What characteristic of a metallic bond explains some of the properties of metals?

1 Answer
Aug 30, 2014

In metallic bonding, the valence electrons are free to move throughout the metal structure.

This accounts for many of the properties of metals.

  • Electrical and thermal conductivity

The mobile electrons can act as charge carriers in the conduction of electricity and as energy carriers in the conduction of heat.

  • Malleability and Ductility
    You can hammer a metal into a sheet or draw it into a wire, because the atoms aren’t directly bonded to each other. The atoms just share electrons, so they can slide past each other.


  • High melting and boiling points

Metals tend to have have high melting and boiling points. There are strong electrostatic attractions between the giant lattice of cations and the sea of delocalized electrons.

This means that it takes a lot of energy to overcome these forces during melting and boiling.

  • Lustre

Delocalized electrons readily absorb and re-emit visible light. This gives metals their characteristic lustre.