metals are used in making insulators.
  2. Non-Metals are used in making Household furniture.
  3. Nonmetals used in fertilizers like nitrogen, potassium.
  4. Nonmetals used in crackers like Sulphur.
  5. Chlorine is used for purifying water.

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