Table of Contents

What is a Metallic Bond?Properties Attributed by Metallic BondingFrequently Asked Questions

What is a Metallic Bond?

‘Metallic bond’ is a term provided to explain the collective sharing of a sea of valence electrons in between a number of positively charged steel ions. Metallic bonding is a form of chemical bonding and also is responsible for several characteristic properties of metals such as their shiny lustre, their mallecapacity, and their conductivities for heat and also electrical energy.

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Both metallic and also covalent bonding deserve to be oboffered in some metal samples. For instance, covalently bonded gallium atoms tend to develop crystal frameworks that are organized together through metallic bonds. The mercurous ion also exhibits metallic and also covalent bonding.

The components that impact the strength of a metallic bond include:

Total variety of delocalized electrons.Magnitude of positive charge hosted by the metal cation.Ionic radius of the cation

An illustration describing the method electrons are delocalized over a rigid lattice of steel ions in a metallic bond is provided below.


Metallic bonds are not broken when the steel is heated into the melt state. Instead, these bonds are weakened, leading to the ordered selection of metal ions to lose their definite, rigid structure and come to be liquid. However, these bonds are entirely broken once the steel is heated to its boiling point.

Example – Metallic Bonding in Sodium

The electron configuration of sodium is 1s22s22p63s1; it contains one electron in its valence shell. In the solid-state, metallic sodium features an variety of Na+ ions that are surrounded by a sea of 3s electrons. However, it would certainly be incorrect to think of metallic sodium as an ion because the sea of electrons is common by all the sodium cations, quenching the positive charge.

An illustration describing the metallic bonding in sodium is gave below.


The softness and also low melting allude of sodium have the right to be explained by the reasonably low number of electrons in the electron sea and the relatively little charge on the sodium cation. For instance, metallic magnesium consists of an array of Mg2+ ions. The electron sea below has twice the number of electrons than the one in sodium (given that two 3s electrons are delocalized into the sea). Due to the greater magnitude of charge and also the better electron thickness in the sea, the melting allude of magnesium (~650oC) is substantially better than that of sodium.

Properties Attributed by Metallic Bonding

Metallic bonds impart several vital properties to metals that make them commercially preferable. Some of these properties are briefly explained in this subarea.

Electrical Conductivity

Electrical conductivity is a measure of the capacity of a substance to allow a charge to move with it. Due to the fact that the motion of electrons is not restricted in the electron sea, any type of electric present passed with the steel passes via it, as shown below.


When a potential distinction is introduced to the metal, the delocalized electrons begin relocating towards the positive charge. This is the reason why steels are mainly great conductors of electrical current.

Thermal Conductivity

The thermal conductivity of a material is a measure of its capacity to conduct/transfer warm. When one end of a metallic substance is heated, the kinetic power of the electrons in that area increases. These electrons transport their kinetic energies to other electrons in the sea by means of collisions.

The better the mobility of the electrons, the faster the transport of kinetic power. Due to metallic bonds, the delocalized electrons are very mobile, and they carry the warm via the metallic substance by colliding via various other electrons.

Malleability and also Ductility

When an ionic crystal (such a sodium chloride crystal) is bconsumed via a hammer, it shatters into many smaller pieces. This is bereason the atoms in the crystals are held together in a rigid lattice that is not easily dedeveloped. The advent of a pressure (from the hammer) reasons the crystal structure to fracture, causing the smashing of the crystal.

In the instance of steels, the sea of electrons in the metallic bond permits the dedevelopment of the lattice. As such, as soon as steels are bconsumed via a hammer, the rigid lattice is dedeveloped and also not fractured. This is why metals have the right to be beaten right into thin sheets. Due to the fact that these lattices carry out not fracture conveniently, steels are said to be highly ductile.

Metallic Luster

When light is incident on a metallic surface, the power of the photon is took in by the sea of electrons that constitute the metallic bond. The absorption of energy excites the electrons, boosting their power levels. These excited electrons quickly return to their ground claims, emitting light in the process. This emission of light due to the de-excitation of electrons features a shiny metallic lustre to the metal.

High Melting and also Boiling Points

As a result of powerful metallic bonding, the attrenergetic force between the metal atoms is fairly solid. In order to get over this force of attraction, an excellent deal of power is compelled. This is the factor why steels tfinish to have high melting and boiling points. The exceptions to this include zinc, cadmium, and also mercury (defined by their electron configurations, which end via ns2).

The metallic bond can retain its toughness even once the steel is in its melt state. For example, gallium melts at 29.76oC yet boils just at 2400oC. Thus, molten gallium is a non volatile liquid.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Difference Between Metallic Bonding and also Ionic Bonding?

Ionic bonds involve the deliver of electrons in between two chemical species. They aincrease from a difference in the electronegativities of the bonded atoms. On the various other hand also, metallic bonds are formed as soon as a rigid, definite lattice of metal cations share a sea of delocalized valence electrons. However before, both these types of bonding involve electrostatic pressures of attractivity.

What are the Factors Affecting the Strength of Metallic Bonds?

The three determinants are:

The variety of electrons delocalized from the metal; the greater the variety of delocalized electrons, the more powerful the bondCharge organized by the steel cation; the greater the magnitude of the charge, the more powerful the force of attractivity in between the electron sea and the cationsSize of the cation; the smaller sized the ionic radius, the greater the efficient nuclear charge acting on the electron sea

Therefore, the electron configuration of the element have the right to be stupassed away to predict the toughness of the metallic bonding in it.

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Which Properties of Metals deserve to be described by Metallic Bonding?

The properties of steels that are a repercussion of metallic bonding include:

MalleabilityDuctilityHigh melting and boiling pointHigh electrical and also thermal conductivityMetallic lustre

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