Properties of ionic, covalent, and metallic compounds

Key Questions

  • Here is a short list of the main properties of covalent compounds:

    • Most covalent compounds have relatively low melting points and boiling points

    • Covalent compounds usually have lower enthalpies of fusion and vaporization than ionic compounds.

    • Covalent compounds tend to be more flammable than ionic compounds.

    • When dissolved in water, they don't conduct electricity.

    Maybe you'll be interested in comparison of properties of ionic and covalent compound so here is a link where you can learn it.

  • Answer:

    Metallic compounds are;
    Conductive of heat and electricity


    The reason as to why metallic compounds posses these properties is because the electrons do not stay in their assigned orbitals, they become delocalised and move all over the place.
    But what does this have to do about conducting electricity?
    Well the delocalised electrons will all move in the same directions when a heat source is applied, such as burning fossil fuels (the most common way), the energy in the movement of electrons carries heat from one side on a copper wire used in powerlines to our houses ready for use.

  • There are many properties. Here is a short list of main properties:

    • They form crystals. Ionic compounds form crystal lattices rather than amorphous solids.
    • They have higher enthalpies of fusion and vaporization than molecular compounds.
    • They are hard.
    • They are brittle.
    • They have high melting points and also high boiling points.
    • They conduct electricity but only when they are dissolved in water.
    • ...