What property of metals allows a jeweler to hammer a piece of silver to make jewelry?

1 Answer
Dec 20, 2015



Malleability describes the ability of some materials to be hammered or otherwise forced into a different shape, without breaking. Most metals are highly malleable.

The reason for this is due to the nature of metallic bonding. Bonds between atoms in a metal are non-directional. Their strength doesn't depend on how the atoms are arranged.

Compare this to the bonds in an ionic lattice, where two or more types of ion are arranged in a rigid 3D structure. Any change to the shape of the lattice weakens those bonds and can cause the whole structure to break.

For more info about metallic bonding, check out this video by allerytutors!