# Why are metals malleable, and ductile, and conductive of heat and electricity?

Jan 7, 2017

Because of $\text{metallic bonding.}$

#### Explanation:

$\text{Metallic bonding}$ results from the close packing of metal atoms, such that the atoms contribute a few of their valence electrons to the overall lattice. These valence electrons are delocalized, and not associated with any particular atom.

Metallic bonding is thus often described as $\text{positive ions in a sea of electrons}$, in which the metal nuclei can move with respect to each other, without disrupting the metallic bond.

And since $\text{metallic bonding}$ is thus non-molecular, the individual metal atoms can move with respect to each other without disrupting the metallic bond. As a consequence metals are (i) $\text{malleable}$, capable of being hammered out into a sheet, and (ii) $\text{ductile}$, capable of being drawn into a wire. These properties make metals the premier material for making tools.

The delocalization of electrons in metallic bonds, also confers electrical conductivity to most metals.